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Lord KamesLegal and Social Theorist$
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Andreas Rahmatian

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748676736

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748676736.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Political Philosophy, Anthropology and Commerce

Political Philosophy, Anthropology and Commerce

(p.142) V Political Philosophy, Anthropology and Commerce
Lord Kames

Andreas Rahmatian

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses the so-called “four-stage theory” of progress of human society which is characteristic of the Scottish Enlightenment. It is argued that Kames was a principal maker of this theory, and that the debate as to how many stages (three or four) are to be found with different writers (Smith, Kames etc.) is in fact beside the point. The chapter then proceeds to discuss Kames's concept of the origin of men and languages in his Sketches of the History of Man (1774) and contrasts Kames's views with these of Lord Monboddo (James Burnet). Then Kames's ideas about the best size of states and forms of government is dealt with, as well as his application of his theories in relation to the impending independence of the United States. Then Kames's remarks about the constitution of parliament and the position of kings are presented. The latter part of the chapter deals with Kames's views on war and peace and patriotism, the state administration of the poor (which is contrasted briefly with the positions of Smith and Malthus), and Kames's generally mercantilist views of commerce and the mechanism of the market. The chapter finishes with Kames's theory of taxation.

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