Read The Eloquent Atheist Webzine

Infidels, Freethinkers, Humanists, and Unbelievers
Home, Henry, Lord Kames (1696-1782)
Henry Home, Lord Kames was a Scottish philosopher of the 18th century. Born in Kames, Berwickshire, he became an advocate (the Scottish equivalent of the English barrister) and was one of the leaders of the Scottish Enlightenment. In 1752, he was "raised to the bench", thus acquiring the title of Lord Kames.

Home wrote much about the imporance of property to society. In his Essay Upon Several Subjects Concerning British Antiquities, written just after the Jacobite revolt of 1745 he described how the politics of Scotland were not based on loyalty to Kings or Queens as Jacobites had said but on royal land grants given in return for loyalty.

In Historical Law Tracts and later in Sketches on the History of Man he described human history as having four distinct stages. The first was as a hunter gatherer where people avoided each other out of competition. The second stage he described was a herder of domestic animals which required forming larger societies. No laws were needed at these stages except those given by the head of the family or society.

Agriculture was the third stage requiring greater cooperation and new relationships to allow for trade or employment (or slavery). He argued that 'the intimate union among a multitude of individuals, occasioned by agriculture' required a new set of rights and obligations in society. This requires laws and law enforcers. A fourth stage moves from villages and farms to seaports and market towns requiring yet more laws and complexity but also much to benefit from.

The above studies created the genre of the story of civilisation and defined the fields of anthropology and sociology and therefore the modern study of history for two hundred years. Home was also on the panel of judges in the Joseph Knight case which ruled that there could be no slavery in Scotland. He enjoyed intelligent conversation and cultivated a large number of friends, among them John Home, David Hume and James Boswell.

 
Google
Web www.theinfidels.org
The information on which this page is based has been drawn from research on the Internet. For example, much use has been made of Wikipedia.org, to whom we are greatly indebted. Since the information recording process at Wikipedia is prone to changes in the data, please check at Wikipedia for current information. If you find something on this page to be in error, please contact us.
The Talk Of Lawrence