Kames, Henry Home, Lord. Historical Law-Tracts. The Second Edition. Edinburgh: A. Kincaid, 1761. xv, 463 pp. Reprinted 2000 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN-13: 9781584770381; ISBN-10: 1584770384. Hardcover. New. $95. * In this celebrated treatise Lord Kames [1696-1782] proposes the concept of a historical treatment of law as a "rational science" (Preface p. xv) and sets forth the methodology and order of such. He holds that "law in particular becomes then only a rational study, when it is traced historically, from its first rudiments among savages, through successive changes, to its highest improvements in a civilized society." (Preface p. v) From this perspective the fourteen tracts cover the history of criminal law, promises and covenants, property, creditor and debtor, courts, etc. First published during the "Scottish enlightenment" in 1758, this is the second edition as published in 1761. This popular and influential work reached a fourth edition by 1792, and was read widely by European and American thinkers such as Hume, Bentham, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin and Adam Smith. Kames was a prolific author whose many works appeared in numerous editions.
Book number 28496