'An Essay on the History of Civil Society' by Adam Ferguson, 1767 [Library shelfmark: Nha.M102].
Adam Ferguson (1723-1816) held the position of Keeper of the Faculty of Advocates Library before he became Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. In this post, he published his work on civil society.
The 'Essay' is an interpretation of how nations advance morally and economically to become the commercial state of society.
Ferguson drew on classical history and applied principles to society at the time.
The work promotes civic virtue through citizens' participation in political life.
It is highly critical of unscientific 'conjectural history', which is a way of studying the past which allows for speculation about the causes of events.