In an earlier chapter we have given an account, from a more purely biographical standpoint, of Kames’s interests and activities in the field of letters, broadly viewed, thrown on the background of his historical antecedents and of the contemporary scene in the way of literary productions. We also gave a brief account there of his own non-juridical writings in his later years without any attempt at evaluation of their contributions to the world of letters. In the present chapter out attention will be focused primarily on Kames’s key work in this field, his Elements of Criticism, and on the contributions generally which he made to critical theory, to matters of literary production, style of writing and literary appreciation.


Human Nature Critical Theory Literary Criticism Literary Production Philosophical Criticism 
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  1. 1.
    See Wm. R. Scott, Adam Smith as Student and Professor (Glasgow, 1937 ), pp. 48f.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    James Harris, Hermes: or, Philosophical Inquiries Concerning Language and Universal Grammar (London, 1751); and Philological Inquiries (London, 1781).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    John M. Lothian, Adam Smith: Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres (London, 1963 ).Google Scholar
  4. Attention is called here to Helen W. Randall’s Critical Theory of Lord Kames; Ian S. Ross, “The Most Arrogant Man in the World: The Life and Writings of Henry Home, Lord Kames (1696–1782)” ( Doctoral Dissertation, University of Texas, June 1960 );Google Scholar
  5. Arthur E. McGuinness, ,“The Influence of David Hume’s Critical Theory on Lord Kames’s Elements of Criticism” ( Doctoral Dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1964 );Google Scholar
  6. Leroy R. Shaw, “Henry Home of Kames: Precursor of Herder,” Germanic Review, Vol. XXXV (1960), pp. 116 – 27;Google Scholar
  7. Vincent Bevilaqua, “The Rhetorical Theory of Henry Home” ( Doctoral Dissertation, University of Illinois, 1961 );Google Scholar
  8. Vincent Bevilaqua,and Loomis C. Irish, “Human Nature and the Arts: The Aesthetic Theory of Henry Home, Lord Kames” (Doctoral Dissertation, Columbia University, 1961). Microfilm copies of all of these dissertations are available in the Microfilm Division of the Library of Congress. See also A. E. McGuinness, Henry Home, Lord Kames,and, shortly to appear, Ian S. Ross, Lord Kames and the Scotland of his Time (Clarendon Press).Google Scholar
  9. 5.
    Elements,(3rd edition, New York, 1836 printing), Introduction, p. 13.Google Scholar
  10. See Joseph Priestley, Course of Lectures on Oratory and Criticism (London, 1777), p. iii, quoted in Randall, op. cit.,p. 83.Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1971

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  • William C. Lehmann

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