What passed for law before our predecessors wrote about it? This led in the 18th century to imaginative debates on society’s origins. Most contributors believed that humans were induced (by social contracts) or coerced (by violence) into forming societies. Views of society’s origins were fuelled from contemporary accounts of the ‘savage’ societies in America, Africa and the Pacific islands, compared to both modern and classical Europe.1 Enlightenment readers were fascinated by the differences between human societies and to the errors, confusions and false conclusions about them they added an absence of evidence.
KeywordsEurope Dition Detritus Lost
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