A philosopher and historian, Adam Ferguson occupies a unique place within eighteenth-century Scottish thought. A man of energy and verve, he made important contributions to social and moral theory, political philosophy and to the study of history. Reared in the highlands of Scotland, he lived most of his life in the enlightenment world of Edinburgh, participating in the city s social clubs and in the broader public and intellectual life of his nation. Renowned for An Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767), he also wrote pamphlets on political issues, published works of moral and political philosophy, authored a multi-volume history of the Roman Republic and composed numerous manuscript essays. Distinguished by a moral and historical bent, his work is framed within a teleological outlook that upholds the importance of action and virtue in the emerging commercial society of the eighteenth century.