Originally published in 1976, this book discusses the relationship of the age of intellectual enlightenment in Scotland to the age of economic improvement and analyses the Scottish Enlightenment from a more sociological point of view. It describes the intense period of high intellectual endeavour and activity that took place in the resorts of the cultural social Scottish elite in 18th and early 19th Century Scotland. It discusses the crucial place of lawyers in 18th Century Scottish society and examines the intellectual features of the Scottish university system, charting the rise of the societies, clubs and other institutions such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica and The Edinburgh Review.

1. The Scottish Enlightenment 2. The Prelude and the Setting 3. The Church 4. The Law 5. The Study of Social Man 6: Universities: Medicine and Science 7. New Institutions and the Scottish Enlightenment 8. Conclusion and Interpretive.