Human Nature and History
A Study of the Development of Liberal Political Thought
Human Nature and History, a monumental work in two volumes, is an attempt to analyze these relations. It is a work in meta-theory or the theory of political theory.
At the most general level, Cumming is concerned with the question of what is involved in the enterprise of political theory or political philosophy and how different conceptions of that enterprise have developed historically. More specifically, he is concerned with the format imposed on the historical development of political thought by Anglo-American liberalism, especially as represented by John Stuart Mill.
Since Cumming traces the development of political theory by reference to the relation between its subject-matter and other subject-matters, his study should be of interest to historians of thought and culture, as well as to political theorists and philosophers.