An important figure in the natural law tradition and in the Scottish Enlightenment, Gershom Carmichael defended a strong theory of rights and drew attention to Grotius, Pufendorf, and Locke. Gershom Carmichael was a teacher and writer who played an important role in the Scottish Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. His philosophy focused on the natural rights of individuals—the natural right to defend oneself, to own the property on which one has labored, and to services contracted for with others. Carmichael argued that slavery is incompatible with the rights of men and citizens, and he believed that subjects have the right to resist rulers who exceed the limits of their powers.
"Natural Rights" includes "Supplements and Observations on Pufendorf" (1724), "Natural Theology" (1729), "Logic" (1722), two theses, and a manuscript on teaching, all in English for the first time.