This paper seeks to locate Adam Ferguson (17231816), a leading light of the Scottish Enlightenment, within a tradition. Ferguson's work seems to straddle two traditions: classical civic humanism, on the one hand, and liberalism on the other. The claims of those scholars who have perceived in Ferguson's work prescient anticipations of nineteenth and twentieth century social thought are of particular relevance here. It is the contention of this paper that although Ferguson's work must be understood as classically and theologically inspired, there are, nevertheless, clear anticipations of modern social science in it. The dimensions of Ferguson's work focussed on are: his historiography, his theories of spontaneous order, habit and conflict, and his anticipatory detection otanomie and alienation effects. Ferguson's unique contribution lays in his ability to give ancient insights a sociological twist thereby bridging the gap between modern and classical traditions.