Ferguson, Adam

Ferguson, Adam a Scotch philosopher, was born in 1724 at Logierait, Perthshire. He studied at St. Andrew's and at Edinburgh with a view to the Christian ministry. On being ordained, he was appointed chaplain to the 42d regiment, in which he remained till 1757, when he retired, and was appointed keeper of the advocates' library of Edinburgh. In 1759 he was made professor of natural philosophy in the college of that city, and in 1764 he was appointed to the chair of moral philosophy, a branch of science to which he -had more particulary applied himself. In 1767 he published Essay on the History of Civil Society; in 1776, Remarks on a Pamphlet of Dr. Price, entitled Observations on the Nature of Civil Liberty. " In 1778 he was appointed secretary to the commissioners who were sent to America-in order to try to effect a reconciliation with the mother country, an office in which Ferguson took a clearer view of the state of the question, and of the temper of the American people, than was common at that time with Englishmen. On his return in 1779 he resumed the duties of his professorship, and in 1783 he published History of the Progress and the Termination of the Roman Republic (3 vols. 4to)." In 1784 he resigned his professorship. "In 1792 he published Principles of Moral and Political Science, being chiefly a retrospect of lectures on ethics and politics, delivered in the College of Edinburgh (2 vols. 4to). Another work of Dr. Ferguson on the same subject, though a more elementary one, the Institutes of Moral Philosophy, which he first published in 1769, has been translated into the French and German languages, and often :reprinted." He died at St. Andrew's, February 22, 1816.-Chambers, Encyclopedia, S. V.

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