Scott, William Mkendree, Dd
Scott, William M'kendree, D.D., an eminent Presbyterian divine and educator, was born in Jefferson County, O., in 1817. He graduated at Jefferson College, Pa., and at Princeton Theological Seminary, N. J., in 1846. He was licensed by the West Lexington Presbytery, and in 1847 was elected professor of languages in Centre College, Danville, Ky.; and, accepting a call of the First Presbyterian Church in that place, he was ordained by the Transylvania Presbytery in 1848. In January, 1856, he became pastor the Seventh Presbyterian Church, Cincinnati, O., which relation existed for two years, when, in 1859, the General Assembly elected him professor of Biblical literature and exegesis in the Theological Seminary of the North-west at Chicago, Ill. His health had been gradually declining for some time, and in the autumn of 1861 he visited Princeton, N. J., where he hoped, among his kindred and friends, to recuperate his wasted energies; but his hopes were vain, and he died Dec. 22, 1861, at the residence of his father-in-law. Roy. Dr. Charles Hodge. The death of Dr. Scott produced a deep impression upon the Church. The board of directors of the Theological Seminary of the North-west adopted a series of resolutions, and the presbytery of Chicago the following minute: "As a teacher, he was thorough and accurate. Much of his time was given to the work of instruction, and he had fully prepared himself for it. As an expounder of God's Word, he was at all times, whether in the lecture-room or the pulpit, lucid, impressive, and evangelical, attracting all by the originality and freshness of his views. As a presbyter, he loved the courts of the Church; and being thoroughly conversant with the theory and practice of our system, he was an invaluable member in all complex and difficult cases." See Wilson, Presb. Hist. Almanac, 1863, p. 204. (J. L. S.) Scottish Philosophy is an appellation currently applied to the method and principles of philosophizing and also to certain positive doctrines which were taught by several professors in the universities of Scotland. Prominent among these were Thomas Reid (1710-96), professor of philosophy in King's College, Aberdeen (1752-63), professor of moral philosophy in the University of Glasgow (1763-96); Dugald Stewart (1753-1828), professor of moral philosophy in the University of Edinburgh (1785-1810); Dr. Thomas Brown (1778-!820), colleague with Stewart as professor of moral philosophy (1810-20); and Sir William Hamilton (1788-1856), professor of logic and metaphysics in the University of Edinburgh (1836-56). Besides these coryphaei of the Scottish school, others should be named who were more or less conspicuous in the various metaphysical discussions which preceded or accompanied the lectures and writings of these leaders, whether favorable or adverse — viz.: Francis Hutcheson (1694-1747), professor of moral philosophy in the University of Glasgow (1729-46); George Turnbull (1698-1748); regent of Marischal College, Aberdeen (1721-27); David Hume (1711-76); Adam Smith (1723-90), professor of logic in the University of Glasgow (1751), professor of moral philosophy in the same (1752-63); James Beattie (1735-1803), professor of moral philosophy in Marischal College (1760-1802); Thomas Chalmers (1780- 1847), professor of moral philosophy in the University of St. Andrew's (182327), professor of theology in the University of Edinburgh (1827-43); John Wilson (1785-1854), professor of moral philosophy in the University of Edinburgh (1820-54); and James Frederick Ferrier (1808-64), professor of moral philosophy in the University of St. Andrew's (1845-64).
Of all these, Dr. Thomas Reid, by common consent, is the central, if not the most eminent, person in what is known distinctively as the Scottish school. He was the first to give a definite statement and a positive form to the principles which have given it a character and a name. He was aroused to this by the conclusions which were derived by Berkeley and Hume from certain fundamental doctrines of Locke's Essay which had been generally accepted as beyond question. Prominent among these were his doctrines of representative ideas in sense-perception and his definition &knowledge, as also the assertion that sensation and reflection are the only sources of knowledge. These principles had been used by Berkeley, with certain additions of his own, to demonstrate that the material world is known to us only as a system of ideas which are made steadfast and trustworthy so far as they are held in being by the act and in the mind of God. Hume pushed Berkeley's argument one step further, and proved that we have no more direct and certain knowledge of spirit than we have of matter; and, moreover, that the relation of causation cannot be derived from either sensation or reflection, and is resolvable into custom, or the habitual association of ideas. Hume had also astonished and offended the community by his views of morality, miracles, and the usually accepted argument for the existence of God. Against these views, Reid asserted the doctrine of the direct perception of material qualities, and the positive suggestion or belief of material objects. He also insisted that there are certain original principles of belief which cannot be derived from either sensation or reflection. These he called First Truths, First Principles, Principles of Common-sense, etc. Hence the Scottish philosophy was very generally styled the "Common-sense Philosophy." Under this designation it was expounded in a popular treatise by James Oswald (oh. 1793) and James Beattie (1735-1803). The principal works of Reid were, Inquiry into the Human Mind, or Principles of Common-sense (Land. 1763); Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man (1785); Essays on the Active Powers of Man (1788).
Next to Reid in significance is Dugald Stewart for his undeviating and almost literal adherence to the doctrines of his teacher. He was more learned than Reid, more elegant, and more imaginative; but he did little else than illustrate and enforce the doctrines of Reid by examples and confirmations from his copious reading in a style which was ornate and carefully wrought. His influence was not confined to Great Britain. His lectures were attended by pupils from France, who subsequently were active in the reform of philosophy in their own country. His treatises were more numerous than those of Reid. In 1792 he published vol. i of The Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind; in 1814 vol. 2; in 1827 vol. 3; in 1793 The Outline of Moral Philosophy; in 1810 his Philosophical Essays, which are more severely and purely metaphysical than any of his other writings; in 1815 and 1821 parts 1 and 2 of his General View of the Progress of Metaphysical, Ethical, and Political Science since the Revival of Letters, in which his critical taste and erudition are abundantly displayed; in 1828 The Philosophy of the Active and Moral Powers.
Dr. Thomas Brown should be named next to Dugald Stewart, not only because he was his immediate successor, nor because his combination of subtle analysis with rhetorical exuberance made him immensely popular for a time, but because he introduced new elements into the field of discussion, and gave an important impulse to a direction of thought which is now striving to displace the fundamental principles taught by Reid. We refer to the prominence given to the so-called association of ideas, to which Brown, following Stewart somewhat, assigned a very great significance in the explanation of psychological phenomena and philosophical beliefs. James Mill, John Stuart Mill, and Alexander Bain were all influenced by the philosophizing of Brown. The modern doctrine of inseparable associations was received through Brown frown Hume till it arrayed itself in direct Opposition to the so-called introspective theory of Hamilton in the criticism of his philosophy by John Stuart Mill. But although Brown in this and some other particulars deviated from the traditions of Reid and Stewart, he still held fast to the doctrine of irresistible beliefs as the foundation of philosophic truth. Though he accepted Hume's conception of the causal relation, he did not, with Hume, resolve our belief in its constancy into custom or experience. His analysis of the sense perceptions opened the way for the physiological psychology which has since been so earnestly prosecuted. For these and other reasons Brown is a considerable figure among the Scottish philosophers.
Still more considerable is Sir William Hamilton, whose astonishing erudition, subtle logic, and massive strength revived the interest in the old questions which had begun to wane, and gave a new direction to the old inquiries and discussions. His first published contributions were several articles in the Edinburgh Review; viz. the first on Cousin and the Philosophy of the Conditioned (1827), others on the Philosophy of Per- caption (1830), and Recent Publications in Logical Science (1833). In 1836 he was elected professor of logic and metaphysics in the University of Edinburgh. In 1856 he published the first instalment of the works of Thomas Reid, with notes and illustrations, which remained unfinished till after his death. This work, in short foot-notes and long, learned appendices, contains some of his most valuable contributions to philosophy. His Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic were published after his death under the direction of Rev. H. L. Man-sel and Prof. John Veitch (1859, 1860, 4 vols.). Prof. Veitch also published his Memoirs (1869). Hamilton's philosophical teachings may be classed as follows. He was true to Reid's doctrine that common-sense is the foundation and the criterion of all true and trustworthy philosophy. He expended immense research in the effort to show that this view was sanctioned by the most eminent of ancient rind modern philosophers. At the same time, he endeavored to formulate more accurate conceptions and more satisfactory definitions of common- sense and its relations to the criteria of truth. His doctrine of the intuitions, or first principles, is a great advance Upon that of Reid in philosophical exactness. Hamilton followed Reid in rejecting the doctrine of representative perception, tracing out with laborious erudition the several theories held by the advocates of this doctrine, and refuting them at every point. His classification of these theories is a masterpiece of ingenuity, acuteness, and learning. His own theory is an attempt to reconcile the latest results of physiological research with the doctrine of natural realism as taught by Reid. While he held, with Reid, to the necessity of a priori or intuitive truths, he sought to reconcile or modify this position by his doctrine of the relativity of knowledge. His philosophy of the conditioned was the result of an effort to adjust the Scottish with the Kantian theory of the a priori element in knowledge. In doing this, he coincided more nearly with Jacobi than with any other German philosopher, although he differed from Jacobi in his fondness for scholastic distinctions and learned erudition. In formal logic he was eminently at home, both in its subtle refinements and its special literature. He elaborated a new and original scheme of logical symbolization on the basis of the doctrine of the quantification of the predicate, to which he attached great importance. Whatever may be the fate of his peculiar teachings, his influence will long be felt and acknowledged in reawakening an interest in philosophical speculation and a respect for profound metaphysical studies in Great Britain and every English-speaking country. SEE HAMILTON, SIR WILLIAM.
Besides these four leaders of the Scottish school, Hutcheson deserves especial honor for anticipating in fact, though not with effect upon the course of speculation, some of the most important positions that were taken by Reid in dissent from Locke. It would seem as if Hutcheson had himself been influenced by a small but able school of Irish critics of Locke, whose home was in Trinity College, Dublin. George Turnbull should not be overlooked, who was the instructor of Reid, and, in some sense, anticipated many of his doctrines. The subtle and consequent David Hume should not be forgotten, for without Hume the Scottish metaphysics would never have had existence. Hume not only waked Kant from his dogmatic slumber, but compelled Reid into the position of an earnest and patient inquirer into the Correctness of the current philosophy received from Locke. To Hume's acuteness and subtlety does the world owe the birth, beginnings, and character of the two most significant schools of philosophy in modern times, viz. the German and the Scottish. Adam Smith did not fall into the ranks with Reid; but he wrote the ingenious Theory of Moral Sentiments, the ethical principles of which have been enforced in the present generation with a new accession of energy and zeal. Thomas Chalmers was not an originator of special philosophical opinions, but he expounded and enforced profound ethical and metaphysical principles with contagious energy and inspiring enthusiasm. John Wilson was more of a poet than a philosopher, but he brought rare gifts and rarer eloquence to the illustration of ethical themes. The acute and brilliant Ferrier may never have made a single convert to his theory of consciousness, but he could not fail to kindle a genuine interest in philosophical studies by his subtle analysis and his lucid statements. It does not fall within our task to characterize living teachers and writers; otherwise we might speak of Prof. Henry Calderwood, the daring critic of Hamilton when Hamilton was in his prime; Prof. A. D. Frazer, the subtle and sympathizing biographer and editor of Berkeley; Prof. Veitch, the genial histographer of Hamilton and Stewart; and the indomitable and tenacious Alexander Bain, whose zeal and lean, lug must sooner or later arouse antagonists and critics who shall effectively protest against the extremes to which he carries his associational theories. Two other writers should not be overlooked. James Hutchison Stirling, M.D., the author of the Secret of Hegel, the critic of Hamilton, and the able antagonist of Huxley in his A s Regards Protoplasm; and Prof. Simon S. Laurie, the ingenious author of Philosophy of Ethics and Notes Expository and Critical on Certain British Theories of Morals, give ample proof that the interest in philosophical studies is not likely to die out, and that, in some form or Other, a Scottish philosophy will continue to be taught and defended which will not be unworthy of Reid and Hamilton. Nor should we fail to give just honor to Dr. James M'Cosh, who was trained in the Scottish philosophy, and has done so much to expound and defend, in an independent and critical spirit, its most important and distinctive principles in his well-known works, and has also written the history of the Scottish school with an enthusiastic interest and faithful research.
The Scottish philosophy has had no inconsiderable influence on the Continent, especially in France. Dugald Stewart attracted many pupils from that country, and among them the distinguished Royer Collard, who lectured in the Sorbonne in the years 1811-14, which lectures were the first significant indications of a reaction against the traditional system of Condillac. The fragments of these lectures were subsequently published in connection with a translation of the works of Reid made by Theodore Jouffroy who, with Victor Cousin, was a pupil of Collard. The Eclectic and the more modern Historical French schools show abundant traces of indebtedness to the Scottish philosophy and the impulses which it received from the Scottish teachers with whom it began. This influence has been gratefully acknowledged by Royer Collard, Theodore Jouffroy, Victor Cousin, and many of Cousin's pupils. See M'Cosh, The Scottish Philosophy, Biographical, Expository, Critical, from Hutcheson to Hamilton (N. Y. 1875); Cousin, Philosophic Ecossaise (Paris, 1863, 4th ed.); Ucberweg, History of' Philosophy, etc., translated by Prof. George S. Morris (N. Y. 1872-74), app. i, § 27-46. (N. P.)