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The Philosophy Of J. F. Ferrier

  • Arthur Thomson
Abstract

James Frederick Ferrier was born in Edinburgh on June 16th, 1808. He was educated privately and at the Royal High School, Edinburgh. After spending two sessions at Edinburgh University, he entered Magdalen College, Oxford, where he graduated in 1831. Returning to Edinburgh, he qualified as an advocate in 1832, but devoted himself to philosophical studies, largely as a result of his close friendship with Sir William Hamilton. In 1838-9, he published An Introduction to the Philosophy of Consciousness in Blackwood's Magazine. This was followed by a number of interesting articles and reviews, chiefly on sense-perception. In 1844, Ferrier deputised for SirWilliam Hamilton in the Chair of Logic and Metaphysics at Edinburgh, and, in the following year, he became Professor of Moral Philosophy and Politica Economy in St Andrews. In 1854, he published The Institutes of Metaphysics. He died in 1864, leaving behind him a valuable course of Lectures on Greek Philosophy, which was published posthumously.

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page 46 note 1 Bibliographical Note. This study is mainly based on two publications: The second edition of The Institutes of Metaphysics, published in 1856, and here referred to as M. The two-volumeLectures on Greek Philosophy and Other Philosophical Remains, published in 1866, and here referred to as GP I and GP II. GP I contains a valuable sketch of Ferrier‘s life and personality, as well as the above mentioned course of lectures. GP II contains articles published in Blackwood's Magazine, some short lectures and biographies of philosophers, and a blank verse translation from a German drama. Inwriting the study, the author has received valuable assistance from Dr. Davie, G. E., of Edinburgh University, who has been kind enoughto say that he is in general agreement with it.

page 46 note 2 GP II 56-7.

page 47 note 1 GP II 69.

page 47 note 2 GP II 101.

page 47 note 3 GP II 104.

page 47 note 4 GP II 106-7.

page 47 note 5 GP II 144.

page 48 note 1 GP II 171.

page 48 note 2 GP II 175-7.

page 48 note 3 GP II 194.

page 48 note 4 GP II 209-10.

page 48 note 5 GP II 210.

page 48 note 6 GP II 213.

page 48 note 7 GP II 216.

page 48 note 8 GP II 217.

page 48 note 9 GP II 220-1.

page 48 note 10 GP II 227.

page 49 note 1 GP II 236.

page 50 note 1 GP II 261-88.

page 50 note 2 GP II 291-347.

page 50 note 3 GP II 351-77.

page 50 note 4 GP II 381-404.

page 50 note 5 GP II 381.

page 51 note 1 GP II 403.

page 51 note 2 GP II 404.

page 52 note 1 GP II 407-59.

page 52 note 2 GP II 448-9.

page 52 note 3 GP II 457-8. Stout, G.F. in Votiva Tabella (1911) 163–4.

page 53 note 1 M 1-75.

page 53 note 2 M 1-3.

page 53 note 3 M 36-7.

page 53 note 4 M 16.

page 53 note 5 M 23.

page 53 note 6 M44-5.

page 53 note 7 M 68-72.

page 54 note 1 M 79.

page 54 note 2 M 79.

page 54 note 3 M 4. It looks as though this doctrine of the selfconsciousness of thought stems from Locke through Wilson, . ‘For it is altogether as intelligible to say that a body is extended without parts, as that anything thinks without being conscious of it, or perceiving that it is so.’ Locke, Essay on the Human Understanding, Book. II, Chapter I. This is quoted with approval by John, Wilson in The Metaphysician III, Blackwood's Magazine (1836) 272.

page 54 note 4 M 84. Stout, G. F., Manual of Psychology (Ed. 4) 581-2.

page 55 note 1 Votiva Tabella 161. M 82-5.

page 55 note 2 Stout, G. F., Manual of Psychology (Ed. 4) 169-70.

page 55 note 3 M 89-90.

page 55 note 4 ‘External and Internal Relations’ in Moore, G. E., Philosophical Studies.

page 55 note 5 M 97.

page 55 note 6 M 120.

page 55 note 7 M 121.

page 55 note 8 M 157.

page 56 note 1 M 206-8.

page 56 note 2 M 237-8

page 56 note 3 M 242.

page 56 note 4 Votiva Tabella (1911) 161. Stout, G. F., Manual of Psychology (Ed. 4) 425-6, 581-2.

page 56 note 5 M 257.

page 56 note 6 M 283.

page 56 note 7 M 278.

page 56 note 8 Votiva Tabella (1911) 157.

page 57 note 1 M 300.

page 57 note 2 M 298-9.

page 57 note 3 M 290.

page 57 note 4 M 120.

page 58 note 1 M 328.

page 58 note 2 M 334.

page 58 note 3 M 370.

page 58 note 4 M 361.

page 58 note 5 M 394.

page 58 note 6 M 405-32.

page 58 note 7 M 469.

page 58 note 8 M 479-96.

page 58 note 9 M491.

page 58 note 10 M511.

page 59 note 1 M 519-20.

page 59 note 2 M 523.

page 59 note 3 M 520.

page 59 note 4 M 515-8.

page 60 note 1 M 523-4.

page 60 note 2 M 520.

page 61 note 1 Stout, G. F., Philosophy in Votiva Tabella (1911) 153–66. This article contains some valuable discussions, but was based on insufficient study and hastily written. Every quotation from Ferrier, with one exception, is inaccurate, and every reference is wrong or incomplete. Ferrier's Christian name is wrongly given, and he is credited with living fifteen years in St Andrews, instead of nineteen, and with producing ‘all his most valuable and characteristic work’ there ‘in immediate connection with his activity a a teacher’. (154.) Readers of this short study should have little difficulty in understanding how wrong Stout was on this last point.

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Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0031-8191
  • EISSN: 1469-817X
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