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Encyclopedia > Adam Ferguson

Adam Ferguson, also known as Ferguson of Raith (June 20, 1723 (O.S.) - February 22, 1816) was a philosopher and historian of the Scottish Enlightenment. In the public domain by age This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... June 20 is the 171st day of the year (172nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 194 days remaining. ... Events February 16 - Louis XV of France attains his majority Births February 24 - John Burgoyne, British general (d. ... In Britain and countries of the British Empire, Old Style or O.S. after a date means that the date is in the Julian calendar, in use in those countries until 1752; New Style or N.S. means that the date is in the Gregorian calendar, adopted on 14 September... February 22 is the 53rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1816 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... A historian is someone who writes history, and history is a written accounting of the past. ... The Scottish Enlightenment was a period of intellectual ferment in Scotland, running from approximately 1740 to 1800. ...



Born at Logierait in Perthshire, Scotland, he received his education at Perth grammar school and at the University of St Andrews. In 1745, owing to his knowledge of Gaelic, he gained appointment as deputy chaplain of the 43rd (afterwards the 42nd) regiment (the Black Watch), the licence to preach being granted him by special dispensation, although he had not completed the required six years of theological study. Logierait is a village and parish in the north of Perthshire, Scotland. ... Perthshire (Siorrachd Pheairt in Gaelic) was a county in central Scotland, which extended from Strathmore in the east, to the Pass of Drumochter in the north, Rannoch Moor and Ben Lui in the west, and Aberfoyle in the south. ... Motto: (Latin for No one provokes me with impunity)1 Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official language(s) English, Gaelic, Scots 2 Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Jack McConnell MSP Unification    - by Kenneth I... The Royal Burgh of Perth (Peairt in Scottish Gaelic) is a large burgh in central Scotland. ... Grammar school can refer to various types of schools in different English-speaking countries. ... St Marys College Bute Medical School Postgraduate Students Affiliations 1994 Group Website www. ... // Events May 11 - War of Austrian Succession: Battle of Fontenoy - At Fontenoy, French forces defeat an Anglo-Dutch-Hanoverian army including the Black Watch June 4 – Frederick the Great destroys Austrian army at Hohenfriedberg August 19 - Beginning of the 45 Jacobite Rising at Glenfinnan September 12 - Francis I is elected... // Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) is a member of the Goidelic branch of Celtic languages. ... A chaplain is typically a member of the clergy serving a group of people who are not organized as a mission or church; lay chaplains are also found in some settings such as universities. ... The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS) is an infantry battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. ... Theology (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογος, logos, word or reason) means reasoned discourse concerning religion, spirituality and God. ...

It remains a matter of debate as to whether, at the Battle of Fontenoy (1745), Ferguson fought in the ranks throughout the day, and refused to leave the field, though ordered to do so by his colonel. Nevertheless, he certainly did well, becoming principal chaplain in 1746. He continued attached to the regiment till 1754, when, disappointed at not obtaining a living, he left the clergy and resolved to devote himself to literary pursuits. Combatants Britain United Provinces Hanover France Commanders Duke of Cumberland Maurice, comte de Saxe Strength 48,000 30,000 Casualties 2,500 dead 5,000 wounded or captured 2,300 dead 5,000 wounded This battle should not be confused with the two battles of Fontenay, which occurred at a... 1754 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...

After residing in Leipzig for a time, he returned to Edinburgh where in January 1757 he succeeded David Hume as librarian to the Faculty of Advocates (see Advocates' Library), but soon relinquished this office on becoming tutor in the family of the Earl of Bute. In 1759 Ferguson became professor of natural philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, and in 1764 transferred to the chair of "pneumatics" (mental philosophy) "and moral philosophy." [] (Sorbian/Lusatian: Lipsk) is the largest city in the Federal State (Bundesland) of Saxony in Germany. ... Edinburgh (pronounced ; Scottish Gaelic: ) is the capital of Scotland and its second-largest city. ... 1757 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... David Hume (April 26, 1711 – August 25, 1776)[1] was a Scottish philosopher, economist, and historian. ... The Faculty of Advocates is the collective term by which what in England are called barristers are known in Scotland. ... The Advocates Library is a library belonging to the Faculty of Advocates in Edinburgh, founded in 1682. ... The title of Marquess of Bute was created in the Peerage of Great Britain in 1796 for the 4th Earl of Bute (in the Peerage of Scotland). ... 1759 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Natural philosophy or the philosophy of nature, known in Latin as philosophia naturalis, is a term applied to the objective study of nature and the physical universe that was regnant before the development of modern science. ... The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a renowned centre for teaching and research in Edinburgh, Scotland. ... 1764 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... A Phrenological mapping of the brain. ... Ethics is a general term for what is often described as the science (study) of morality. In philosophy, ethical behavior is that which is good or right. ...

In 1767, against David Hume's advice, he published his Essay on the History of Civil Society, which was well received and translated into several European languages. In the mid 1770s he travelled again to the Continent and met Voltaire. His membership of The Poker Club is recorded in its Minute Book of 1776. 1767 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... David Hume (April 26, 1711 – August 25, 1776)[1] was a Scottish philosopher, economist, and historian. ... It has been suggested that Languages of the European Union be merged into this article or section. ... Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands and peninsulae. ... François-Marie Arouet (21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), better known by the pen name Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, essayist, deist and philosopher. ... The Poker Club was one of several clubs at the heart of the Scottish Enlightenment where many associated with that movement met and exchanged views in a convivial atmosphere. ... A minute is a unit of time equal to 1/60th of an hour and to 60 seconds. ...

In 1776 appeared his (anonymous) pamphlet on the American Revolution in opposition to Dr Richard Price's Observations on the Nature of Civil Liberty, in which he sympathised with the views of the British legislature. In 1778 Ferguson was appointed secretary to the Carlisle commission which endeavoured, but without success, to negotiate an arrangement with the revolted colonies. Year 1776 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... John Trumbulls Declaration of Independence, showing the five-man committee in charge of drafting the Declaration in 1776 as it presents its work to the Second Continental Congress The American Revolution was a political movement during the last half of the 18th century that resulted in the creation of... Richard Price (February 23, 1723 – April 19, 1791), was a Welsh moral and political philosopher. ... The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ... 1778 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle (May 28, 1748 - September 4, 1825), was an English diplomat and the son of Henry Howard, 4th Earl of Carlisle. ...

In 1783 appeared his History of the Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic; it became very popular, and went through several editions. Ferguson believed that the history of the Roman Republic during the period of their greatness formed a practical illustration of those ethical and political doctrines which he studied especially. The history reads well and impartially, and displays conscientious use of sources. The influence of the author's military experience shows itself in certain portions of the narrative. Tired of teaching, he resigned his professorship in 1785, and devoted himself to the revision of his lectures, which he published (1792) under the title of Principles of Moral and Political Science. 1783 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... See also Roman Republic (18th century) and Roman Republic (19th century). ...

In his seventieth year, Ferguson, intending to prepare a new edition of the history, visited Italy and some of the principal cities of Europe, where he was received with honour by learned societies. From 1795 he resided successively at the old castle of Neidpath near Peebles, at Hallyards on Manor Water and at St Andrews, where he died on February 22, 1816. A learned society is a society that exists to promote an academic discipline or group of disciplines. ... Neidpath Castle is a L-plan rubble built tower, over looking the river Tweed about 1 mile west of Peebles. ... Old Parish Church, Peebles Location within the British Isles Peebles (Gaelic: Na Pùballan) is a burgh in the committee area of Tweeddale, in the Scottish Borders, lying on the River Tweed. ... Named after Saint Andrew the Apostle, the Royal Burgh of St Andrews (Scottish Gaelic: ) is a town on the east coast of Fife, Scotland, and the home of golf. ... February 22 is the 53rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ...


In his ethical system Ferguson treats man as a social being, illustrating his doctrines by political examples. As a believer in the progression of the human race, he placed the principle of moral approbation in the attainment of perfection. Victor Cousin criticised Ferguson's speculations (see his Cours d'histoire de la philosophie morale an dix-huitième siècle, pt. II., 1839-1840): For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation) Ethics (from the Ancient Greek ethikos, meaning arising from habit), a major branch of philosophy, is the study of value or quality. ... Human beings are defined variously in biological, spiritual, and cultural terms, or in combinations thereof. ... Victor Cousin. ...

"We find in his method the wisdom and circumspection of the Scottish school, with something more masculine and decisive in the results. The principle of perfection is a new one, at once more rational and comprehensive than benevolence and sympathy, which in our view places Ferguson as a moralist above all his predecessors."

By this principle Ferguson attempted to reconcile all moral systems. With Thomas Hobbes and Hume he admits the power of self-interest or utility, and makes it enter into morals as the law of self-preservation. Francis Hutcheson's theory of universal benevolence and Adam Smith's idea of sympathy he combines under the law of society. But, as these laws appear as the means rather than the end of human destiny, they remain subordinate to a supreme end, and the supreme end of perfection. Hobbes redirects here. ... Hume is the name of several people: Most likely it refers to: David Hume, (1711-76) 18th-century Scottish philosopher It can also refer to: Alexander Hamilton Hume (1797-1873) Australian explorer Allan Octavian Hume, English ornithologist Basil Cardinal Hume, former Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster Brit Hume, journalist best known... Francis Hutcheson was the name of a famous father and son: Francis Hutcheson (philosopher) (1694-1746) Francis Hutcheson (songwriter) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Adam Smith, FRSE, (baptized and probably born June 5, 1723 O.S. (June 16 N.S.) – July 17, 1790) was a Scottish political economist and moral philosopher. ...

In the political part of his system Ferguson follows Montesquieu, and pleads the cause of well-regulated liberty and free government. His contemporaries, with the exception of Hume, regarded his writings as of great importance, but he made minimal original contributions. (see Sir Leslie Stephen, English Thought in the Eighteenth Century, x. 89-90). His work was especially influential for German writers, such as Hegel and Marx. Montesquieu in 1728. ... Liberty is generally considered a concept of political philosophy and identifies the condition in which an individual has immunity from the arbitrary exercise of authority. ... Sir Leslie Stephen (November 28, 1832 – February 22, 1904) was an English author and critic, the father of two famous daughters, Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell. ... Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ... Marx is a common German surname. ...

Main works by Adam Ferguson

  • An Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767)
  • The History of the Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic (1783)
  • Principles of Moral and Political Science; being chiefly a retrospect of lectures delivered in the College of Edinburgh (1792)
  • Institutes of Moral Philosophy (1769)
  • Reflections Previous to the Establishment of a Militia (1756)


Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Adam Ferguson

Image File history File links Wikiquote-logo-en. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... John Small, 1737-1826, a cricketer, scored 136 for Hambledon against Surrey at Broad Halfpenny Down in 1775. ... The Gentlemans Magazine was the first general-interest magazine, and the most influential periodical of its time. ... Robert Chambers (10 July 1802 – 17 March 1871), Scottish author and publisher, was born in Peebles. ... The Encyclopædia Britannica is a general encyclopedia published by Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. ... The Reverend James McCosh (April 1, 1811 - November 16, 1894) was a Scottish philosophical writer. ... The Dictionary of National Biography (or DNB) is a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history. ... The Edinburgh Review was one of the most influential British magazines of the 19th century. ... Henry Thomas Cockburn (October 26, 1779 - April 26, 1854), Scottish judge, with the style of Lord Cockburn, was born in Edinburgh. ...

External links

This entry updated from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica. Project Gutenberg (often abbreviated as PG) is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive, and distribute cultural works. ... (Redirected from 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica) The Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1911) in many ways represents the sum of knowledge at the beginning of the 20th century. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Adam Ferguson - LoveToKnow 1911 (831 words)
ADAM FERGUSON (1723-1816), Scottish philosopher and historian, was born on the 20th of June 1723, at Logierait, Perthshire.
In 1759 Ferguson was appointed professor of natural philosophy in the university of Edinburgh, and in 1764 was transferred to the chair of "pneumatics" (mental philosophy) "and moral philosophy." In 1767, against Hume's advice, he published his Essay on the History of Civil Society, which was well received and translated into several European languages.
Ferguson was led to undertake this work from a conviction that the history of the Romans during the period of their greatness was a practical illustration of those ethical and political doctrines which were the object of his special study.
§18. Adam Ferguson’s "Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic". XIII. Historians. Vol. 10. The Age of ... (305 words)
Adam Ferguson’s "Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic".
It was in far broader fashion, as became a Scottish professor of moral philosophy, that Adam Ferguson proved his interest in the more extended view of historical study which was engaging the attention of British, as well as French, writers.
Thus, when, in 1783, Ferguson published his chief work, The History of the Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic, it was with no narrow conception of his task that he undertook what, as its title indicates, was designed as a sort of introductory supplement to Gibbon’s masterpiece.
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