The Philosophy Of J. F. Ferrier

Arthur Thomson


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.