WRITERS ON SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY.
Although these do not come strictly within the scope of English literature, they are so connected with it in the composition of general culture, and give such a complexion to the age, that it is well to mention the principal names.
Sir William Hamilton, 1788-1856: for twenty years Professor of Logic and Metaphysics in the University of Edinburgh. His voluminous lectures on both these subjects were edited, after his death, by Mansel and Veitch, and have been since of the highest authority.
William Whewell, 1795-1866: for some time Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. He has written learnedly on many subjects: his most valuable works are: A History of the Inductive Sciences, The Elements of Morality, and The Plurality of Worlds. Of Whewell it has been pithily said, that “science was his forte, and omniscience his foible.”
Richard Whately, D.D., 1787-1863: he was appointed in 1831 Archbishop of Dublin and Kildare, in Ireland. His chief works are: Elements of Logic, Elements of Rhetoric, and Lectures on Political Economy. He gave a new impetus to the study of Logic and Rhetoric, and presented the formal logic of Aristotle anew to the world; thus marking a distinct epoch in the history of that much controverted science.
John Ruskin, born 1819: he ranks among the most original critics in art; but is eccentric in his opinions. His powers were first displayed in his Modern Painters. In his Seven Lamps of Architecture he has laid down the great fundamental principles of that art, among the forms of which the Gothic claims the pre-eminence. These are further carried out in The Stones of Venice. He is a transcendentalist and a pre-Raphaelite, and exceedingly dogmatic in stating his views. His descriptive powers are very great.
Hugh Miller, 1802-1856: an uneducated mechanic, he was a brilliant genius and an observant philosopher. His best works are: The Old Red Sandstone, Footprints of the Creator, and The Testimonies of the Rocks. He shot himself in a fit of insanity.
John Stuart Mill, born 1806: the son of James Mill, the historian of India. He was carefully educated, and has written on many subjects. He is best known by his System of Logic; his work on Political Economy; and his Treatise on Liberty. Each of these topics being questions of controversy, Mr. Mill states his views strongly in respect to opposing systems, and is very clear in the expression of his own dogmas.
Thomas Chalmers, D.D., 1780-1847: this distinguished divine won his greatest reputation as an eloquent preacher. He was for some time Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of St. Andrew’s, and wrote on Natural Theology, The Evidences of Christianity, and some lectures on Astronomy. But all his works are glowing sermons rather than philosophical treatises.