Moral Philosophy

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The Chair of Moral Philosophy formed part of the Faculty of Arts when it was established as a distinct entity in 1708. The first Professor, William Law, had previously been one of the Regents.

Professors of Moral Philosophy

Chair of Moral Philosophy

William Law (d. 1729), 1708-

William Scott "primus" (1672-1735), 1729-

Sir John Pringle (1707-1782), 1734-1745

William Cleghorn (1718-1754), 1745-1754

James Balfour (1705-1795), 1754-1764

Adam Ferguson (1723-1816), 1764-1785

Dugald Stewart (1753-1828), 1785-1820

Thomas Brown (1778-1820), 1810-1820

conjoint with previous

John Wilson (1785-1854), 1820-1851

Patrick Campbell MacDougall (1806-1867), 1853-1867

Henry Calderwood (1830-1897), 1868-1897

James Seth (1860-1925), 1898

Alfred Edward Taylor (1869-1945), 1924-1941

John Macmurray (1891-1976), 1944-1958

Winston Herbert Frederick Barnes (1909-1990), 1959 -

Harry Burrows Acton (1908-1974), 1964-1973

Ronald Hepburn (1927-2008), 1975-1996

Rae Helen Langton (1961- ), 1999-2004

Other People

David Hume (1711-1776): a student at the University between 1722 and 1726, he was passed over for the Chair of Ethical and Pneumatical Philosophy (Moral Philosophy), in 1745, on grounds of atheism.

Adam Smith

George Elder Davie (1912–2007)