This book celebrates the 250th anniversary of the birth of Dugald Stewart (1753-1828), whose circular memorial monument on Calton Hill is one of Edinburgh's best known landmarks. Originally a mathematician like his father, Stewart held the Chair of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh University for 25 years and became the most distinguished philosopher in Britain. He was a gifted teacher whose character and eloquence influenced students as various as Josiah Wedgwood, Walter Scott, Henry Brougham and two future prime ministers - Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell. Stewart was one of the first to recognize and encourage the talent of Robert Bums. A life-long Whig, he was in France at the time of the French Revolution, and there knew Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. He wrote biographical memoirs of Adam Smith and two other contemporaries. He gave Britain's first course in economics, attended by all four founders of the Edinburgh Review, and his political as well as his philosophical influence extended well into the 19th century. His second wife was a generous hostess whose lively and amusing letters are quoted extensively in the book, and she and Stewart are shown to have been significant figures in the cultural life of the time.
Publication Date: 7/1/2003