Who is James Beattie?June 25, 2021
Scottish philosopher, poet and critic.
Born 1735 in Lawrencekirk, county of Kincardine, he died in Aberdeen on August 18, 1803. Due to his achievements in my primary education, he won the free education competition opened by the University of Aberdeen and studied at Mreschall College for four years. He later entered the teaching profession.
He became a professor of Latin grammar in Aberdeen and also wrote poems. He translated Virgile’s Eglogues. Embellished with harmony, grace and sensitivity, he was ashamed of these youth writings and worked hard to make the memory of these works forgotten.
In order to protect his position and fortune, his friends took more interest in him, and in 1760 they appointed him professor of logic and morality at Mareschall College. In the early years of his teaching, he was not very successful.
He married in 1766. When one of her two sons died in 1789 and the other in 1796, Beattie fell into inconsolable melancholy and spent the last years of her life in solitude and seclusion.
Here are Beattie’s thoughts that secure an honorable place in Scottish philosophy;
1. It has shown the profound difference between the facts of common sense and the facts of reason. The first of these differences are obvious, they do not need proof. The latter, on the other hand, can acquire these qualities only by reasoning.
Beattie, who wants to show deeply this difference, which plays a big role in the Scottish philosophical system, defines the public sense as follows: “It is a faculty of spirit that does not arise from education and habit, but that arises from nature and suddenly perceives truth or commands faith with instinct and an irresistible urge.”
He also defines the mind as: “The faculty that gives us the ability to search for thought or proportions that we know. Without it, beyond first principles and intuitive axioms, we would not be able to take a single step to discover the truth.
2. These are the arguments against Berkeley’s spiritual skepticism and Hume’s universal skepticism and Descartes, who created modern skepticism by trying to prove everything. He acts like Reid in his thoughts on this last philosopher. The battle with skepticism is relentless.
Beattie argues that skepticism is more recent, that this system has reached its highest development in Hume, beginning with Descartes, that it also accepts principles diametrically opposed to the principles that govern the research of mathematicians and physicists, that it substitutes the obviousness of reasoning for the obviousness of public sense, and finally that skepticism is the most extreme of human beliefs. claims to have reached results that are inconsistent with its legitimate and universal principles.