Person: Stewart (2), Dugald
Dugald Stewart was a Scottish mathematician who also worked in moral philosophy and held chairs in both these subjects at Edinburgh University.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Advised by his moral philosophy professor Adam Ferguson to attend the lectures of Thomas Reid in Glasgow, Stewart spent the year 1771-72 there.
- Matthew Stewart was forced give up teaching and went to live on his estate at Catrine in Ayrshire.
- Stewart taught mathematics at Edinburgh for 13 years until Adam Ferguson resigned in 1785 when he was appointed to the philosophy chair and resigned from the chair of mathematics.
- Stewart's affinity for the scientific approach to philosophical problems is reflected in his mathematics career, and he often made analogies between the axioms of mathematics and the laws that govern human thinking.
- After the death of George, Stewart was greatly affected and his health began to deteriorate.
- Stewart had been involved in an interesting controversy in 1805 over the appointment of Leslie to the chair of mathematics at Edinburgh.
- When they brought forward their own candidate, Thomas MacKnight, an Edinburgh clergyman, Stewart and Playfair protested against the uniting of clerical and academic posts and objected to the intended clerical domination of the University of Edinburgh on the pattern of St Andrews.
- Stewart, in his role as an elder, supported Leslie when he addressed the General Assembly where Leslie was charged with atheism.
- Stewart was a staunch believer in intellectual freedom and his views supporting Leslie were set out in A short statement of some important facts (1805).
- Stewart's publications include Outlines of Moral Philosophy (1793), Philosophical Essays (1810), and Philosophy of the Active and Moral Powers of Man (1828).
Born 22 November 1753, Edinburgh, Scotland. Died 11 June 1823, Edinburgh, Scotland.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive