McDermid (2017)

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McDermid, Douglas. (2017) James Beattie. In Fieser and Dowden (Ed.) (2017). Retrieved from

Title James Beattie
Resource Type collection article
Author(s) Douglas McDermid
Year 2017
Collection Fieser and Dowden (Ed.) (2017)


James Beattie was a Scottish philosopher and poet who spent his entire academic career as Professor of Moral Philosophy and Logic at Marischal College in Aberdeen. His best known philosophical work, An Essay on The Nature and Immutability of Truth In Opposition to Sophistry and Scepticism (1770), is a rhetorical tour de force which affirmed the sovereignty of common sense while attacking David Hume (1711-1776). A smash bestseller in its day, this Essay on Truth made Beattie very famous and Hume very angry. The work's fame proved fleeting, as did Beattie’s philosophical reputation.