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Alexander Bain
(1818-1903) - Philosopher

He was born on 11th of June 1818 in Aberdeen, the son of a weaver, a career he followed himself before winning a bursary to study at Marischal College. After graduating he became an assistant to the Professor of Moral Philosophy and was appointed to the Chair of Logic in 1860. He remained in Aberdeen until his death on 18 September 1903. Early in Bain's career he visited London and was befriended by Thomas Carlyle and by John Stuart Mill (1806—1873), who was to exert a seminal influence on his philosophy and writings. He later wrote a biography of John Stuart Mill and he was a leading Utilitarian, although he expanded Mill's doctrines by emphasizing the importance of the will and the emotions in human behaviour. Bain was also one of the first British philosophers to investigate the physiological influence of the nerves and the brain on man's philosophical make-up. His Autobiography, published post-humously in 1904, is an evocative account of his life, in which he rose from poverty and obscurity to become one of the leading men in his profession.

Works Include: Astronomy (1848); Electricity (1848); Well Being (1848); The Sense and the Intellect (1855);
The Emotions and the Will (1859); On the Study of Character (1861); An English Grammar (1863); English Composition and Rhetoric (1866); Mental and Moral Science, 2 Vols. (1868-72); Logic, 2 vols. (1870),
A First English Grammar (1872); Mind and Body: the Theories of their Relation (1873); A Companion to the Higher English Grammar (1874); Education as a Science (1879); James Mill (1882); John Stuart Mill (1882); Practical Essays (1884); On Teaching English (1887); Dissertations on Leading Philosophical Topics (1903).

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