Nineteenth Century Philosophy


Who was William Hamilton?

William Hamilton (1788–1856) was a professor at Scotland’s University of Edinburgh. He is famous for his “philosophy of the conditioned” in Scottish Common Sense Philosophy. He agreed with Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) that we cannot know things in themselves, but also with Thomas Reid (1710–1796) about naturalism. Reid’s idea that we know things in the world directly and Kant’s idea that we do not know things in themselves are contradictory. Hamilton believed that they could be mysteriously combined through intuition.


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