Victor Cousin and the Scottish Philosophers

Journal of Scottish Philosophy 7 (2):193-214 (2009)
Exchanges in the nineteenth century between Sir William Hamilton, James Frederick Ferrier and the French philosopher Victor Cousin are crucial to understanding contemporary efforts to preserve the continuity of the Scottish philosophical tradition on the part of those alive to new themes emanating from Kant and philosophy in Germany. Ferrier's strategy aimed at re-invigorating Descartes and Berkeley by drawing on elements in Adam Smith's social philosophy. But the promising steps taken in this direction in Ferrier's essays on consciousness were seriously undermined, in Cousin's view, by the aprioristic character of his Institutes, in which he abandoned the careful empirical method characteristic of Scottish philosophy as practiced by Reid
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