Sir William Hamilton

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Hamilton, Sir William,

1730–1803, British diplomat and archaeologist, ambassador to Naples (1764–1800). He was the husband of Emma, Lady HamiltonHamilton, Emma, Lady,
1765?–1815, mistress of the British naval hero Horatio Nelson. Born Emma Lyon, she became the mistress of Charles Greville, then of Sir William Hamilton, ambassador to Naples, whom she married (1791).
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, mistress of Admiral Horatio NelsonNelson, Horatio Nelson, Viscount,
1758–1805, British admiral. The most famous of Britain's naval heroes, he is commemorated by the celebrated Nelson Column in Trafalgar Square, London.
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. His fine collection of antiquities from Pompeii was sold to the British Museum in 1772 and stimulated English interest in the art of the classical civilizations. His publications include Antiquités étrusques, greques et romaines (1766–67) and Mount Vesuvius (1772).

Bibliography

See biography by B. Fothergill (1969); J. Russell, Nelson and the Hamiltons (1969).


Hamilton, Sir William,

1788–1856, Scottish philosopher. He was widely interested in law, physiology, and literature and was professor of history and philosophy at the Univ. of Edinburgh. Hamilton helped to reestablish the waning fame of the Scottish school of metaphysics. His "Philosophy of the Unconditioned" (1829), a critique of CousinCousin, Victor
, 1792–1867, French educational leader and philosopher, founder of the eclectic school. He lectured at the Sorbonne from 1814 until 1821, when political reaction forced him to leave.
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's Cours de philosophie published in the Edinburgh Review, publicized his views on the infinite, which he considered unknowable. Under the influence of KantKant, Immanuel
, 1724–1804, German metaphysician, one of the greatest figures in philosophy, b. Königsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia). Early Life and Works
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, he conceived of the world that man knows as finite and conditioned in terms of space, time, and degree. In logic his attempt to "quantify the predicate" was a crude anticipation of later developments in mathematical logic. The British academic outlook was broadened by his emphasis on the German philosophers and on Aristotle. His son, Francis, published his Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic (ed. by H. L. Mansel and John Veitch, 4 vol., 1859–60, repr. 1969).
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