Harrison, Frederic

Harrison, Frederic,

1831–1923, English jurist and sociologist. He served on various law commissions and was (1877–89) professor of jurisprudence and international law under the Council of Legal Education. Most prominent as the leader of English positivismpositivism
, philosophical doctrine that denies any validity to speculation or metaphysics. Sometimes associated with empiricism, positivism maintains that metaphysical questions are unanswerable and that the only knowledge is scientific knowledge.
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, he was cofounder of, and contributor to, the Positivist Review and was president of the English Positivist Committee. Regarding positivism as an approach to social reform, he worked to obtain a broader electoral franchise, wider primary education, and beneficial labor legislation. Harrison's voluminous works include studies of the law and of literature, biographies, a novel, and a long poem.


See his Autobiographic Memoirs (1911); study by his son Austin Harrison (1926).

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