McCosh, James

McCosh, James,

1811–94, Scottish-American philosopher and educator, b. Ayrshire, Scotland, grad. Univ. of Edinburgh, 1833. He was called to the United States in 1868 to become president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), and he retained the position until 1888. His successful career as administrator and teacher laid an enduring foundation for the liberal development of the college. His philosophical position was that of the Scottish school of Thomas Reid and Sir William Hamilton; he is philosophically important as the expounder of the Scottish tradition to America. Chief among his works are Method of Divine Government (1850), The Intuitions of the Mind Inductively Investigated (1860), Christianity and Positivism (1871), Scottish Philosophy from Hutchinson to Hamilton (1875), and Psychology (1886–87).


See W. M. Sloane, ed., The Life of James McCosh (1896).

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McCosh, James

(1811–94) college president, philosopher; born in Ayrshire, Scotland. He left a professorship at Queen's College, Belfast, Ireland (1852–68), and as president (1868–88), he revitalized the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) after its post-Civil War decline. A member of the Scottish school of philosophy, he wrote Intuitions of the Mind (1860) and Examination of… Mill's Philosophy (1866).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.