Francis Hutcheson

Biography of Francis Hutcheson

Francis Hutcheson
Francis Hutcheson

Francis Hutcheson (1694-1746) was Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University from 1730 until his death. He was one of the leading figures of the Scottish Enlightenment.

Born in Ulster, Hutcheson studied at the University and became a teacher in Dublin. He was appointed to the Chair of Moral Philosophy in 1729 and introduced the practice of lecturing in English rather than Latin. His publications, including An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue and the posthumously-published System of Moral Philosophy, had a profound influence on the development of moral philosophy in Scotland and America.


Francis Hutcheson
Moral Philosopher

Born 8 August 1694, Northern Ireland.
Died 8 August 1746.
University Link: Alumnus, Professor
GU Degree:
Occupation categories: moral philosophers
NNAF Reference: GB/NNAF/P140656
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Record last updated: 6th Aug 2014

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University Roles

  • Alumnus
  • Professor

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There is 1 comment available.

Posted by mr bert hutchings at 14:58:34 on 16 July 2009

Surely this little biography should include the key fact that in the very early 1730's Hutcheson was the first university professor in Europe to lecture in his native language, instead of in Latin. This is important, firstly because it spread across Europe so quickly, and secondly because some authors link it directly to the Scottish Enlightenment, by producing a generation of students accustomed to philosophise in English, and thus to think "outside the box" in ways that would have been difficult to express in Latin.