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James Black Baillie

(1872—1940) moral philosopher and academic administrator


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James Black Baillie was born in the county of Angus on 24 October 1872 and died in Weybridge on 9 June 1940. He attended school in Haddington, East Lothian, studied at the University of Edinburgh and, graduating MA, won the Ferguson and Shaw fellowships in philosophy. He studied further at Trinity College, Cambridge, winning the MA, and in Halle, Strasbourg and Paris before taking up a post as lecturer in the then University College, Dundee, as assistant to D.G. Ritchie, until 1902. He was then appointed Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. He remained there, with a two-year break on war service in the Admiralty, till in 1924 he took up the post of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, following the failure of his 1919 application for the Edinburgh Chair of Metaphysics (in succession to his teacher Pringle-Pattison, who supported him for the post) and his 1924 application for the Moral Philosophy Chair. His success as a wartime administrator had led to an impressive number of public appointments, and the award of an OBE in 1918. He took up the Leeds post at a time of comprehensive reconstruction in that university. He was knighted in 1931. After retiring from Leeds in 1938 he continued as before to function as chairman on major public boards and commissions, till his unexpected death.

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From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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