William Hastie was born in Wandlockhead, Dumfries on 7 July 1842 and died in Edinburgh on 31 August 1903. He enrolled at the University of Edinburgh in 1859, where he studied first philosophy and then theology (MA 1867, BD 1869); he completed his theological studies in Glasgow with John Caird, and then on the Continent at various German, Dutch and Swiss universities. A Church of Scotland missionary in Calcutta from 1878, he was forced to return to Scotland in 1883 due to clashes with his superiors. Temporarily suspended from his ecclesiastical duties, he spent several years engaged in the translation from German of works of theology, philosophy and law. In 1895 he was appointed Professor of Divinity at Glasgow University, where he taught up until his death. Besides works of a theological and religious nature, Hastie was responsible for several successful translations of classic philosophical works. In 1886 he translated the introduction to Hegel's lessons on aesthetics and the chapter on aesthetics in Karl Ludwig Michelet's System der Philosophie als exacte Wissenschaft. But it is above all as a translator of Kant that Hastie is known: in 1887 he published a translation of the Rechtslehre, partially reprinted in 1891 together with other writings on political philosophy and the philosophy of history by Kant; in 1900, he published an English translation, with a lengthy Introduction, of the scientific sections of the Allgemeine Naturgeschichte, and the 1754 essay on the rotation of the earth. His translations of Kant were particularly successful and were reprinted many times.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.