Gilbert Jack

(c. 1577—1628) philosopher and physician

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Gilbert Jack died on 18 April 1628. He received his early education in his native city, Aberdeen, at its Grammar School, of which the rector, Thomas Cargill, was a distinguished humanist, and thereafter at the newly founded Marischal College (1593) of which Robert Howie was the first Principal. Prior to his return to Aberdeen in 1591, Howie had spent some seven years of study on the Continent at such widely differing academic centres as Rostock, Herborn and Basle. Jack, on the completion of his studies at Marischal College, probably in 1597, and encouraged by Howie, determined to pursue his studies abroad. In May 1598 he enrolled at the University of Helmstedt, drawn there no doubt by the fact that a fellow Aberdonian, Duncan Liddel, was Professor of Mathematics. Under such scholars as Owen Günter, Johannes Caselius and Cornelius Martini, the University had become the main northern European centre of the Aristotelian revival, a glittering centre of late humanism, and a nursery for historical studies. Cornelius Martini's lectures on Aristotle's metaphysics were, according to J. Meursius (Athenae Batavae, Leiden, 1625, pp. 294f.), attended by Jack and had a determining effect upon him. Following in Robert Howie's footsteps, and with the intention of pursuing theological studies, Jack in 1601 matriculated at the rapidly expanding and highly successful academy at Herborn, which had become in the first half of the seventeenth century the leading new centre of Ramism and Reformed theology. There Jack studied under Mathias Martini, a distinguished philologist and Johannes Piscator, a prominent biblical and Reformed theologian. After two years, drawn by its flourishing reputation, Jack enrolled at the University of Leiden on 25 May 1603 as a student in theology. In little over four weeks, on 28 June, he publicly defended, under the presidency of the Calvinist theologian, Franciscus Gomarus, theological theses entitled De libero arbitrio. The young Scotsman was rapidly earning for himself recognition as a highly promising scholar.


From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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