John Logan was born in the Lothians, in Scotland, and died in London on 25 December 1788. The son of a farmer, he was educated in the arts and divinity at the University of Edinburgh during the heyday of the Scottish Enlightenment, when Hugh Blair and Adam Ferguson were among the faculty and William Robertson was the Principal. The patronage of these clerical literati opened doors for the young Logan, who obtained a prized position as tutor to John Sinclair and then, after earning a licence to preach the gospel in 1770, gained the second charge at South Leith Church near Edinburgh before he had reached the age of twenty-five. With a settled ecclesiastical living, close ties to the leaders of the dominant Moderate party in the Kirk, a reputation as an effective preacher, and easy access to the rich cultural resources of Edinburgh, Logan appeared to have a bright future ahead of him, both as a Presbyterian minister and as a man of letters. Apparently with a view to securing a chair at Edinburgh University, he delivered, in 1779–80 and again in 1780–81, a course of private lectures on the philosophy of history. The course is said to have attracted an eminent audience, and Adam Smith, in a letter recommending Logan to Andrew Strahan in September 1785, remarked that Logan's lectures ‘were approved and even admired by some of the best and most impartial judges’ (The Correspondence, p. 285).
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.