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Herbert James Paton

(1887—1969) philosopher


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Herbert James Paton was born in Abernethy, Perthshire on 30 March 1887 and died in nearby Bridge of Earn on 2 August 1969. He was the son of William Macalister, an Abernethy clergyman, and Jean Robertson Millar, of a family which came from Paisley. He was educated at the High School of Glasgow and at the University of Glasgow, where he took an MA in 1908. That same year, he entered, as Snell Exhibitioner and Newlands Scholar, Balliol College, Oxford, where he obtained an MA in 1914. He was appointed fellow at Queen's College, Oxford and praelector in classics and philosophy from 1911 to 1927; he served as Dean from 1917 to 1922 and junior proctor from 1920 to 1921. He was Laura Spelman Rockefeller Research Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley from 1925 to 1926. He was Professor of Logic and Rhetoric at the University of Glasgow from 1927 to 1937 and Dean of the Faculty of Arts from 1935 to 1937. He received a DLitt from Balliol College, Oxford in 1933. Paton was White's Professor of Moral Philosophy and fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford from 1937 to 1952, curator of the Bodleian Library from 1938 to 1952, and professor emeritus from 1952 to 1969. He was Forwood Lecturer at the University of Liverpool from 1948 to 1946, Gifford Lecturer at St Andrews from 1949 to 1951, and visiting professor at the University of Toronto in 1955. Paton achieved many other academic honours, including an honorary degree of DLitt from the University of Edinburgh, and degrees of LL D from the universities of Glasgow, St Andrews and Toronto; he was honorary fellow of Queen's College and honorary fellow of Corpus Christi College, both at Oxford. He acted as Crown Assessor on Court at the University of St Andrews from 1953 to 1960. He was fellow of the British Academy, member of the Mind Association, member (and past President) of the Aristotelian Society, and editor of the philosophical division of Hutchinson Publishing Group's University Library.

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From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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