Sir William Hamilton
Hamilton, Sir William (Scottish philosopher)
Sir William Hamilton, 1788–1856, Scottish philosopher. He was widely interested in law, physiology, and literature and was professor of history and philosophy at the Univ. of Edinburgh. Hamilton helped to reestablish the waning fame of the Scottish school of metaphysics. His "Philosophy of the Unconditioned" (1829), a critique of Cousin's Cours de philosophie published in the Edinburgh Review, publicized his views on the infinite, which he considered unknowable. Under the influence of Kant, he conceived of the world that man knows as finite and conditioned in terms of space, time, and degree. In logic his attempt to "quantify the predicate" was a crude anticipation of later developments in mathematical logic. The British academic outlook was broadened by his emphasis on the German philosophers and on Aristotle. His son, Francis, published his Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic (ed. by H. L. Mansel and John Veitch, 4 vol., 1859–60, repr. 1969).
Hamilton, Sir William (British diplomat and archaeologist)
Sir William Hamilton, 1730–1803, British diplomat and archaeologist, ambassador to Naples (1764–1800). He was the husband of Emma, Lady Hamilton, mistress of Admiral Horatio Nelson. His fine collection of antiquities from Pompeii was sold to the British Museum in 1772 and stimulated English interest in the art of the classical civilizations. His publications include Antiquités étrusques, greques et romaines (1766–67) and Mount Vesuvius (1772).
See biography by B. Fothergill (1969); J. Russell, Nelson and the Hamiltons (1969).