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Oswald, James (1703–93)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DB054-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 25, 2024, from

Article Summary

James Oswald, Scottish theological writer, used the philosophy of ‘common sense’ to try to found religious and moral conviction on principles that were impervious to scepticism. In a long running controversy over Church discipline, he defended the right of individual parishes to choose their ministers, seeing the prevailing system of patronage as favouring the advocates of a fashionable kind of civility that was too tolerant of scepticism and intellectual innovation, and too indifferent to the Church’s traditional concerns with public and private morality. Though never part of the Aberdeen philosophical community, Oswald corresponded with Reid, and late in life collaborated with him in charitable work for the sons of clergy.

Citing this article:
Stewart, M.A.. Oswald, James (1703–93), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DB054-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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