Alexander Campbell Fraser

Professor of Logic and Metaphysics, University of Edinburgh

Philosophy of Theism

In his two series of lectures, Fraser explores the mysterious nature of existence. He aims to ‘inquire about the philosophical foundations of the different final interpretations of existence’. The first series examines natural theology, and the second series discusses causation and theism and the ontological argument, including a lecture on philosophical faith. Fraser’s lectures provide a lively introduction to a key moment in British philosophical history.


Alexander Campbell Fraser was born on 3 September 1819 in Ardchattan, Scotland. He is best known as an editor and historian of the British empiricists. In 1844, Fraser became a junior minister at Cramond, near Edinburgh. Two years later, he took up the newly established Chair of Logic at New College, Edinburgh, holding the position for ten years. In 1856, Fraser was appointed Professor of Logic and Metaphysics, during which he was made Dean of the Faculty of Arts and represented the Senate at the University Court.

Granted honorary degrees from several institutions including the University of Aberdeen, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, and Oxford, he was also a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the British Academy. Some of his major works are Essays in Philosophy (1856), Rational Philosophy in History and in System: An Introduction to a Logical and Metaphysical Course (1858), Berkeley (1881), Locke (1890); Thomas Reid (1898), Biographia philosophica: A Retrospect (1904), John Locke as a Factor in Modern Thought (1905), and Berkeley and Spiritual Realism (1908).

Published/Archival Resources