Edward Caird

Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Glasgow

The Evolution of Religion

In his first lecture series, delivered at the University of St Andrews, Caird establishes religion as one of the great factors in our conscious life. He contrasts objective and subjective religion and shows how the development of goodness involves an inward struggle with the self and an outward discipline of suffering and sacrifice.

The Evolution of Theology in the Greek Philosophers

In his second lecture series, delivered at the University of Glasgow, Caird outlines Greek philosophy, discusses its influence on theology, and addresses different aspects of Platonic philosophy.


Edward Caird was born on 23 March 1835 in Greenock, Scotland. He led the revival of idealist philosophy, which became a striking and powerful intellectual force in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Britain. In 1860, Caird entered Balliol College, Oxford as a Snell exhibitioner, and in 1864, he became a Fellow at Merton College. Two years later, Caird was unanimously elected Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, a post he held for twenty-seven years. In 1893, he was appointed as Master of Balliol College, Oxford.

One of the original Fellows of the British Academy, he was bestowed honorary degrees from multiple institutions including the University of St Andrews, Oxford, and Cambridge. Some of his major publications are The Roman Element in Civilisation (1866), A Critical Account of the Philosophy of Kant, with an Historical Introduction (1877), a monograph on Hegel in the series Philosophical Classics for English Readers (1883), The Social Philosophy and Religion of Comte (1885), and Lay Sermons and Addresses Delivered in the Hall of Balliol College, Oxford (1907).