William Duncan (philosopher)

The elements of logic, 1811

William Duncan (1717 in Aberdeen – 1760 in Aberdeen) was a Scottish natural philosopher and classicist, professor of natural philosophy at Marischal College, Aberdeen.

Educated at Marischal College, Aberdeen, he was appointed professor of natural philosophy there in 1752. His popular Elements of Logic, first published in Robert Dodsley's The Preceptor (2 vols, London, 1748), combined a Lockean theory of knowledge with syllogistic logic.[1] He translated the Commentaries of Julius Caesar and orations of Cicero; at his death, translations of Plutarch's Lives and a continuation of Thomas Blackwell's Court of Augustus were left unfinished.[2]


  • Elements of Logic, 1748
  • The Commentaries of Caesar, Translated, 1753
  • Cicero's Select Orations, 1756


  1. ^ Haakonssen, Knud (2006), "Duncan, William", in Haakonssen, Knud (ed.), The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Philosophy, 2, Cambridge University Press, p. 1166
  2. ^ John Westby-Gibson, ‘Duncan, William (1717–1760)’, rev. Patrick Bullard, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Oct 2009, accessed 6 Dec 2009

External linksEdit