The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIV. The Victorian Age, Part Two.

I. Philosophers

§ 4. Thomas Brown

A position intermediate between the associationism of Mill and the traditional doctrines of the Scottish school was taken by Thomas Brown, professor of moral philosophy at Edinburgh from 1810 till his death in 1820. By the time he was twenty years of age Brown had published Observations on the Zoonomia of Erasmus Darwin (1798), which was recognised as a mature criticism of that work. Seven years afterwards, in 1805, an ecclesiastico-academical controversy drew from him a small volume entitled Observations on the Nature and Tendency of the Doctrine of Mr. Hume concerning the Relation of Cause and Effect, of which a second enlarged edition was published in 1806 and a third edition, further enlarged and modified in arrangement and title, in 1817. In this book, he maintained the view that causation means simply uniform antecedence, “to whatever objects, material or spiritual, the words may be applied”; but he held, also, that there was an intuitive or instinctive belief that, “when the previous circumstances in any case are exactly the same, the resulting circumstances also will be the same.”