Young, George Paxton

George Paxton Young, philosopher, educator (b at Berwick upon Tweed, Eng 9 Nov 1818; d at Toronto 26 Feb 1889). He was educated at Edinburgh U, studying for ordination in the Presbyterian ministry, and was appointed minister of Knox Church, Hamilton, Canada W, in 1850. Subsequently professor of both "Logic, Mental and Moral Philosophy" and "Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion" at Knox College, Toronto, 1853-64, he resigned from this position, and from the Presbyterian ministry, because of his commitment to reason, rather than theological creed, as the foundation of ethics. From then until 1868 he was inspector of grammar schools for Ontario; his annual reports were instrumental in laying the foundations of the Ontario high school system.

Young spent the remainder of his life as a philosopher and teacher of PHILOSOPHY, first at Knox College, which invited him to return in 1868, and from 1871, as professor of logic, metaphysics and ethics at the nondenominational University College at U of T. Young's influence on University College students was enormous. He had come to advocate a system of idealism similar to that of Thomas Hill Green in England (but antecedent to it), and his ethical system, compatible with, but not dependent upon, Christian revelation, struck a responsive chord in students faced with the intrusion of evolutionary naturalism.