VIII.—JAMES HINTON

J. F. PAYNE
1876 Mind  
AMES HINTON. WB have to record with much regret the death of Mr. James flinton, the author of Man and his Dwelling Place, Life in Nature, and other philosophical works, and also eminent as an aural surgeon. Mr. Hinton was born at Reading on November 26th, 1822. His father, the Rev. J. Howard Hinton, was a Baptist minister of considerable influence and reputation. His mother is described by those who knew her as having been a woman of unusual mental gifts and elevated character; and there can be
more » ... r; and there can be no doubt that her son owed very muoh to her teaching. At the age of 16 he was placed in business in the east end of London, where the scenes of misery and wickedness, for which his experience of country life had not prepared him, made a deep and lasting impression on his mind, and gave, no doubt, that strong practical, or rather philanthropic, bias which was conspicuous even in his most speculative writings. In the year 1843, at the age of 21, he entered upon the study of medicine, which made as powerful an impression upon him, intellectually, as his previous experiences of life had made morally. Before, however, he settled down in medical practice, he undertook two long voyages, one to China and another to Africa; on the latter of which he was placed in medical charge of a party of free negro labourers sailing from Sierra Leone to Jamaica. This appointment gave him an opportunity longdesired of studying man in a savage state, and for this purpose he underwent the labour of learning one of the African languages; while in Jamaica he was able to study the modifications in the negro character, produced by contact with the white man. On his return to England he engaged in practice as a surgeon. During the early years of practice he worked much with Mr. Toynbee, the well-known aurist, and thus laid the foundation for his own subsequent skill and eminence. But at the same time the interests of philosophical speculation were never lost sight of; and much of his subsequent life may, indeed, be described as a struggle between the opposing claims of philosophy and practice, which, though not able always to reconcile, he endeavoured to harmonise by giving place to each in turn. At this time he approached philosophy cniefly by the path of physiology, and made numerous observations on organic forms and the influence of physical laws on life, which gave a special direction to his metaphysical speculations.
doi:10.1093/mind/os-1.2.247 fatcat:xed2uspvcncbhlces2rq45rf7y