ABERCROMBIE, ab'er-crum-bi, JOHN: Scotch physician and writer on metaphysics; b. at Aberdeen Oct. 10, 1780; d. at Edinburgh Nov. 14, 1844. He studied medicine at Edinburgh and London, and settled in the former city as practicing physician in 1804. He became one of the foremost medical men of Scotland, but is best known as the author of Inquiries concerning the Intellectual Powers and the Investigation of Truth (Edinburgh, 1830) and The Philosophy of the Moral Feelings (London, 1833), works which he wrote from a belief that his knowledge of nervous diseases fitted him to discuss mental phenomena. The books long enjoyed great popularity, but were not written in the real spirit of a truth-seeker, have little originality, and are now superseded. A volume of Essays and Tracts, mainly on religious subjects, was published posthumously (Edinburgh, 1847).
BIBLIOGRAPHY: W. Anderson. Scottish Nation, i. 2. Edinburgh, 1864; DNB, i. 37-38.