Haldane, Richard Burdon
HALDANE, RICHARD BURDON (1856- ), British statesman and philosopher, was the third son of Robert Haldane of Cloanden, Perthshire, a writer to the signet, and nephew of J. S. Burdon-Sanderson. He was a grand-nephew of the Scottish divines J. A. and Robert Haldane. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy and the universities of Edinburgh and Gottingen, where he studied philosophy under Lotze. He took first-class honours in philosophy at Edinburgh, and was Gray scholar and Ferguson scholar in philosophy of the four Scottish Universities (1876). He was called to the bar in 1879, and so early as 1890 became a queen's counsel. In 1885 he entered parliament as liberal member for Haddingtonshire, for which he was re-elected continuously up to and including 1910. He was included in 1905 in Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman's cabinet as secretary for war, and was the author of the important scheme for the reorganization of the British army, by which the militia and the volunteer forces were replaced by a single territorial force.
Though always known as one of the ablest men of the Liberal party and conspicuous during the Boer War of 1890-1902 as a Liberal Imperialist, the choice of Mr Haldane for the task of thinking out a new army organization on business lines had struck many people as curious. Besides being a chancery lawyer, he was more particularly a philosopher, conspicuous for his knowledge of Hegelian metaphysics. But with German philosophy he had also the German sense of thoroughness and system, and his scheme, while it was much criticized, was recognized as the best that could be done with a voluntary army. Mr Haldane's chief literary publications were: Life of Adam Smith (1887); Education and Empire (1902); The Pathway to Reality (1903). He also translated, jointly with J. Kemp, Schopenhauer's Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung (The World as Will and Idea, 3 vols., 1883-1886).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)