Campbell, a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, was born on Christmas Day 1719 and died of a stroke in April 1796.
The three major focuses of his intellectual life were language, theology, and rhetoric.
Campbell was a Presbyterian minister as well as a professor and a principal of Marischal college.
Campbell was one of the major members of the Aberdeen Philosophical society, which was formed in 1757.
He was one of the six original members along with Robert Traill, John Stewart,
Thomas Reid, David Skene, and John Gregory.
His Dissertation on Miracles, a response to David Hume's Of Miracles,
was originally prepared as a sermon presented to the
provincial synod in 1760, but was published in 1762
(Hume's Of Miracles was published in 1748). Campbell also wrote The
Philosophy of Rhetoric; The Four Gospels (that's the title, not
referring to the works themselves), Translated from the Greek;
Lectures on Ecclesiastical History; Lectures on Systematic Theology and Pulpit Eloquence;
and Lectures on the Pastoral Character. The Philosophy of Rhetoric is considered to have
had the most lasting influence, though the Dissertation on Miracles is considered by some
sources to be the best contemporary response to Hume's Of Miracles.
In The Philosophy of Rhetoric, Campbell argues that in order to be a good orator,
one must first be a good person. Admittedly, modern politicians seem to disprove this idea.
In Dissertation on Miracles, Campbell argues that the reason we should believe a report of
miracle is that children start out trusting in what people tell them rather than having to
learn to do so.
From notes I made while doing research on Campbell's Dissertation on Miracles
back when I was in college.