Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 2.djvu/361

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Ingram
Ingram
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additional commissioner for the publication of the Brehon Laws. In 1893 he was made a visitor of the Dublin Museum of Science and Art, and he aided in the foundation of Alexandra College for Women in 1866.

Meanwhile economic science divided with religious speculation a large part of his intellectual energy. In economic science he made his widest fame. In 1847 he had helped to found the Dublin Statistical Society, which was largely suggested by the grave problems created by the great Irish famine; Archbishop Whately was the first president. Ingram took a foremost part in the society's discussions of economic questions. He was a member of the council till 1857, when he became vice-president, and was the secretary for the three years 1854-6; he was president from 1878 to 1880. In an important paper which he prepared for the society in 1863—'Considerations on the State of Ireland'—Ingram took an optimistic view of the growing rate of emigration from Ireland, but argued at the same time for reform of the land laws, and an amendment of the poor law on uniform lines throughout the United Kingdom. Wise and sympathetic study of poor law problems further appears in two papers, 'The Organisation of Charity' (1875), and 'The Boarding out of Pauper Children' (1876). In 1878, when the British Association met in Dublin, Ingram was elected president of the section of economic science and statistics, and delivered an introductory address on 'The present position and prospects of political economy.' Here he vindicated the true functions of economic science as an integral branch of sociology. His address was published in 1879 in both German and Danish translations. In 1880 he delivered to tho Trades Union Congress at Dublin another address on 'Work and the Workman,' in which he urged the need for workmen of increased material comfort and security, and of higher intellectual and moral attainments. This address was published next year in a French translation. From 1882 to 1898 he was a member of the Loan Fund Board of Ireland.

Ingram's economic writings covered a wide range. To the ninth edition of the 'Encyclopædia Britannica' he contributed sixteen articles on economists or economic topics. His most important contributions—on political economy (1885) and slavery (1887)—were each reprinted in a separate volume. The 'History of Political Economy' (1888) traced the 'development of economic thought in its relation with general philosophic ideas rather than an exhaustive account of economic literature.' The book quickly obtained world-wide repute. Translations were published in German and Spanish (1890; 2nd German edit. 1906), in Polish and Russian (1896; 2nd edit. 1897), in Italian and Swedish (1892), in French (1893), (partly) in Czech (1895), in Japanese (1896), in Servian (1901), and again in French (1908). Ingram's 'History of Slavery and Serfdom' (1895) was an amplification of the encyclopædia article. It was translated into German in 1905. He was also a contributor to Palgrave's 'Dictionary of Political Economy' (1892-9).

Ingram's economic position was coloured by his early adoption of Comte's creed of positivism. His attention was first directed to Comte's views when he read the reference to them in John Stuart Mill's 'Logic' soon after its publication in 1843. It was not till 1851 that he studied Comte's own exposition of his religion of humanity; he thereupon became a devoted adherent. In September 1855 he visited Comte in Paris (Comte's Correspondence, i. 335; ii. 186). To Comte's influence is attributable Ingram's treatment of economics as a part of sociology, and his conception of society as an organism and of the consensus of the functions of tho social system. Though Ingram never concealed his religious opinions, he did not consider himself at liberty publicly to avow and defend them, so long as he retained his position in Trinity College. In 1900, the year after his retirement, when he was already seventy-seven, he published his 'Outlines of the History of Religion,' in which he declared his positivist beliefs. In the same year there appeared his collected verse, 'Sonnets and other Poems,' which was largely inspired by Comte's principles. Several other positivist works followed: 'Human Nature and Morals according to Auguste Comte' (1901); 'Passages [translated] from the Letters of Auguste Comte' (1901); 'Practical Morals, a Treatise on Universal Education' (1904), and 'The Final Transition, a Sociological Study' (1905). Between 1904 and 1906 he contributed to the 'Positivist Review,' and on its formation in 1903 he accepted a seat on the Comité Positiviste Occidental. Ingram sided with Richard Congreve [q. v.] in the internal differences of 1879 as to organisation within the positivist ranks.

Despite his sympathy with the Celtic people of Ireland and their history, Ingram