Appearance and Reality: A Metaphysical Essay

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Clarendon Press, 1930 - Philosophy - 570 pages

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About the author (1930)

Francis Bradley, a leading British idealist philosopher, was born in Clapham, a borough of London in 1846. The son of an evangelical clergyman, he was educated at University College, Oxford University. In 1870 he was elected to a lifetime research fellowship at Merton College, Oxford University, and he devoted his life to philosophical writing. His chief works are Ethical Studies (1876), Principles of Logic (1883), and Appearance and Reality (1893). Bradley's analytical acuteness as a thinker, and perhaps even more his polemical brilliance as a writer, made him the most prominent representative of the British idealist movement in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Bradley was influenced by T. H. Green, as was his contemporary Bernard Bosanquet. Bradley was often described as a Hegelian. In fact, however, Bradley's views were less Hegelian than Bosanquet's; politically. For example, Green and Bosanquet were liberals, while Bradley was a Tory. And because of Bradley's controversies with Bertrand Russell and G. E. Moore, his philosophy determined the image of Hegelian philosophy in Britain. Bradley's philosophy is monistic, tending in ethics to a social holism and in metaphysics defending the idea that true reality consists of a Parmenidean absolute, in relation to which all else constitutes a realm of self-contradictory appearances. Bradley's critique of traditional logic, with its emphasis on a sharp distinction between logical form and grammatical form, did much to prepare the way for the development of twentieth-century logic, even though the form it eventually took was very different from Bradley's theory. Bradley died in 1924.

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