A Departure between Two Extremes: R. G. Collingwood's Religion and Philosophy Reconsidered

Idealistic Studies 41 (1-2):31-43 (2011)
Abstract
This paper aims to analyze R. G. Collingwood’s maiden work in philosophy, Religion and Philosophy, in the light of the realism/idealism dispute in early twentieth-century British philosophy. Due to scholars’ narrow scopes of interests, this book has suffered divided and unsettled understandings in literature that find only either realist or idealist character in it. By contrast, I comprehensively examine various aspects of the work on which both readings rest in turn—his conception of history and metaphysics. Consequently, I find out that Collingwood implicitly elaborates a series of negative doctrines attempting to overcome dualismspervading at both poles of the dispute, namely abstract/concrete, subject/object, and theory/action. Since this framework is to be more explicitly present in his subsequent philosophizing, I demonstrate that Religion and Philosophy was, against its underestimated status in literature, not mere juvenilia, but a substantialstarting-point for Collingwood’s philosophy constructively grounded in the contemporary debate
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