Like many of his contemporaries such as Bradley and Collingwood, Whitehead wrote at a time when positivism was the dominant philosophical influence in British philosophy, following the disintegration of the Hegelian synthesis. Central to Whitehead’s philosophical project is the task of rehabilitation of metaphysics against the backdrop of its deconstruction by logical positivism. While Whitehead is broadly sympathetic to the ideal of metaphysics, he believes that the grandiose conception of metaphysics as science of being qua being associated with traditional metaphysics (...) is out of tune with scientific rationality and as such is problematic. At the core of Whitehead’s rehabilitation of metaphysics, therefore, is an attempt to broker rapprochement between metaphysical rationality and scientific rationality by converting metaphysics into speculative metaphysics, with the ambition of focusing on our universe of experience rather than all universes of discourse, as is typical of traditional metaphysics. While there is no doubt that Whitehead’s rehabilitation of metaphysics is an answer to positivism, it is at the same time an attempt to tone down the claims of metaphysics such as to bring it in accord with scientific rationality. Yet it remains to be seen whether Whitehead’s rehabilitation of metaphysics is successful in so far as the reconciliation of metaphysical rationality and scientific rationality through speculative philosophy focuses only on particular experiences rather than universal experiences, so that the concern of metaphysics to address the fundamental nature of the real in all its expressions remain pressing beyond the ideal of speculative philosophy. (shrink)
Michael Robillard and Bradley Strawser’s Outsourcing Duty: The Moral Exploitation of the American Soldier (New York: Oxford University Press, 2022) is outstanding. The arguments in it are important, new, and powerful, and it is extremely well-written. It is accessibly written, including eye-opening personal stories (including the authors’ stories), an interesting array of economic and sociological studies, and colorful illustrative quotes from The Bourne Legacy, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Rudyard Kipling’s poem, Tommy. It also includes colorful-and-caustic comments on the Bush- and (...) Obama-administrations’ decisions regarding going to war and staying at war that nicely highlight what is at stake. In short, the book is a tour de force. (shrink)
In this article I describe the contributions made by Samuel Alexander to the issue of relations which so vexed Bertrand Russell and F. H. Bradley in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I provide a novel understanding of Alexander’s position concerning relations and describe the way in which he viewed his position as superior to those of Bradley and Russell. I offer, therefore, a more complete picture of a philosophical debate central to the relevant period, through the introduction of (...) a third character whose views have been largely omitted from available narratives. (shrink)
F. H. Bradley’s relation regress poses a difficult problem for metaphysics of relations. In this paper, we reconstruct this regress argument systematically and make its presuppositions explicit in order to see where the possibility of its solution or resolution lies. We show that it cannot be answered by claiming that it is not vicious. Neither is one of the most promising resolutions, the relata-specific answer adequate in its present form. It attempts to explain adherence (relating), which is a crucial component (...) of the explanandum of Bradley’s relation regress, in terms of specific adherence of a relational trope to its relata. Nevertheless, since we do not know the consequences and constituents of a trope adhering to its specific relata, it remains unclear what specific adherence is. It is left as a constitutively inexplicable primitive. The relata-specific answer only asserts against Bradley. This negative conclusion highlights the need for a metaphysical account of the constitution of the holding of adherence. (shrink)
Bradley proposes a regress according to which, any theory that considers external objects as a unit composed of multiple components is flawed. Since most tropists consider the concrete object to be composed of coexisting tropes, Bradley's sregress embraces tropism as well. Maureen is of the opinion that Bradley's view about the existence of a relationship is incorrect and that a relationship is something that has an existential dependence on its surroundings, and based on this, he has resolved the problems of (...) Bradley's regress. However, based on an understanding of Allameh Tabataba'i's statements and analysis regarding the existence of a relationship, it is possible to criticize Maureen and consider the dependence between the relationship and its surroundings to be two-way. In addition, although Maurin's view solves the problem of Bradley's regress, it seems incompatible with the tropism. In this article, after a brief look at tropism, Bradley's regress is presented, and then this problem for tropism is explained. Next, Maureen's solution is proposed and after that, this solution is criticized and defended from the point of view of internal and mutual dependence between the relationship and its surroundings. (shrink)
In this paper I attempt to show how Moore’s early emancipation from Bradley’s absolute idealism presupposes a fundamental adherence to certain theses of absolute idealism itself. In particular, I argue that the idea of an immediate epistemic access to concepts and propositions that Moore endorses in his platonic atomism is a reworking of a form of epistemic realism already present in Bradley. Epistemic realism is the conjunction of two theses: i) reality is independent of any constructive work of the human (...) mind; ii) reality is immediately accessible to knowledge. In this paper I first focus on Moore’s early idealist phase, suggesting that it should be understood as an attempt at isolating this thesis in Bradley against Kant’s transcendental idealism. I then suggest that it is on the background of an invariant adherence to it that we should understand Moore’s later rejection of monism and idealism through his anti-psychologism. I hence explore how epistemic realism is at work in Moore’s platonic atomism and conclude with some remarks about the further significance of Moore’s rejection of Kant. (shrink)
It is well appreciated that Moore, in the final years of the nineteenth century, emphatically rejected the monistic idealism of F. H. Bradley. It has, however, been less widely noticed that Moore’s concern to defeat monism remained with him well into the 1920s. In the following discussion I describe the role that Moore’s adoption of a ‘common sense’ orientation played in his criticisms of Bradley’s monism. I begin by outlining certain distinctive features of Bradley’s sceptical methodology, before describing the contrasting (...) approach of Moore as it appears in 1910-11 and 1925. I bring these methodological differences into relief by assessing the status of common sense claims in the work of each figure. I show that Moore’s common sense methodology was employed against Bradley’s monistic conclusions, and that it was adopted with Bradley squarely in mind. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe philosophers of the self-styled ‘revolution in philosophy’ that went on to become the contemporary analytic tradition started a rumour about the British Idealists that has persisted to this day. Finding neither the substance of the idealist case, nor the style of idealistic writing, congenial to their modern taste, these Edwardians hinted that their Victorian forbears had argued from emotion rather than reason. No single paper could address this accusation across the board, for the movement in its entirety, and so (...) in this essay I focus on just one case, that of F. H. Bradley. Specifically, I identify the role he allows to feeling, emotion and what he terms ‘satisfaction’ in the determination of metaphysical and moral principles, and further ask whether the critics of idealism were right that there was something untoward in his approach. (shrink)
I shall investigate in this contribution some solutions to Bradley's well-known regress. Moreover, I shall evaluate such solutions in light of the principle of ontological parsimony: all other things being equal, do not multiply entities (and types of entities) beyond necessity. This will show the advantages of accepting one peculiar solution to the regress, i.e., the one based on modes (particular properties that also ontologically depend on their " bearers "). In section 1, I shall present Bradley's regress. In section (...) 2, I shall delve into some solutions to it. In section 3, I shall introduce my own favourite solution, i.e., the mode solution, and I shall cope with some preliminary difficulties. In section 4 I shall introduce and clarify the principle of ontological parsimony. Finally, in section 5, I shall recall the solutions and I shall evaluate their degrees of parsimony. The overall conclusion of my argument will be that the mode solution is the most ontologically parsimonious solution to Bradley's regress. (shrink)
Many commentators regard Ethical Studies as the most Hegelian of Bradley’s writings. The common perception is that the Fifth essay of that work, which articulates an ethics of “My Station and its Duties”, expresses Bradley’s position on the question of the nature of morality. Nonetheless when the dialectical structure of Ethical Studies is taken into account, the common perception is not only questionable, but it also emerges that, in interrogating the nature of morality, Bradley’s concern is beyond matters merely ethical, (...) in so far as, on Bradley’s view, the question of the nature of morality inevitably implicates the larger question as to the relation of morality to religion, and of religion to philosophy. Thus in accentuating the claim of ideal morality in the Sixth Essay against the apotheosis of social morality, Bradley’s attempt is to offer a larger perspective on the being of morality itself, as it bears on the question of the nature of ultimate reality. Paradoxically, Bradley concludes by way of anti-climax that the highest viewpoint on morality is still inadequate to the matter, given that morality is inherently self-contradictory. Given the often confused environment of much of the contemporary debates on the nature of morality in which communitarianism is dualistically opposed to individualism, and ethical relativism pitched against ethical objectivism, the relevance of Bradley’s accentuation of the ideality of morality is beyond question, as it provides useful resources for thinking together personal and social morality without reducing one to the other. (shrink)
-/- Bradley is one of the most important philosophers in the 20th century. He contributed to virtually every area of the philosophical discipline. However, he is mostly known for his work in metaphysics which finds a systematic exposition in his magnum opus: Appearance and Reality: An Essay in Metaphysics (1893). Bradley’s concept of metaphysics is implicit in all his writings, especially in his account of morality as self-realization in Ethical Studies and of course the theory of judgement and inference he (...) develops in the Principles of Logic. Same is true in respect of his discussion of the problem of truth and allied matters in Essays on Truth and Reality. Nonetheless it is in Appearance and Reality that his concept of metaphysics receives its explicit articulation. Bradley holds metaphysics in high esteem, seeing a close affinity between religion, mysticism and metaphysics. Hence he regards metaphysics as one of the highest vocations to which a human being is called. As a form of thinking, metaphysics provides us with an important avenue for understanding the nature of things as they are in themselves rather than merely in terms of their accidental determinations, that is to say, rather than merely as appearances. (shrink)
I examine and discuss in this paper Orilia’s theory of external, non-symmetrical relations, that is based on ontological roles (O-Roles). I explore several attempts to interpret O-Roles from an ontological viewpoint and I reject them because of two problems concerning the status of asymmetrical relations (to be distinguished from non-symmetrical relations simpliciter) and of exemplification as an external, non-symmetrical relation. Finally, following Heil’s and Lowe’s characterization of modes as particular properties that ontologically depend on their “bearers”, I introduce relational modes (...) in order to define a new solution to the problems of the ontological status of both external, non-symmetrical relations and O-Roles. I also deal with five objections raised by Fraser MacBride against relational modes and O-Roles and I elaborate an analysis of the relations of being to the left of and being to the right of. (shrink)
This paper evaluates the following argument, suggested in the writings of Donald Davidson: if there is such a thing as the given, then there can be alternative conceptual schemes; there cannot be alternative conceptual schemes; therefore there is no such thing as the given.
F. H. Bradley: Logic Although the logical system expounded by F. H. Bradley in The Principles of Logic is now almost forgotten, it had many virtues. To appreciate them, it is helpful to understand that Bradley had a very different view of logic from that prevalent today. He is hostile to the idea of … Continue reading Bradley, F. H.: Logic →.
Most philosophers reject what we might call "penal pluralism": the idea that punishment can and should encompass multiple penal goals or principles. This is rejected because it is often held that different penal goals or principles will conflict: the goal of punishing an offender to the degree deserved may differ and even undermine the goal of enabling deterrence or rehabilitation. For this reason, most philosophers argue that we must make a choice, such as choosing between retribution and its alternatives. In (...) "Some Remarks on Punishment," F. H. Bradley re-examines the justification of punishment in light of a critique of Darwinism's importance for ethics. My primary focus is on how Bradley's substantive discussion of punishment only because it is here that this article's arguments have most relevance for us today. (shrink)
Je montre dans ce texte que la thèse de Jean Wahl sur les Pluralistes d'Angleterre et d'Amérique n'est pas tant un tableau des pensées pluralistes qu'une problématisation du pluralisme. La révélation que Wahl va trouver à rebours de certains textes de William James, c'est celle d'un restant moniste, attentif au fond non relationnel de l'expérience, ce qui va le conduire à explorer, beaucoup plus hardiment que nombre de ses contempo- rains, les proximités entre James et Bradley. Cette voix moniste, que (...) l'on retrouverait derrière la lettre des «philosophies pluralistes», est le véritable enjeu de la thèse de 1920 qui, après un inventaire des critiques de l'unité abstraite, propose dans sa méditation conclusive une vision du monde dans laquelle, une fois la critique des abstractions du pluralisme opérée, subsiste ce sens du « particulier concret » qui en est la marque propre. Ce sera l'objet de la deuxième section. Alors qu'une partie du public français lit l'empirisme radical à travers la «volonté de croire», les derniers textes à partir des premiers, traduits et présentés dès leur parution par Renouvier dans La Critique, Wahl semble au contraire retrouver, dans les premiers textes l'accent des derniers, à travers l'insistance sur le fait brut de l'existence, hypothèse qui sera éclairée dans la troisième section. (shrink)
In writings prior to the publication of The Principles of Mathematics (PoM), Russell denies that relations “in the abstract” ever relate and holds instead that only particularized relations, or relational tropes, do so; however, in PoM section 55, he argues against his former view and adopts the view that relations “in the abstract” are capable of a “twofold use” – either as “relations in themselves” or as “actually relating”. I argue that while Russell rightly came to recognize that rejecting his (...) earlier view is necessary for avoiding the Bradleyan view that complex wholes are unanalyzable, his later view can appear as an ad hoc means of avoiding Bradley's argument against “relational thought”. (shrink)
Different interpretations of Bradley’s regress argument are considered. On the basis of textual evidences, it is argued that the most persuasive is the one that sees the argument as primarily addressing the general issue of unity or connectedness.
I reconstruct the background of ideas, concerns and intentions out of which Moore’s early essays, the preliminary version, and then the final version of Principia Ethica originated. I stress the role of religious concerns, as well as that of the Idealist legacy. I argue that PE is more a patchwork of rather diverging contributions than a unitary work, not to say the paradigm of a new school in Ethics. I add a comparison with Rashdall’s almost contemporary ethical work, suggesting that (...) the latter defends the same general claims in a different way, one that manages to pave decisive objections in a more plausible way. I end by suggesting that the emergence of Analytic Ethics was a more ambiguous phenomenon than the received view would make us believe, and that the wheat (or some other gluten-free grain) of this tradition, that is, what logic can do for philosophy, has to be separated from the chaff, that is, the confused and mutually incompatible legacies of Utilitarianism and Idealism. (shrink)
Since the epistemological turn initiated by Descartes at the start of the modern period and subsequently cemented by Kant's Copernican revolution in epistemology, attention has focused more on the issue of criteria of truth than the essence of truth. This is especially true in respect of discussions in philosophy of truth in contemporary philosophy. While Bradley recognizes the importance of the issue of criteria as far as the problem of truth is concerned, he is nonetheless more concerned with the question (...) of the nature of truth in his engagement with the problem of truth. Bradley sees a fundamental continuity between both concerns, to the extent that in the final analysis truth cannot be divorced from reality, so that truth is not merely a property of propositions as many contemporary theories of truth maintain, but rather a feature of reality. Bradley's approach is peculiar, no doubt, but I argue that it helps to correct certain imbalances associated with contemporary philosophies of truth. (shrink)
This paper compares the views of Kant and F.H. Bradley on the nature of judgment or experience. We argue that, while there are many differences between their idealist systems, Kant and Bradley agree on a basic issue: there is a sense in which a whole judgment or experience is prior to its parts. Through the extended metaphor of cake baking, we show that for Kant there is an important sense in which a judgment --in spite of resulting from the synthesis (...) of a manifold --is prior to its parts; and, for Bradley, immediate experience is prior to the very notion of parts. Kant and Bradley disagree over the nature of the idealist cake, but they agree that the cake is prior to its slices. (shrink)
Ever since F. H. Bradley first formulated his famous regress argument philosophers have been hard at work trying to refute it. The argument fails, it has been suggested, either because its conclusion just does not follow from its premises, or it fails because one or more of its premises should be given up. In this paper, the Bradleyan argument, as well as some of the many and varied reactions it has received, is scrutinized.
After more than a decade teaching ancient Greek history and philosophy at University College, Oxford, British philosopher and political theorist Bernard Bosanquet resigned from his post to spend more time writing. He was particularly interested in contemporary social theory, and was involved with the Charity Organisation Society and the London Ethical Society. He wrote numerous articles before beginning this book, which was his first and was published in 1885 as a response to the Principles of Logic, published in 1883, by (...) his contemporary F. H. Bradley. Bosanquet, who was deeply influenced by the German philosopher Hegel, argues that there are 'signs of a philosophical movement in this country which may assimilate what is really great in European philosophy, without forfeiting the distinctive merits of English thought'. With this as the framework, the book examines the relationship of judgment and logic to knowledge. (shrink)
F. H. Bradley was the foremost philosopher of the British Idealist school, which came to prominence in the second half of the nineteenth century and remained influential into the first half of the twentieth. Bradley, who was influenced by Hegel and also reacted against utilitarianism, was recognised during his lifetime as one of the greatest intellectuals of his generation, and was the first philosopher to receive the Order of Merit, in 1924. In this major work, originally published in 1883, Bradley (...) discusses the basic principles of logic: judgment and inference. He rejects the idea of a separation between mind and body, arguing that human thought cannot be separated from its worldly context. In the second edition, published in 1922 and reissued here, Bradley added a commentary and essays, but left the text largely unaltered. Volume 1 contains Book 1 on judgment and Book 2 on inference. (shrink)
F. H. Bradley was the foremost philosopher of the British Idealist school, which came to prominence in the second half of the nineteenth century and remained influential into the first half of the twentieth. Bradley, who was educated at Oxford, and spent his life as a fellow of Merton College, was influenced by Hegel, and also reacted against utilitarianism. He was recognised during his lifetime as one of the greatest intellectuals of his generation and was the first philosopher to receive (...) the Order of Merit, in 1924. In this major work, originally published in 1883, Bradley discusses the basic principles of logic: judgment and inference. He rejects the idea of a separation between mind and body, arguing that human thought cannot be separated from its worldly context. In the second edition, published in 1922 and reissued here, Bradley added a commentary and essays, but left the text largely unaltered. (shrink)
Perhaps one of the most underappreciated philosophical movements is British Idealism. This movement arose during the latter half of the nineteenth century and began to wane after the outbreak of the First World War. British Idealism has produced a number of important figures, such as Bernard Bosanquet, R. G. Collingwood, F. H. Bradley and T. H. Green, as well as other important, but less well known, figures, such as J. S. Mackenzie, John Henry Muirhead and James Seth. It has also (...) given us a number of lasting philosophical ideas. (shrink)
British idealism flourished in the late 19th century and early 20th centuries. It was a movement with a lasting influence on the social and political thought of its time in particular. British idealists helped popularize the work of Immanuel Kant and G. W. F. Hegel in the Anglophone world, but they also sought to use insights from the philosophies of Kant and Hegel to help create a new idealism to address the many pressing issues of the Victorian period in Britain (...) and its aftermath. These contributions related to theories of freedom, the common good, political obligation, the state, and punishment. The British idealists also made important contributions in areas other than Hegelian scholarship and ethics, including logic, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion. The movement declined by the start of World War I. This entry will highlight the most important work by British idealists themselves and by their best interpreters. Thus this entry will be grouped by individuals rather than by theme. (shrink)
In January 1729 a paper written by James Bradley was read at two meetings of the Royal Society. On a newly discovered motion of the fixed stars, later described as the theory of the aberration of light, it was to transform the science of astrometry. The paper appeared as a narrative of a programme of observation first begun at Kew and finalized at Wanstead, but it was, in reality, a careful reconstruction devised to enhance his reputation in response to a (...) recognition that the programme was initially conducted in terms that were inimical to what he conceived to be his interest. The planned attempt to repeat Robert Hooke's celebrated experiment by James Pound, Samuel Molyneux and George Graham was set up at Molyneux's residence in Kew with James Bradley replacing Pound after his untimely and sudden demise. The unexpected and counterintuitive behaviour of the object star γ Draconis and the eradication of any suspicion of instrumental or systemic error led to the abandonment of the attempt to measure annual parallax and the initiation of new conjectures. An annual nutation was proposed but after the observation of a control star, 35 Camelopardalis, this conjecture was abandoned. Unknown to Bradley and Graham a premature approach was made by Molyneux to Newton claiming that the ‘nutation’ negated the whole of Newton's system. In the abandonment of the nutation yet another conjecture opposed to Newtonian theory was proposed and abandoned. Bradley determined to use his own instrument designed on different principles by Graham to observe the phenomenon in Wanstead. At Wanstead Bradley observed many stars to determine the parameters of the phenomenon. With the law of the motion described, Bradley proposed a hypothesis to explain it. Drawn from his earlier work on the ephemerides of Jupiter's satellites his hypothesis of the ‘new-discovered motion’ was quickly presented to the Royal Society as Bradley was working on a later and more definitive version of his paper. It is this later, third, unpublished version that is commonly referred to throughout this essay. It issued a challenge to ‘anti-Copernicans’ to offer an explanation of the observed phenomenon in geostatic terms. One such astronomer, Eustachio Manfredi, had examined the phenomenon of ‘aberrations’ in detail, the term being his. It was Bradley who first applied the term to the ‘new-discovered motion’ and within a short time ‘aberration’ was being applied by astronomers in the reduction of their observations. Annual aberration was widely accepted as evidence of the motion of the Earth. The paper enhanced Bradley's reputation and projected him into the forefront of European astronomers. (shrink)