Once More: Bradleyan Regresses

ld English manors have their ghosts. And though I would not want to call analytic philosophy a ‘manor’, nor exactly ‘old’, it certainly is of some decent English origin, and it left adolescence a while ago. No wonder then, that it is not exempt from haunting terrors. One particular spectre has been haunting it for decades; it already gave some analytic pioneers the creeps, and we still now and then find people terrified by it: the ghost of old Bradley has not yet found its rest and keeps on threatening people with his notorious regress. The present essay is a lecture in exorcism; much of the fear old Bradley spread, so I will argue, peters out once we dare to look it in the eye. However, this essay is not primarily exegetical, and especially not an attempt in interpreting Bradley. I find Bradley’s writings, to say the least, not particularly accessible. Discussions of isolated passages from his longer treatises will probably be less fruitful than a careful study of the positions within the whole argumentative structure, supplied by the examination of Bradley’s intellectual upcoming. His treatments on relations and properties, in which he develops the famous regress argument, are motivated by a radical goal: a vindication of some form of monism. To reach this goal, he tries to deconstruct the most basic categories of our ordinary conceptual framework. Thus, he holds that..
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