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F. H. Bradley’s Neoplatonic Turn in Ethical Studies (1876)

Abstract : F. H. Bradley is usually referred to as one of the British neo-Hegelians of the late Victorian period. But the intersection of Hegelian thought with British philosophy at that time was not synonymous with total subservience to Hegel’s metaphysics, and Bradley’s philosophical development offers an appropriate perspective to assess the importance of this case. The Hegelian influence on the British monists of the late 19th century (Edward Caird, Henry Jones, Bernard Bosanquet, Francis Herbert Bradley) is a well-known fact which has been increasingly studied since the 1980s. But attention to the Platonic tinge in the English form of Idealism has generally been neglected. Bertrand Russell, who acted as the main opponent to Idealism in England at the beginning of the 20th century, had capitalised in particular on a bifurcation in the Idealist movement, due to some misunderstanding over the Hegelian influence. In fact, the source of this rift can be traced back to Bradley’s Neoplatonic turn in his Ethical Studies (1876). In this book, Bradley meticulously designed a gradual transformation of his former Hegelian positions towards Neoplatonic intimations of the reflexive motion of the self towards consciousness and complete realization. Bradley’s turn from pure Hegelianism to aspects of the Platonic tradition had important consequences in the subsequent history of the British Idealist movement up to the rise of analytical philosophy in the 20th century.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 25, 2022 - 11:36:51 AM
Last modification on : Friday, August 26, 2022 - 3:50:41 AM

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Jean-Paul Rosaye. F. H. Bradley’s Neoplatonic Turn in Ethical Studies (1876). Angles: French Perspectives on the Anglophone World, SAES – Société des Anglicistes de l’Enseignement Supérieur, 2018, Experimental Art, n°6, ⟨10.4000/angles.1077⟩. ⟨hal-03760441⟩

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