W. J. Mander: British Idealism

A History

Oxford University Press, 2011     Amazon.com

From the publisher’s website:

– The first history of British Idealism to be written

– Establishes detailed historical context for this philosophical movement

– Presents philosophical positions clearly and accurately

– Covers a wide range of thinkers and philosophical fields

– Includes detailed notes and bibliography

W. J. Mander presents the first ever synoptic history of British Idealism, the philosophical school which dominated English-language philosophy from the 1860s through to the early years of the following century. Offering detailed examination of the origins, growth, development, and decline of this mode of thinking, British Idealism: A History restores to its proper place this now almost wholly forgotten period of philosophical history. Through clear explanation of its characteristic concepts and doctrines, and paying close attention to the published works of its philosophers, the volume provides a full-length history of this vital school for those wishing to fill a gap in their knowledge of the history of British Philosophy, while its detailed notes and bibliography will guide the more dedicated scholar who wishes to examine further their distinctive brand of philosophy. By covering all major philosophers involved in the movement (not merely the most famous ones like Bradley, Green, McTaggart, and Bosanquet but the lesser known figures like the Caird brothers, Henry Jones, A. S. Pringle-Pattison, and R. B. Haldane) and by looking at all branches of philosophy (not just the familiar topics of ethics, political thought, and metaphysics but also the less well documented work on logic, religion, aesthetics, and the history of philosophy), British Idealism: A History brings out the movement’s complex living pattern of unity and difference; something which other more superficial accounts have tended to obscure.

Table of Contents:


1  Introduction

2  Beginnings and Influences

3  The History of Philosophy

4  The Metaphysics of the Absolute

5  Idealist Philosophy of Religion

6  The Idealist Ethic of Social Self-Realisation

7  Idealist Political and Social Philosophy

8  Idealist Logic

9  Aesthetics and Literature

10  Developments in Idealist Metaphysics

11  Developments in Idealist Philosophy of Religion

12  Developments in Idealist Logic

13  Developments in Idealist Ethics

14  Developments in Idealist Political and Social Philosophy

15  The After-Life of Idealism




“The first really comprehensive and systematic overview of the British Idealist movement to date…an authoritative and immensely detailed synopsis of the movement as a whole, including, for any potential research students, a splendid
biographical resource…a welcome and extremely well-done history…it provides a valuable and detailed corrective to the way British philosophy has constructed its own historical self-image in the later twentieth century.”  Andrew Vincent, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Author Information:

W. J. Mander was educated at University College London and Corpus Christi College Oxford. After holding a Junior Research Fellowship at St Anne’s College, he became a Fellow of Harris Manchester College. Although he is also interested in Early Modern Philosophy, his main area of research is in Nineteenth Century British Philosophy.

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