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The Collected Works of Bernard Bosanquet

20 Volumes Edited and introduced by William Sweet
St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia

Adult Education and Social Work
Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art
Political Philosophy
"The Meeting of Extremes" and Bosanquet's last essays


At his death, on 8 February 1923, the idealist philosopher and social theorist, Bernard Bosanquet, was said to have been "the central figure of British philosophy for an entire generation.1 He had published major volumes in, and made significant contributions to, logic, aesthetics, metaphysics and political philosophy, was the author of important studies in religion, psychology and the history of philosophy, and had translated or edited work by Plato, Hegel and Lotze. He had also been a well-known figure in social and public policy and in bringing university-level education to a broad public– and was one of the few philosophers who wrote for a public beyond the audience of professional academic journals. Still, within fifty years, he was virtually unknown, and almost certainly not read, in Anglo-American philosophical circles.Bosanquet was born on 14 July 1848 at Rock Hall (near Alnwick), Northumberland, England. He was the youngest of five sons of the Reverend Robert William Bosanquet; his mother, Caroline (MacDowall), married R. W. Bosanquet following the death of his first wife in 1835. The Bosanquet family was well to do– owning an estate and farms at Rock, and being able to travel throughout England and on the continent. Bernard was not the only Bosanquet child who would become accomplished; Charles, the eldest (1834–1905), was a founder of the Charity Organisation Society and its first Secretary. Another brother, Day (1843–1923), became an Admiral in the Royal Navy and served as Governor of South Australia (1909–1914). Yet another, Holford (1841–1912), was a mathematician, physicist and barrister, and a talented musician; he was elected to the Royal Society and was a fellow of St John's College, Oxford.2

Bosanquet studied at Harrow (1862–1867) and at Balliol College, Oxford (1867–1870),3 where he became friends with C. S. Loch, A. C. Bradley and Charles Faulkner (a partner of William Morris and who inspired Bosanquet's early interest in artistic handiwork). He gravitated towards the Greek and Roman classics – the standard course of study for those interested in philosophy. Though he had intended to enter the ministry, he soon gave up this plan.

Philosophy in Britain in the late 1860s was predominantly empiricist and materialist (represented principally by Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill and Alexander Bain). Nevertheless, there were challenges to this orthodoxy, largely through the efforts of Benjamin Jowett, Edward Caird and T. H. Green. These men combined the Anglo-Saxon penchant for empirical study with a vocabulary and conceptual apparatus borrowed from the continent – particularly from Kant and Hegel– though the extent of this influence has been a matter of some debate.

At Balliol, Bosanquet fell under the influence of Caird and, particularly, Green. Part of the first generation of married faculty at Oxford, Green took an active interest in both university and town politics, and Bosanquet's undergraduate essays4 show the impact of this dimension of Green's work. Indeed, Green's reputation was enormous. It was largely due to his inspiration that Toynbee Hall, an education settlement in the east end of London named after the Oxford economic historian, Arnold Toynbee (1852-1883), was established so that educated young men and women could live and work among and with the poor. The earnestness of some of Green's students led C. D. Broad to remark that Green had turned more undergraduates into prigs than Sidgwick ever turned into philosophers.5

Bosanquet received first class honors in classical moderations (1868) and literae humaniores (1870)– Green is said to have described Bosanquet as "the most gifted man of his generation"6– and, soon after graduation, was elected to a Fellowship of University College, Oxford, over another student of Green, F. H. Bradley. There, Bosanquet taught the history of logic, Greek history and, later, the history of moral philosophy. He took his teaching responsibilities seriously, but published little– a translation of G. F. Schömann's Athenian Constitutional History (1878). During this time, he contemplated writing on moral philosophy; Green had been lecturing on the topic for some years, and had apparently encouraged Bosanquet to write on this as well.7 But this project was put aside – and, arguably, never fully taken up again– in 1876, with the publication of Bradley's Ethical Studies. 8 Upon the death of his father in 1880, and the receipt of a small inheritance, Bosanquet left Oxford in 1881, for London. One motive for leaving was to work on his philosophical ideas, but another was, no doubt, to be close to some of his cousins, his brother Charles, and his college classmate, C. S. Loch.

Life in London was comfortable. Bosanquet found time to write, but also to visit galleries and travel (most often to Italy– in 1881, 1888 and 1889). Nevertheless, soon after his arrival in London, he became active in adult education and social work. Through his cousin Mary McCallum, he learned about the Home Arts and Industries Association and its role in education, and he joined his brother and Loch in working for the Charity Organisation Society (COS). 9 Bosanquet was also active in the London Ethical Society; he frequently lectured and taught university extension courses for the LES and its successor, the short-lived London School of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1897–1900). Many of his publications– including The Essentials of Logic, A Companion to Plato's Republic for English Readers, Psychology of the Moral Self and The Philosophical Theory of the State– were based on or were prepared to accompany these lectures. He also frequently reviewed philosophical books for the Manchester Guardian and the Pall Mall Gazette, and served as an examiner for the Indian Civil Service.10 The pattern of writing on both 'popular' issues– primarily for an audience of those actively engaged in 'practical' work– and technical philosophical questions continued for the rest of his life.

This period was also one of intense philosophical activity, encouraged by the existence of the newly-established Aristotelian Society– an association sympathetic to speculative philosophy, and a quasi-rival to the more empiricist-dominated Mind Association. (Bosanquet joined the Society in 1886 and served as its Vice-President in 1888 and, as its second President, from 1894 to 1898.) His early published work was in logic, but his philosophical interests were extremely wide ranging. Here, in addition to classical Greek philosophy, Bosanquet frequently drew on the writings of Hegel (who he respected both in his own right and as the 'most faithful interpreter' of Greek thought) for inspiration. Bosanquet was soon recognised as one of the principal representatives of the idealist school. He is generally considered to be one of the most "Hegelian" – though the extent to which the term "Hegelian" is appropriate or illuminating in describing his work has been a matter of some recent debate.11

During his time in London Bosanquet met and married (in 1895) Helen Dendy, an activist in social work, who would become a leading figure in the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws (1905–1909). While not as indelibly associated with one another as the Fabian social radicals, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, the Bosanquets shared a strong commitment to social reform.

In 1897 the Bosanquets moved to Caterham and, in 1899, to Oxshott where Bernard hoped to continue his writing without being too far removed from the demands of his COS responsibilities in London. He soon decided, however, to devote himself more seriously to philosophical work,12 and in 1903 accepted an invitation to return to university life, as Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. During this time– which largely coincided with the period of his wife's membership on the Poor Laws Commission– Bosanquet wrote relatively little, finding himself heavily involved with university administration and teaching. Students were taken by his presence and bearing, but also by his patience, sincerity and enthusiasm.

Bosanquet left St Andrews in 1908; his health was not good, his wife's health had suffered under the strain of her Commission activities, and he felt there was much writing that he wanted to do but which he could not undertake while he had university responsibilities. He had still to write "the work on Metaphysic" and on aesthetic that, in 1898,13 he had promised himself to do. The Bosanquets returned to live full-time in Oxshott, though they continued to be active in social work and philosophical circles.

Though officially in retirement during the years 1908 to 1922, Bosanquet remained extremely busy. He received honourary doctorates from Birmingham (1909) and St Andrews (1911)– having already received similar honours from Glasgow (1892) and Durham, and been one of the first to be elected to the British Academy (1907). In 1911 and 1912, Bosanquet was appointed Gifford Lecturer in the University of Edinburgh. These lectures, The Principle of Individuality and Value and The Value and Destiny of the Individual, are recognised as the most extensive and systematic account of his metaphysical views. Bosanquet also continued to lecture, to serve on the executive of the COS and, though his health was starting to fail, was elected President of the 5th International Congress of Philosophy, which was to have been held in 1915 in London.

By the summer of 1922, Bosanquet's health had seriously deteriorated and he and his wife decided to move back to London. In early September, Bosanquet reports having sold "a ton and a half of books last week,"14 and by October they were once again in London.

Bosanquet died in his seventy-fifth year, in London, on 8 February 1923. Soon afterwards, his widow edited the last manuscript that he had been working on, Three Chapters on the Nature of Mind. She also wrote a short– and, to date, the sole– biography, Bernard Bosanquet: A Short Account of his Life. In 1927, J. H. Muirhead and Bosanquet's nephew, R. C. Bosanquet, prepared a collection of some of his major essays, published under the title Science and Philosophy and, in 1935, Muirhead edited a volume of letters15 that has provided an invaluable context and background for understanding the sources and development of Bosanquet's philosophical and social thought. Logic

Bosanquet's first major work was in logic, and it has been considered to be one of his most significant contributions to philosophy. An initial statement of Bosanquet's views is found in his 1883 essay, "Logic as the Science of Knowledge."16 One sees here the influence of Hegel and of Hermann Lotze17 (whose work he translated and edited, with the encouragement of T. H. Green). More developed statements of his logic appear in Knowledge and Reality: A Criticism of Mr F. H. Bradley's 'Principles of Logic'18(1885) and, especially, in Logic, or the Morphology of Knowledge (1888).19 (Principal elements of this latter work were recast in a short volume published while he was engaged in adult education, The Essentials of Logic [1895].) Bosanquet produced a second edition of the Logic in 1911, supplementing the earlier edition with a number of notes and three chapters dealing specifically with pragmatist and realist criticisms of idealist coherence theory, an explanation of his account of judgement in relation to his theory of the Absolute, and on "The Relation of Mental States to Judgement and Reality." During the last decade of his life he continued to engage in a number of exchanges on questions in logic, culminating in the publication of Implication and Linear Inference (1920), which C. D. Broad described as containing "the clearest and most plausible account" of Bosanquet's views.20

Bosanquet's logic is often taken to be much the same as that of Bradley, though there are clearly important differences between the two. This is reflected in his reproaches to Bradley (particularly in Knowledge and Reality) that, in the Principles of Logic (1883), Bradley had attached himself to certain "reactionary" views in contemporary German thought– though Bosanquet thought Bradley's work could be easily disengaged from them– and that he had failed to appreciate fully the significant contribution of Hegel's work. While there is some debate whether Bosanquet's objections were substantive,21 in the second edition of the Principles (1922), Bradley acknowledged his debt to Bosanquet and, in a 1915 letter to Bosanquet, he wrote that "there is no one whose opinion weighs with me as yours does, or whose work (amongst the living) I put higher or value more."22

For Bosanquet, logic has a central role in philosophy. The "inherent nature of reason" is, he argues, "the absolute demand for totality and consistency"23 and logic is "the same as the impulse to the whole."24 It is, in short, "the clue to reality, value and freedom."25 Not surprisingly, then, Bosanquet argues that metaphysics– "the general science of reality"– cannot be distinguished from logic– the science of knowledge– any more than one can separate a result from the process which produces it. Reality is "composed of contents determined by systematic combination in a single coherent structure,"26 and Bosanquet writes that in logic "the whole world [is] … presented to us in the shape of a continuous judgement."27 Despite the connection between logic and knowledge, however, Bosanquet denied that he was offering an epistemological view– in the sense that it implied a theory of cognition in which truth and reality are treated as external to one another.

"Knowledge," Bosanquet writes, requires "correspondence to fact" – but this remark should be taken with caution. Facts are constituted by experience and are "what experience as a whole compels us to believe." While it is true that the mind does not make natural objects, it "makes our immediate conscious world" and (as Bosanquet notes in his Introduction to his translation of the Introduction to Hegel's Philosophy of Fine Art [1886]) "the actual facts of this world [of morals, of art, or politics] do directly arise out of and are causally sustained by conscious intelligence."28 The "correspondence" of thought to fact can, then, be judged only once facts are organised into knowledge, i.e., into one or more of the systems found in the special sciences. Similarly, to say that a judgement is "true," we must first master the system in which the judgement is bound up "and then we shall perceive how unintelligible that part of our world […] would become if we denied that judgement"29; "truth and reality are to be looked for in the whole of experience, taken as a system."30 Bosanquet's view is more accurately described, therefore, as a coherence theory – a coherence theory that, as he argues (for example, in the second edition of his Logic31), involves more than the formal consistency of propositions.

In Implication and Linear Inference,32 Bosanquet repeats his earlier view that inference is "every process by which knowledge extends itself."33 It is made possible by implication– i.e., the property of each system whereby one can go from one part to all other parts. Standard formal logic– linear inference or syllogistic– is only a limited form of inference for, Bosanquet reminds his readers, logical principles are not part of some abstract real but are the expression of the movement and life of the mind. To be precise, then, inference is not deductive (i.e., from general principles) or inductive (i.e., from "instances" or "sense data") but "systematic"– it proceeds from within a whole or a system already seen as such. Thus, knowledge does not exist as a set of isolated formal propositions; all that we know actually constitutes whole concrete systems or aspects of our experience, such as art, or religion or philosophy. This view of inference had significant consequences, not only for the logic of J. S. Mill but, later, for the "new" logic of Frege, as developed by Russell and Whitehead, where judgement continued to be separated from inference and "linear implication" was the norm. Bosanquet's arguments here incited a wide ranging critical response, particularly from the "neo-realists" at Cambridge and in the United States.

Adult Education and Social Work34

Bosanquet's lectures and essays on social topics deal with both specific questions on social reform and general concerns on the role of education in promoting a full and developed life. Many of these essays were published in the Charity Organisation Review, but several had a much broader interest and appeared in leading philosophical and sociological journals and collections. Bosanquet's early writings were largely theoretical. In his Essays and Addresses (1889), he advances an "ideal of modern life" which he calls "Christian Hellenism." There, in his important paper, "The Kingdom of God on Earth," he presents an analysis of the nature of the human individual and the community that was taken up later in his political philosophy. Yet Bosanquet was familiar with the empirical data on "the social problem," and more detailed recommendations for social reform are to be found in his discussion and critique of Salvation Army General William Booth's programme for the alleviation of pauperism– for example, in "In Darkest England": On the Wrong Track (1891)– and in Aspects of the Social Problem,35 a collection of essays which he edited and to which he contributed six of the eighteen chapters.

The aim of Aspects of the Social Problem was to bring together "theory" and empirical studies in the area of social reform. It is here, as well, that one finds a clear statement of a theme already introduced in his early book reviews– the key to social progress is the development of individual character. It is one's character, Bosanquet held, which largely determines the actual influence of social conditions on one's life. Also significant in his work on "the social problem" is the emphasis on experience and on the importance of understanding the particular circumstances in which individuals live. Effective social work could not be done unless one entered into the "minds, habits, and feelings"36 of those to be helped. Bosanquet saw the function of social work as enabling individuals and communities to draw, where possible, on their own resources to improve their conditions. Adult education had a function here, as a means by which individuals from every social class might have access not just to training, but to the higher values in life. Though Bosanquet insisted that his views were not necessarily those of the Charity Organisation Society as a whole, they were clearly those of a number of COS members and recognised as such by Bosanquet's critics.

The policies of the Charity Organisation Society, and of the Bosanquets in particular, have often been taken to be "conservative," reflecting a Victorian moralism out of touch with both the problem of poverty and the power of the state to effect change. The emphasis on "character" rather than "conditions" brought the Bosanquets into conflict with a number of social reformers, such as the Webbs, and led to the accusation that Bosanquet's views were "individualist." This conflict came to a head during the sessions of the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws on which both Helen Bosanquet and Beatrice Webb served. Certainly one of the major disagreements between the Bosanquets and the Webbs was over the importance of developing individual character and whether intervention by the national government to deal with poverty would help or (as the Bosanquets tended to think) hinder this. Yet the differences between the Bosanquets and their critics seem often to be over strategy rather than principle– though Bosanquet was clearly opposed to the schemes of "eugenic selection" often mooted by some of his opponents as a "solution" to pauperism.

The divisions within the Poor Laws Commission led to the production of two reports – a Majority Report, largely written by Helen Bosanquet, as well as a Minority statement, reflecting the Fabian views of the Webbs. Though Bosanquet defended the Majority view in a number of essays on social work and casework and on public assistance – some of which were reprinted in Social and International Ideals (1917) – his discussion tended to be less theoretical and more focussed on criticising specific Fabian and "New Liberal" proposals.

Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art

Bosanquet's love of art and poetry is evident throughout his work, and his interest in aesthetics is no doubt the result of this. Bosanquet's first work in aesthetics was a translation, with a lengthy Introduction, of The Introduction to Hegel's Philosophy of Fine Art (1886). This was soon followed by a number of articles principally on aesthetic theory and the role of art in education. In 1892, his A History of Aesthetic appeared, the first such study in the English language.37 This volume provided a broad account of the development of aesthetic consciousness from the time of Plato to the end of the nineteenth century; Bosanquet's own aesthetic views were, however, presented only indirectly. For over twenty years he published almost nothing on the topic, though he gave a series of talks on aesthetics for the London Ethical Society in 1895–9638 and, in 1914, at University College, London. These latter lectures were later published as Three Lectures on Aesthetic.39

Bosanquet placed a greater emphasis on art and aesthetic experience than any other major thinker in the British idealist tradition. He held that "art" is revelatory of the "spiritual" world, and the analysis of the progress of aesthetic consciousness shows that it is closely related to the development of human consciousness in general. In his History, he argued that, in Europe, progress in aesthetic awareness occurred in recognising art as "symbolic" and expressive rather than (as he says of the Greeks) principally imitative and formal. One finds, Bosanquet would argue, a similar evolution in religion and in thought as a whole.

Bosanquet's aesthetics were largely influenced by Aristotle and Hegel, and they are explicitly articulated in his Three Lectures. Here, he is primarily concerned with analysing the "aesthetic attitude" which, he says, is a condition not of the mind alone, but of the whole person– "body-and-mind." His discussion goes beyond this, however, and also addressed such issues as the relation of art to the medium an artist may use, the forms of aesthetic satisfaction, and the different "kinds" of beauty; it is on this latter point that most critical attention has been focused. Bosanquet suggests that while we normally distinguish between beauty and ugliness, no art can be genuinely ugly. Thus, he speaks of "easy" (or "facile") and "difficult" beauty– i.e., cases where, because of some feature in the object (e.g., tension, intricacy, or "width") and some failure in the individual observer (e.g., of education, imagination, experience, or effort), there may be an inability to appreciate the beauty of the art work.

Bosanquet does not conceive of art narrowly. Following Ruskin and William Morris, he saw the work of artisans as instances of genuine art and as reflecting the "mystery" that is associated with it. Moreover, his aesthetic theory is consistent with his logical and metaphysical views as a whole. For example, just as there is no absolute error, so there is no genuine ugliness in art; what we call error or ugliness is simply not situating an element in its proper place or failing to see it in relation to the whole. Furthermore, in art, as in logic, no element is ultimately "isolated;" starting from any particular, we are led to the "system" or "whole"– which he calls, in his metaphysics, the Absolute. Indeed, art allows access to the Absolute through "feeling." Nor does this emphasis on feeling or "expressiveness" in the study of aesthetic consciousness conflict with Bosanquet's "rationalist" method. In the Three Lectures he writes that "I only know in philosophy one method, and that is to expand all the relevant facts, taken together, into ideas which approve themselves to thought as exhaustive and self-consistent." 40

Political Philosophy

Bosanquet is perhaps best known for his political philosophy, though his views, like those of the British idealists in general, have been the subject of much misunderstanding and prejudice. Bosanquet's earliest discussion of political topics can be found in Essays and Addresses,41 in articles on the nature of the general or "real" will,42 in his commentary on Plato's Republic,43 and in various lectures given in the middle and late 1890s in London and at Manchester College, Oxford. His most extensive and mature account is, however, in The Philosophical Theory of the State (1899; 4th edition 1923). In this work, Bosanquet's aim was to address problems in contemporary (empiricist) political thought and, in particular, its treatment of political obligation. He maintained that, in order to provide a coherent account of the state, one must abandon some of the assumptions of the liberal tradition– particularly those that reveal a commitment to "individualism"– and he argued at length against the analysis of liberty and of law found in such writers as Bentham, Spencer and Mill. Through a new analysis of the will, in keeping with "modern psychology," Bosanquet believed that he could provide a satisfactory explanation of the nature and justification of the state, its positive role in human freedom, and its limits. This notion of the will, which also drew on Rousseau's account of the general or "real" will, also enabled Bosanquet to provide an account of human rights (based on one's "station" or function in society and the duties that follow from it) and to explain the essence and rationale of punishment (which he took to be retributive).

For Bosanquet, the purpose of state action was "the hindrance of hindrances" to human development. He saw in Hegel's Philosophy of Right a plausible account of the modern state as an "organism" or whole united around a shared understanding of the good, but believed that it had to be modified in light of more recent experience. Bosanquet also found reasons in Kant (both directly and, indirectly, through Green) for emphasising the moral development of the individual and for limiting the state from acting directly to promote this end. Bosanquet argued that, because social life requires a consistent co-ordination of the activities of individuals and institutions, the authority of the nation state over its citizens must be absolute. Nevertheless, he also acknowledged that, as nations come to be more conscious of what they share, international institutions and law would be appropriate. The possibility of establishing effective international political organisations is developed particularly in the second (1910) and third (1920) editions of the Philosophical Theory of the State and in later work, such as "The Function of the State in Promoting the Unity of Mankind" and "The Wisdom of Naaman's Servants" (in Social and International Ideals [1917]).

The central place of Bosanquet's political thought in the British idealist tradition is clear from the fact that the classical criticism of this tradition, Leonard Hobhouse's The Metaphysical Theory of the State,44 is principally an attack on The Philosophical Theory of the State. Hobhouse took Bosanquet's view to be at best only an extrapolation of that of Hegel, and argued that the "idealist" account of the state was confused, reflected a view of the state as non-empirical and ahistorical and not subject to moral evaluation or critique, and rested on an account of the "real will" that was unintelligible and only served to legitimate the status quo. While Hobhouse's criticisms of Bosanquet were not particularly original or unique –  one finds similar views in J. A. Hobson, Harold Laski, C. D. Broad, R. M. MacIver and, later, in Morris Ginsberg, G. D. H. Cole, C. E. M. Joad and J. D. Mabbott – they were systematically and thoroughly presented.

Nevertheless, Hobhouse's (and later, Herbert Marcuse's45) assimilation of Bosanquet's position to that of Hegel was, at the very least, oversimplified and polemical. While Bosanquet would not have denied the influence of Hegel, his work is better seen (as many of his contemporaries recognised) as reflecting insights found in classical Greek philosophy. The extent of this influence is evident from Bosanquet's writings on Plato,46 where he locates such notions as "my station and its duties" in the concept of ergon (function) in the Republic.

As noted earlier, Bosanquet rejected the accusation that his political philosophy and views on social policy were conservative or statist. Recent studies have emphasised that Bosanquet was an active Liberal, held staunchly liberal views on the Boer War and Irish Home Rule47 and, in the 1910s and early 1920s, supported the Labour Party48 – and some have claimed that his "theory as a whole" is not inconsistent with socialism.49


While Bosanquet did not write much directly on moral theory,50 he did produce a number of essays on ethical problems. His 1893 volume, The Civilization of Christendom, and his inaugural lecture at St Andrews in 190351 on "the practical value of moral philosophy," can be seen as early attempts to articulate an applied ethics. An examination of this and later work suggests that Bosanquet's views reflect what is now popularly called "perfectionism" or, more broadly, an ethic of self-realisation that has as its aim the perfection of human personality.52

What Bosanquet means by the word "morality" may, however, be sometimes unclear. In his early essays, he understands "morality" to be roughly the same as Hegel's Sittlichkeit or "ethical life"– not (as his later use of the term suggests) Kantian individualistic Moralität.53 Developing a theme initially articulated in "The Kingdom of God on Earth"(1891)54 and, indirectly in The Civilization of Christendom,55 Bosanquet proposes a morality of "my station and its duties"– that what one ought to do is determined in light of the roles or functions one has in social life. But while Bosanquet's ethics have an "immanentist" character, it is not a naturalistic or reductionist view. Moreover, though he was in many respects a supporter of "the Ethical movement," Bosanquet was critical of its claim that morality could be independent of anything beyond the purely material. Such a morality, he held, was "'fizzenless,' that is fushionless, foisonless, without sap or life, without the principle of nutrition."56 As we see in his metaphysics, Bosanquet argues that genuine morality reveals a principle greater than itself– what he sometimes calls "the Absolute."

Bosanquet distinguishes his moral view from altruism, holding, for example, that the value of self-sacrifice (reflected in a dictum he takes from Goethe,57 "stirb' und werde," "die to live," but which has its roots in the New Testament notion of atonement58) is not that it promotes or helps others, but that it serves to advance values and a good that goes beyond both self and others –   values that are, at base, greater than human individuals. "Good" and "value" are, in this sense, "impersonal categories;" they are not mere personal preferences or (as G. E. Moore held) simply data of sense perception.

Perhaps the most extensive statement of Bosanquet's ethical views is to be found in Some Suggestions in Ethics (1918; 2nd ed., 1919). Although largely "applied" in character, these essays provide not only a general account of the nature of ethical value, but also reveal several differences in emphasis, if not in doctrine (e.g., concerning the principle of value and the nature and value of the human person) from that which one finds in Bradley's moral and social philosophy.59

The ethic that Bosanquet provides is teleological, but not consequentialist. He emphasises the importance of motive and, particularly, intention in the assessment of the moral character of an act, but also insists that, in judging the moral goodness of the person or act, one must be attentive to its efficiency or success in achieving its purpose. While he does not say so explicitly, it seems that what is "moral" is what the Aristotelian "practically wise person" would do. There is no "moral law" from which one can derive or deduce one's duties or obligations; one is simply "to respond adequately to the situation." 60


Bosanquet long projected a work presenting his views on metaphysics, and the invitation to give the Gifford lectures in the University of Edinburgh for 1911 and 1912 provided him with an additional incentive to complete it. It is important to realise, however, that Bosanquet's first studies in metaphysics date from the late 1880s and that as he elaborated his views in ethics, social work, philosophical psychology and political philosophy, his metaphysics was taking form as well.

Not surprisingly, some of Bosanquet's earliest "metaphysical" essays, independent of his logic, focussed on the nature of mind,61 and in 1893– 94 he offered a course of lectures at the LES that became the basis of his book the Psychology of the Moral Self (1897). In this series of lectures, Bosanquet discusses a number of influential views in psychology, especially those of James Ward and William James, and lays the foundation for a theory of "mind" and "will" which he uses in his political philosophy. Here one also finds an account of self-consciousness, personal identity and the relation of the self and morality, suggested but not developed in his initial work.

Opposed to the crude associationist and the "push and pull" psychology of empiricists (such as David Hume, J. S. Mill and Alexander Bain) who held that thought consists of disconnected, discrete data of the senses and "psychological habits" that arise out of the contiguous relations of these data, Bosanquet argues that one cannot separate the individual from "everything that goes to make up its world."62 In his lecture on "the organisation of intelligence," Bosanquet suggests that "[t]he psychical elements of the mind are so grouped and interconnected as to constitute what are technically known as Appercipient masses or systems."63 The mind or self, then, is a multiplicity of such systems. He describes the mind or soul as "a growth of material, more like a process of crystallization, the material moulding itself according to its own affinities and cohesions."64 It is the "ideal aspect" or "ideality" of the body; it is neither opposed to nor reducible to it. With such a view, Bosanquet says, "we come back to the conception of Plato and Aristotle at their best."65

The Gifford lectures– The Principle of Individuality and Value and The Value and Destiny of the Individual– are the most extensive and systematic account of his metaphysics, though they draw on papers on teleology, religion and related themes from his earlier work. In these lectures, Bosanquet focuses on a principle underlying much of his philosophical thought and rooted in his studies in logic –   that of individuality. The position he adopts here has been called "absolute idealism," and it is usually distinguished from the "personal idealism" of Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison, Hastings Rashdall, and J. M. E. McTaggart, which emphasised the uniqueness of the human individual, and held that each human being is fundamentally distinct and independent of every other. For Bosanquet, however, the ultimate principle of reality and of value was "the Absolute."

According to Bosanquet, what we have in mind when we speak of "the real" or "truth" is a "whole" (i.e., a system of connected members) and it is by seeing a thing in its relation to others that we can say not only that we have a better knowledge of that thing, but that it is "more complete," more true, and more real. Since this whole is self-contained and self-sufficient, he calls it (following Aristotle) an "individual." But because of this "independence" and self explanatory character or necessity, it is also a universal. The "whole" is, then, what Bosanquet calls a "concrete universal."66 It is a "logical universal as a living world"; he calls this "positive individuality" or "the Absolute."

This principle of individuality is the principle of value. Since individuality is "logical self-completeness and freedom from incoherence," we see that, in as far as things are completely organised and have parts which confirm and sustain one another, they have value; it is not a matter of whether they are simply desired. The value of the whole, therefore, is not a mere sum of the values of each of its parts; the paradigm of this is art.

The view that Bosanquet presents here can be described as "teleological," though in a special sense. The movement or "nisus towards a whole" which characterises the universe is not the work of a conscious agent; in fact, human (and even divine) purposiveness is a manifestation of a natural process that is, initially, unconscious. But neither is teleology "blind." Nor does the fact that there is a nisus towards the whole entail determinism, which is purely the working out of a causal process. Bosanquet distinguishes determinism from "determinateness" –   in this latter case, the perfection of the self is arrived at through building on its experience, as it is in art; it is not a simple product of the working out of certain mechanical laws on matter.

Bosanquet argues that the "mainspring of movement and effort in the finite world" is "contradiction." Nevertheless, as principles come into conflict, a process of harmonisation occurs. Terms are readjusted or new distinctions are introduced, so that both conflicting elements find a place. This process or method of meeting and removing contradiction, characteristic of the growth of any thing, is what Bosanquet calls the argument a contingentia mundi. On this view, then, nature is not simply that which a being has, but is something which is in process of being communicated to it. Moreover, given what one's nature implies, one is led to the Absolute.

In this metaphysics, it is difficult to draw a rigid line between "nature" or the physical and "mind" or the "self." Bosanquet is clearly opposed to dualism; he sees the "mind as a perfection and cooperation of the adaptations and acquisitions stored in the body"67 and not a separate thing, independent of the body. This understanding of the relation of the physical and the mental can be extended to all conscious beings. Thus, he writes that finite individuals should not think of themselves as fundamentally separate things, isolated from one another; there is no hard barrier that makes one's being discontinuous with others. What is important to Bosanquet, as one can see from this analysis of individuality, is not the simple existence of finite centres of experience, but the variety of levels of experience –  i.e., the content.

Bosanquet's anti-dualism does not, however, lead to panpsychism– the view that nature has consciousness. (In this respect he appears to differ from Bradley.) Still, he argues that nature lives in and is complete through human consciousness, and that the "detail" of the universe is brought into mind and, through it, to the Absolute. The finite mind serves, then, as a copula between nature and the Absolute.

In the second series of Gifford lectures, The Value and Destiny of the Individual, Bosanquet focuses on the finite (i.e., human) individual by showing how his theory of the Absolute bears on its nature and value. He does so, first, by saying something of the evolution or development of the finite person, as both a natural being and a being possessing a self-determining will, then, by looking at finite beings in relation to one another and, finally, by showing in what finite selfhood can have stability and security.

The "progress" in the development of the self, Bosanquet suggests, is not "serial" nor should it be seen as approximation of a telos whereafter there is a stasis or rest in the whole. The destiny of the finite self, therefore, is that it comes to recognise itself as an element of the Absolute; it is in this, Bosanquet says, that one sees its value.

Although a definitive statement of his metaphysics, the Gifford lectures also flagged a number of points to which Bosanquet was to return over the next several years.

One concern that Bosanquet had to address was the relation of his account to that of "philosophical realism" and the "neo-realists." In The Distinction between Mind and its Objects (1913), Bosanquet noted that, with the work of Samuel Alexander, the "idealism/materialism" debate had entered a new stage. Although Bosanquet saw some affinity between himself and Alexander, he thoroughly rejected the views of such authors as R. B. Perry, W. P. Montague and E. B. Holt. He argued that, while aiming at providing a comprehensive view of reality, this "new realism" restricts the place of mind and cuts it off from physical reality.

A second point of controversy arising out of the Gifford lectures was over the nature of the finite individual. To some, Bosanquet's arguments eliminated the value of the human person because, they claimed, the "perfection of human personality" that he advocated was not the development of a finite individual as a finite individual. This concern led to an important exchange among Bosanquet, Pringle-Pattison, G. F. Stout, and R. B. Haldane on "Do Individuals Possess a Substantive or Adjectival Mode of Being?" (published in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 1917– 1918). Here, Bosanquet denies that finite selves could be "necessarily eternal or everlasting units" or "differentiations of the absolute." Yet he also asserts that individuals characterise the world "as permanent qualifications,"68 and it is clear from the Gifford lectures that he regards human individuals as "the climax and sum and substance of evolution."69

Bosanquet's "absolute idealism," then, leads him to challenge certain conceptions of the self, but he does not reject its existence or its value. He simply denies that it is in some way independent, self-existent, and the principle of value. There is, Bosanquet holds, no inconsistency between absolutism and the conviction of the value of the human person for, he writes, "if I possessed myself entirely, I should be the Absolute."70


Bosanquet's account of religion is typical of the humanistic demythologising associated with many thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, such as David Strauss, Ferdinand Baur and, more recently, Rudolf Bultmann. The most extensive statement of his views is in What Religion Is (1920), though one finds important essays on the topic from the beginning of his career.71 Bosanquet speaks of religion as "evolving" from "subjective" to "objective" forms towards what he calls "Absolute religion." Since, as noted above, "evolution" is an inherent operation of the principle of non-contradiction, not only in the organic process, but in knowledge and thought as a whole, it is not surprising that this is also the case with religious consciousness.

Though critical of religious dogma and doctrines, such as the personality of God and the existence of an afterlife, Bosanquet held that religious faith itself should be treated with respect.72 He seems to have understood religion or "faith" in a broad sense– as "that set of objects, habits, and convictions, whatever it might prove to be, which [one] would rather die for than abandon, or at least would feel himself excommunicated from humanity if he did abandon."73 Still, Bosanquet denied that his view was agnostic. While he pointedly did not attend chapel while at St Andrews, Bosanquet granted that "congregational worship was good when you can get it"74 and his own faith came to be close to Quakerism.75 Indeed, though Bosanquet was trenchant in his comments on much of orthodox religious practice, he seems not to have abandoned it altogether. During a cycling tour of England in early July 1901, Helen notes that, on the afternoon of 5 July, they went "to service in Cathedral" at St Cross, and that on the 7th, a Sunday, they went to worship in Salisbury Cathedral.

"The Meeting of Extremes" and Bosanquet's last essays

The last five years of Bosanquet's life were astonishingly productive. Aside from completing the volumes on ethics, religion and logic, mentioned above, he carried on an extensive correspondence with Italian philosophers whose views had affinities with his own,76 and wrote, as well, on the work of some of the new philosophical schools.77

Bosanquet's last book to be published during his lifetime was The Meeting of Extremes in Contemporary Philosophy (1921). The title of this volume reveals his long-held conviction that, despite the apparent radical differences that separated philosophical schools of thought, there was often substantial agreement among them. In The Meeting of Extremes, Bosanquet returns to an issue that he had begun to address in his earlier monograph, The Distinction between Mind and its Objects – specifically, the common characteristics of American neo-realism and Italian neo-idealism (here, that of Benedetto Croce and Giovanni Gentile). Bosanquet argues that the terms "idealism" and "realism" are both vague and broad. There are, as he had earlier noted, different kinds of realism and (as his comments on Croce and Gentile illustrate) different kinds of idealism as well. But the terms are not, in fact, antithetical. Bosanquet argues that there is a convergence both in aim and in result of the investigations of these "schools"– for example, on such matters as the reality of time and the confidence of progress in ethics and in the advance of humanity as a whole. It is true that, when one considers critical realism (distinct from neo-realism) and absolutism, there is a clear difference concerning the nature of "the real." But, Bosanquet notes, as each seeks a complete view, it is led to adopt positions that are characteristic of its "opponent." Bosanquet's own "speculative philosophy"– based, he maintains, on careful analysis of experience– complements both of the preceding approaches. He insists that, with a more reasoned understanding of progress, and a correct account of the nature of "individuality" and the "unity" of reality, the opposition between realism and idealism can be overcome.

Much of Bosanquet's late work took the form of discussion notes and responses, aimed at clarifying or defending his views in the face of new philosophies; generally, they did not attempt to break new ground. The exception was his Three Chapters on the Nature of Mind (1923). Published posthumously, this short book was the largely critical part of a longer volume that he was preparing at the time of his death, and wherein he attempted to address recent work by Meinong, Brentano and Russell. Bosanquet directly addresses Russell's account in the Analysis of Mind, claiming that there were many points on which both were in agreement, and that Russell's view was not so much wrong as "too narrow." But Bosanquet did not have the chance to present his own positive arguments on the matter, and his views here have to be inferred from the tone of his criticisms and from his earlier work.


At the time of his death, Bosanquet was arguably "the most popular and the most influential of the English idealists."78 He had been a prolific author– having written or edited some 20 books and over 200 articles and reviews– and the breadth of his work was obvious from the diversity of topics he treated. Even with the shift in British philosophy from idealism towards logical empiricism, Bosanquet continued to be a major participant in philosophical discussion and, particularly in the last decade of his life, his work addressed and examined both "analytic" and "phenomenological" philosophers. Aside from his discussions of Cassirer, Eucken and Husserl, Bosanquet was involved in debates with Russell, G. E. Moore, Harold Laski and C. D. Broad, and there has been some suggestion that he had an influence on Ludwig Wittgenstein's early logical views.79 The recognition of the influence and quality of Bosanquet's thought is reflected in the October 1923 issue of the Philosophical Review, which was devoted entirely to studies of his work.

Bosanquet's philosophy, however, came to take second place to that of Bradley and Green, and his work has long been in their shadow. Still, some recent reassessments have suggested that it is far from obvious how one should best understand the nature and contribution of Bosanquet's thought and his place within the British idealist tradition.

To begin with, the roots of Bosanquet's idealism have often been ignored. Though Bosanquet's debt to the writings of Hegel and Kant is relatively well-known, there were a number of other important influences on his work. Perhaps the most significant is that of classical Greek thought. Only brief mention has been made of Bosanquet's interest in the history of philosophy, particularly, in Plato. Though his studies were clearly aimed at a general reader, John Burnet notes that Bosanquet's Companion to Plato's "Republic" "is one of the most valuable contributions to the subject that has been made for a long time."80 In fact, Bosanquet's philosophy cannot be fully appreciated without a recognition of his debt to Greek philosophy, and it is no accident that he saw his greatest "teacher" to be Plato.81

Bosanquet is also clearly indebted to the work of Green and Bradley, and he explicitly acknowledges this throughout his writings. Yet this debt is arguably more one of inspiration than doctrine and less significant than often thought. It is useful here to recall Bradley's remark to Bosanquet that "I think you undervalue yourself as much as you overestimate what I have done. We can't argue about it, but I must say what I feel."82

An estimate of the contribution of Bosanquet's work is, similarly, a difficult task. Certainly, what led Bosanquet to be so well known– his popular essays and the books and articles that came out of his university extension courses and his involvement in social policy– often looks to later generations to have been written in haste and to lack analytical rigor. This, coupled with the fact that interest in idealism as a whole waned during the middle decades of the twentieth century, has had the consequence that much of what Bosanquet wrote has been left unread.

Yet, in recent years, interest in Bosanquet's political and social thought has increased substantially, for it has been seen as close to the work of some contemporary communitarian theorists. His work in logic and scientific method has also been considered to be close to that of some critics of empiricism, including Michael Dummett. Given the number of studies published during the past twenty years on Hegel, Green and, more recently, Bradley, and given the reevaluation of the significance of the work of British idealism and its place in the history of philosophy, it is not unreasonable to think that Bosanquet's contribution to philosophy and social policy may yet come to be recognised as fruitful, and that the second century after his death will be better to him than the first.

William Sweet
St Francis Xavier University, 1999


1 See J. H. Muirhead (ed.), Bernard Bosanquet and His Friends. Letters Illustrating the Sources and the Development of his Philosophical Opinions, London: Allen and Unwin, 1935, p. 19. Interestingly, however, Macmillan publishers initially refused (in a letter of 8 May 1924) to publish Helen's memoir of her husband though, after some negotiation, they agreed to do so "on our usual commission terms" (see letter of 11 June 1924). (Unless otherwise indicated, letters referred to in this Introduction are to be found in the Bosanquet papers of the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.)

2 Bosanquet's fourth brother, George, died at the age of 24, in 1869.

3 Interestingly, Bosanquet's father was not in favour of him going to Balliol, principally because of Jowett's unorthodox religious views (see the letter of 27 May 1865 from R. W. Bosanquet to Bernard, and Bernard's letter to R. C. Bosanquet, dated 13 August 1912).

4 See Trunk I (I) of the Bosanquet papers, which contains essays on "The Proper Function of Universities" (1 February 1869), "The Greek Idea of Citizenship," "The Chief Points of View in Which the Relation Between Church and State May be Regarded," "What Constitutes Citizenship?," "The Advantages and Disadvantages of Commercial Prosperity," "Legislation and Morality," and "A Sense of Beauty as an Element in Morals."

5 C. D. Broad, Five Types of Ethical Theory, London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Trubner, 1930, p. 144.

6 Helen Bosanquet, Bernard Bosanquet. A Short Account of his Life, London: Macmillan, 1924, p. 28.

7 See Green's letter to Bosanquet, dated 8 July 1876 in Collected Works of T. H. Green, ed. Peter Nicholson, 5 vols., Bristol, UK: Thoemmes Press, 1997, Vol. 5, pp. 464–65.

8 London: H. S. King, 1876; 2nd. ed., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1927.

9 For more details on this, see the "Preface" to Volume 14 (Essays on "Aspects of the Social Problem" and Social Policy) of the Works.

10 Helen Bosanquet, p. 62.

11 See William Sweet, "Was Bosanquet a Hegelian?," Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain, 31 (1995): 39–60.

12 Muirhead, Friends, p. 27, n. 4.

13 Muirhead, Friends, p. 91.

14 Letter to "Rob," dated 10 September 1922; see Bosanquet papers, Trunk I (A5).

15Bernard Bosanquet and his Friends, op. cit.

16 Published in Essays in Philosophical Criticism, ed. Andrew Seth [later, Seth Pringle-Pattison] and R. B. Haldane, London: Longmans, 1883, pp. 67–101; reprinted below, pp. 299–332.

17Lotze's System of Philosophy Part I. Logic in Three Books of Thought, of Investigation, and of Knowledge. 2 vols., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1884; 2nd. ed., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1888; Lotze's System of Philosophy Part II. Metaphysic in Three Books Ontology, Cosmology, and Psychology. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1884; 2nd. ed., 1887.

18 London: Kegan Paul, Trench, 1885.

19 2 vols., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1888.

20 "Critical Notice of Implication and Linear Inference," Mind, n.s. XXIX (1920): 323–338, p. 323.

21 Anthony Manser, Bradley's Logic, Oxford: Blackwell, 1983.

22 Letter to Bosanquet dated 11 November 1915, in Muirhead, Friends, p. 179.

23The Value and Destiny of the Individual, London: Macmillan, 1913, p. 9.

24Value and Destiny of the Individual, p. 7.

25The Principle of Individuality and Value, London: Macmillan, 1912, p. 23.

26Logic, or the Morphology of Knowledge, 2 vols., 2nd. ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1911, Vol. 1, p. 5.

27The Essentials of Logic, Being Ten Lectures on Judgement and Inference, London: Macmillan, 1895, p. 42.

28 "On the True Conception of Another World," in The Introduction to Hegel's Philosophy of Fine Art, London: Kegan Paul, Trench, 1886, pp. xiii–xxxiii; reprinted in Science and Philosophy and Other Essays by the Late Bernard Bosanquet, ed. J. H. Muirhead and R. C. Bosanquet, London: Allen and Unwin, 1927, p. 324.

29 "Logic as the Science of Knowledge," p. 71; see p. 302 below.

30 "Logic as the Science of Knowledge," p. 101, see p. 330 below.

31 See Logic, 2nd ed., Vol. 2, Chapter ix.

32 Bosanquet apparently delayed the publication of Implication and Linear Inference, thinking that Bradley's revisions to his Principles of Logic might soon appear (see Helen Bosanquet, pp. 140–141).

33 See Implication and Linear Inference, London: Macmillan, 1920, p. 2.

34 See note 9 above.

35 London: Macmillan, 1895.

36 See Bosanquet's Preface to Aspects of the Social Problem, p. vi; see Works, Volume 14, p. 73

37 According to A. C. Bradley, a leading Shakespeare scholar and Professor of English Literature at Glasgow and Liverpool (he was also the brother of F. H. Bradley), A History of Aesthetic was the sole study of this part of philosophy dealt with by any "British philosopher of the first rank" (see Helen Bosanquet, p. 61).

38 See Helen Bosanquet, p. 71 and the list of courses taught at the London Ethical Society (in the Bosanquet papers).

39 London: Macmillan, 1915; reprinted with an Introduction by Ralph Ross, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1963. (A second set of lectures was apparently given during the war, but the manuscript was lost.)

40Three Lectures on Aesthetic, p. 6.

41 For example, "Some Socialistic Features of Ancient Societies," pp. 48–70, and "The Kingdom of God on Earth," pp. 108–30.

42 "Will and Reason." Monist, II (1891–1892): 18–30 (reprinted in Vol. 14 of the Works, pp. 49–60) and "The Reality of the General Will," International Journal of Ethics, IV (1893–1894), pp. 308–21 (reprinted in Science and Philosophy, pp. 256–268).

43A Companion to Plato's Republic for English Readers. Being a Commentary adapted to Davies and Vaughan's Translation, London: Rivingtons, 1895.

44 London: Macmillan, 1918.

45Reason and Revelation: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory, Boston: Beacon Press, 1960 (esp. pp. 393–397).

46 See Volume 1, Part 6 below. The place of Plato– and of classical Greek philosophy in general– in Bosanquet's work is central. Arguments for a relation between classical Greek thought and modern political philosophy recur throughout Bosanquet's undergraduate essays. Bosanquet also often lectured on Plato. He gave ten lectures on Plato's Republic in the autumn of 1892 and more general lectures on Plato in the spring (ten lectures) and summer (six lectures) terms, for the London Ethical Society. In the autumn of 1895, he gave ten lectures on Greek classical aesthetics, and on "Some Conceptions of Aristotle's Ethics" in the spring (ten lectures) and summer (five lectures) of 1897. In 1898–99, he gave a course on Aristotle's Theory of Poetry and Fine Art for the London School of Ethics and Social Philosophy. In early 1903, he lectured on Plato's Theory of Forms (ten lectures). While at St Andrews, Bosanquet prepared a set of Greek texts from Plato for his students and lectured on "The Moral and Social Philosophy of the Greeks" in 1903 (39 lectures) and in 1905 (40 somewhat different lectures). In 1906–7 his 40 lectures focused on Aristotle's Ethics, Books I–IV; X (the topics covered appear to be much the same as those discussed in 1905) and, in 1907–8, his course of 37 lectures focused on Plato's Republic, Books I–IV. In addition to the essays included in this volume, he published a translation and commentary on Republic 366b to 445e (The Education of the Young in "The Republic" of Plato, Cambridge: University Press, 1900) and A Companion to Plato's Republic for English Readers (London: Rivington's, 1895).

47 Helen Bosanquet, p. 99.

48 See his letter of 24 October 1922, to "Rob," where Bosanquet asks about the possibility of a common front between Liberals and Labour.

49 See Adam Ulam, The Philosophical Foundations of English Socialism, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1951, p. 60. For Bosanquet's description of himself as a "moral socialist," see my "Preface" to Volume 14.

50 In a letter to F. H. Peters, dated 13 August 1876 and referring to the publication of Bradley's Ethical Studies, Bosanquet wrote: "the book I was to write must wait; perhaps forever" (in Muirhead, Friends, p. 37).

51On the Practical Value of Moral Philosophy. Inaugural Address Delivered October 21, 1903 [at the University of St. Andrews]. Edinburgh and London: Blackwood, 1903; reprinted in Science and Philosophy, pp. 135–149.

52 See Thomas Hurka, Perfectionism, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

53 See Some Suggestions in Ethics, London: Macmillan, 1918, p. 102, n. 1: "'morality' in this sense [of Moralität] is a thing of theory. It is not the moral world or total of observance and institutions in which man finds himself realised, and in some sense justified." See also Bosanquet's Logic, Vol. II, p. 222 n., and Muirhead, Friends, pp. 238–239.

54 In Essays and Addresses.

55 In his essay, "The Civilization of Christendom," Bosanquet writes "The all-important truth is that we are only moral and human by finding a place in a system which is reasonable, which includes external nature, and which we did not make, and by transforming our separate animal impulses and desires in submission to a cause and purpose which we did not originate, and yet in which we can find satisfaction" (see The Civilization of Christendom and Other Studies, London: Swan Sonnenschein, 1893, pp. 63–99, p. 93).

56Some Suggestions in Ethics, p. 98.

57 "Selige Sehnsucht," lines 17–20, in (Buch des Sängers) West-östlicher Divan. Goethe's Werke, Stuttgart and Tübingen: Cotta, 1827–1830, Vol. 5 (1827).

58 See I Corinthians 15:36 "Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die" (King James Version).

59 See my "F. H. Bradley and Bernard Bosanquet," Philosophy after F. H. Bradley, ed. James Bradley, Bristol, UK: Thoemmes Press, 1996, pp. 31–56.

60Some Suggestions in Ethics, p. 14; see The Philosophical Theory of the State, 4th. ed., London: Macmillan, 1923, p. liii; see also The Philosophical Theory of the State and Related Essays, ed. Gerald F. Gaus and William Sweet, Bristol, UK: Thoemmes Press, 1999, p. 39.

61 See "Is Mind Synonymous with Consciousness?", Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society I, 1 (1887–1888): 12–16 (pp. 125–129 below) and "What Takes Place in Voluntary Action?", Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, I, 2 (1888–1889): 70–76 (pp. 3–10 below).

62Psychology of the Moral Self, London: Macmillan, 1895, p. 5.

63 See Psychology of the Moral Self, p. 42. For an account of Bosanquet's theory of the appercipient mass, see John W. Chapman, Rousseau– Totalitarian or Liberal?, New York: AMS Press, 1968, pp. 128ff.

64Psychology of the Moral Self, p. 9.

65Psychology of the Moral Self, p. 123.

66 See, for example, Logic, 1st ed., Vol. 1, p. 242.

67The Principle of Individuality and Value, p. xxv.

68 "Do Finite Individuals Possess a Substantive or an Adjectival Mode of Being?", Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, n.s. XVIII (1917– 1918): 479–506. Reprinted in H. Wildon Carr (ed.), Life and Finite Individuality, London: Williams and Norgate, 1918, pp. 75–102, pp. 86–87.

69The Principle of Individuality and Value, p. 158.

70 "Do Finite Individuals Possess a Substantive or an Adjectival Mode of Being?", p. 85.

71 E.g., "On the True Conception of Another World" (1886), "How to Read the New Testament" (1889), "The Kingdom of God on Earth" (1889), and "The Evolution of Religion" (1895).

72 For a more elaborate discussion of Bosanquet's views on religion, see my "Bernard Bosanquet and the Nature of Religious Belief," Anglo-American Idealism: 1865–1927, ed. W. J. Mander, Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishers, 1999.

73 "Religion (philosophy of)," Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology, ed. J. M. Baldwin, Vol. II. New York: Macmillan, 1902, pp. 454–58; reprinted pp. 29–39 below, p. 33.

74 See Helen's diary entry for 28 November 1903 (Bosanquet papers, Trunk II [K2]).

75 Helen Bosanquet, p. 147.

76 See Bosanquet papers Trunk I [C] Italian letters. Some of these letters are long; there are several long ones from Vivante, including one dated 22 September 1922, with a reference to Leon Brunschvig. See also Helen Bosanquet, p. 139 and, especially, Muirhead, Friends, pp. 253–303.

77 One reviewer noted, however, that some thought that Bosanquet worked "a little too rapidly." See J. S. Mackenzie, "Review of The Meeting of Extremes in Contemporary Philosophy," International Journal of Ethics, XXXII (1921–22), pp. 333–335, p. 333.

78 J. H. Randall, jr. "Idealistic Social Philosophy and Bernard Bosanquet," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, XXVI (1966): 473–502; reprinted in The Career of Philosophy, New York, Columbia University Press, 1977, Vol. 3, pp. 97–130, p. 114.

79 See B. F. McGuinness, Wittgenstein: A Life– Young Ludwig, 1889– 1921, London: Duckworth, 1988, pp. 199–200.

80 "Review of A Companion to Plato's Republic," International Journal of Ethics, VI (1895–1896), p. 135.

81 Muirhead, Friends, p. 21.

82 Letter from F. H. Bradley, dated 12 March 1897.

Note on this edition

This volume contains almost all of Bosanquet's previously uncollected essays and his reviews of the work of his important contemporaries; it is not, however, exhaustive. The basic principle of inclusion has been to reproduce those essays that are "free-standing" –i.e., can be understood without having at hand the work of the authors Bosanquet discusses. Some of his "exchanges" or discussion notes have, therefore, not been included in this volume. (Essays dealing primarily with social work and social policy appear in Volume 14 of these Collected Works.)

In reproducing these articles, I have stayed as close as possible to their original format and style. Errors in spelling and punctuation, and typographical mistakes have been left unchanged in the text, although they are indicated in square brackets in the notes. Several clarificatory remarks and more complete references have been added; these are also indicated in the notes in square brackets.

The Collected Works of Bernard Bosanquet
Idealism Page

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