Biographical Encyclopedia of British Idealism
Tentative List of Individual Entries
Editor: William Sweet, St Francis Xavier University, Nova
The Biographical Encyclopedia of British
Idealism will include the principal figures writing on, and
responding, to the Idealist
movement in Britain. Its focus will be on the idealism of the late
and early twentieth centuries, but will include major figures of
and later idealist schools.
From the time of the Cambridge Platonists of the
century, idealism has had a strong presence in the philosophical
of Great Britain, and its impact has been felt not only throughout the
world, but also in countries where intellectual contact with Britain
in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Moreover, in
years, there has been a considerable renewed interest in the British
and many of the ideas once championed by them are being reintroduced
discussed in philosophy and politics.
No existing biographical encyclopedia focuses on the
traditions in Great Britain. While articles on several of the figures
may also be found in the Dictionary
National Biography – though sometimes only in the new Oxford DNB
or in standard philosophical encyclopedias, information on many others
not easily available. This is particularly true concerning those whose
most important philosophical work, though inspired by British idealism,
influence largely outside of the British Isles (e.g., in Canada,
Southern Africa, and Asia – particularly India).
In addition to entries on the leading
of the idealist schools, the Encyclopedia will also include articles on
wide range of less well-known writers, not often included in
encyclopedias or dictionaries. As the editors of the Dictionary of Nineteenth Century Philosophy
have noted, the importance of looking at minor figures is now widely
by historians of philosophy. Minor figures frequently posed the
or extended the work of the better-known figures, so that it is often
minor figures who typically represent the breadth and impact of their
Idealism had a significant impact on not only
but political figures, members of the judiciary, educators, social
scientists, church leaders and theologians, and missionaries – many of
were active in the furthest reaches of the British Empire. As
the Encyclopedia includes a number of these figures to the extent that
made a relevant contribution to the development of philosophy.
This Encyclopedia will be invaluable for those
in studying idealism – a tradition often regarded as an aberrant phase
the history of British thought. In particular, late nineteenth and
twentieth-century British Idealism provoked a wide range of attacks and
from the major figures of the time, such as Henry Sidgwick, John Dewey,
Schiller, C.D. Broad, and Bertrand Russell. Yet this Encyclopedia will
be of particular value to those interested in individuals who, while
connected with British philosophy, had an effect far beyond it.
The Encyclopedia understands ‘British Idealism’
and it will serve to illustrate the breadth and diversity of the
schools and traditions. Some of the major figures which were associated
British Idealism were Bernard Bosanquet, F.H. Bradley, Edward Caird,
Collingwood, T.H. Green, L.T. Hobhouse, J.M.E. McTaggart, J.H.
D.G. Ritchie, and J.H. Stirling. Important critics of idealism, as well
non-British thinkers who made significant contributions to the idealist
- such as Brand Blanshard, Benedetto Croce, William James, C.S. Peirce,
Royce and George Santayana - also have entries.
Contributors whose entries concern ‘respondents’ or
of idealism, will be asked to concentrate on how these authors
or responded to idealist thought.
While the Encyclopedia focuses on British thought
1860 and 1930, it will also include figures from earlier idealist
- such as the Cambridge Platonists (e.g., Henry More; Ralph Cudworth;
Whichcote; Peter Sterry; John Smith; Nathaniel Culverwell; John
George Rust; Anne Conway; and John Norris), George Berkeley, Arthur
S.T. Coleridge, Thomas Carlyle and J.F. Ferrier – and important later
such as Michael Oakeshott, A.C. Ewing, J.N. Findlay, Blanshard,
and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
The time-period covered in the Encyclopedia is
unrestricted. It will include those important figures who were engaged
– or engaged in discussion with – idealist philosophy, from the time of
earliest appearance. It will also include some living authors whose
to idealist philosophy has been particularly noteworthy.
In addition to some 200 biographical entries, each
a critical assessment and bibliography, the Encyclopedia will include
discussions of the background, history and development and influence of
Idealism throughout the world. This will involve treatments of related
and subjects, including geographical surveys (e.g., “British Idealism
India,” “British Idealism in Canada,”) and analyses of how it related
certain fields or subjects (such as pragmatism and empiricism). These
not only set the context, but also signal where British Idealism had an
and how related contemporary philosophical views relate to it.
Biographical entries have been written in an
style, avoiding unnecessary scholarly terminology, and include:
i) a biographical sketch of the author
ii) an analysis and assessment of his or her doctrines and ideas, with
on the historical context and, where relevant, subsequent influences
iii) a bibliography listing the subject's major and minor philosophical
writings and giving a short list to further reading.
Arnold, see Ward, Mrs Humphry
21. W. R.
22. B. P.
25. F. H.
27. E. S.
36. C. A.
40. R. W.
43. R. G.
51. G. W.
57. T. S.
59. A. C.
66. T M
73. T. H.
75. R. B.
79. W. T.
81. H. J.
85. W. E.
87. R. F.
91. G. H.
95. C. E.
106. John Laird
107. George Harry
108. Harold Laski
109. John Laird
110. W.D. Lamont
111. Robert Latta
113. Henry Laurie
114. Joseph Alexander
116. G.H. Lewes
135. Frederick D.
J. M. Milne
R. G. Mure
Beatrice, see Webb, Martha Beatrice
Arthur William Russell
Canning Scott Schiller
194. A. E. Taylor
200. Thomas Walker
C. J. Webb
. Martha Beatrice Webb
Tentative List of
1. Idealism in Britain
2. The Influences of British Idealism in Australia and New Zealand
3. The Influences of British Idealism in Canada and the United States
4. The Influences of British Idealism in India and East
5. The Influences of British Idealism in Southern Africa