Idealism RevisitedAnglo-American Idealism, 1865–1927 [Book Review]

Bradley Studies 8 (2):146-172 (2002)
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Collecting papers read at a conference with the same title at Harris Manchester College, Oxford, in 1997, the present volume bears eloquent witness to the growing interest in idealistic philosophy. In his introduction, the editor, Bill Mander, provides historical sketches of the idealists covered, but the historical scholarship signalled by the title is interwoven throughout with — mostly idealist — philosophizing in the present. Staying short for the most part of broader historical perspectives, some papers highlight important aspects of the intellectual context in which idealism, as reconsidered today, necessarily finds itself, and point to its possible contributions, while others continue an idealistic discourse very much on its own terms. Properly enough in the idealistic context however, most of the contributors seem to be aware that history and present philosophizing cannot be wholly separated. If they do not directly address it, most contributions at least illustrate abundantly what is presently, and what was during the historical period covered, taking place on the modern scene as set by broader and deeper cultural forces, the proper understanding of which, as will soon become clear, I think in some cases holds a key to the assessment of important aspects of their subject-matter. Mention will be made of all papers, but since in-depth analyses of each are here impossible, while being in this case at the same time desirable, I choose to discuss about one third of the contributions in greater detail.



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Jan Bengtsson
Lund University

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