T. H. (Thomas Hill) Green

Green, Thomas Hill

Thomas Hill Green, 1836–82, English idealist philosopher. Educated at Oxford, he was associated with the university all his life. He was professor of moral philosophy there from 1878 until his death. In his Introduction to Hume's Treatise on Human Nature (1874), Green struck a heavy blow at traditional British empiricism. Rejecting sensationalism, he argued that all reality lies in relations, that relations exist only for a thinking consciousness, and that therefore the world is constituted by mind. In his Prolegomena to Ethics (1883) Green submitted an ethics of self-determination, which he epitomized in the phrase "Rules are made for man and not man for rules." Self-determination is present when humanity is conscious of its own desires, and freedom occurs when people identify themselves with what they consider morally good. Green's ethics are believed to have influenced, among others, John Dewey and Alfred North Whitehead. Politically, Green was a liberal; he asserted that government must represent the general will and that when it fails to do so it should be changed. See his Lectures on the Principles of Political Obligation (1895).

See M. Richter, The Politics of Conscience: T. H. Green and His Age (1983).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

T. H. (Thomas Hill) Green: Selected full-text books and articles

FREE! A Treatise on Human Nature: Being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects; And, Dialogues concerning Natural Religion By David Hume; T. H. Green; T. H. Grose Longmans Green, vol.1, 1882
Librarian’s tip: "Introduction" by T. H. Green
Introduction to Green's Moral Philosophy By W. D. Lamont G. Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1934
The Political Classics: Green to Dworkin By Murray Forsyth; Maurice Keens-Soper Oxford University Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Thomas Hill Green: Lectures on the Principles of Political Obligation"
Freedom for the Poor: Welfare and the Foundations of Democratic Citizenship By Timothy J. Gaffaney Westview Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "T. H. Green on Freedom and the Common Good "
The Nineteenth Century [Routledge History of Philosophy, V. 7] By C. L. Ten Routledge, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 14 "Green, Bosanquet, and the Philosophy of Coherence"
The Idealistic Argument in Recent British and American Philosophy By G. Watts Cunningham Century, 1933
Librarian’s tip: Chap. II "Thomas Hill Green (1836-1882)"
The Social Philosophy of English Idealism By A. J. M. Milne Allen & Unwin, 1962
Librarian’s tip: Chap. III "T. H. Green's Theory of Morality" and Chap. IV "T. H. Green's Political Philosophy"
Ideologies and Political Theory: A Conceptual Approach By Michael Freeden Clarendon Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: "The Idealist Liberalism of T. H. Green" begins on p. 178
Freedom and History By H. D. Lewis Allen & Unwin, 1962
Librarian’s tip: Chap. One "Does the Good Will Define Its Own Content? -- A Study of T. H. Green's Prolegomena to Ethics," Chap. Three "Individualism and Collectivism -- A Study of T. H. Green," Chap. Four "The Individualism of T. H. Green," and Chap. Five "T. H. Green an
Politics and Opinion in the Nineteenth Century: An Historical Introduction By John Bowle Oxford University Press, 1954
Librarian’s tip: "Neo-Hegelian Humanism: T. H. Green: F. H. Bradley" begins on p. 274
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