Gerald F. Gaus
Along with F. H. Bradley (chapter 15), T. H. Green and Bernard Bosanquet were the chief figures in what is commonly called British idealism. Bradley is widely regarded as the most eminent philosopher of the three; his Ethical Studies, published in 1876, was the first in-depth presentation of idealist ethics, including an account of the individual’s relation to society (Nicholson, [14.45], 6). But after this initial work, Bradley had little more to say about ethics; 1 the development of the moral, and especially the political, philosophy of British idealism was carried on by Green and his followers, particularly Bosanquet.
Though he published little in his lifetime, Green (1836-82) had enormous influence through his teaching at Oxford. Green was appointed tutor in philosophy at Balliol in 1866 and in 1878 became White’s Professor of Philosophy, a post he held until his death in 1882. Green’s influence on his students apparently stemmed as much from his moral earnestness and the religious implications of idealism as from his philosophy, prompting C. D. Broad’s jibe that he turned more undergraduates into prigs than Sidgwick ever made into philosophers ([14.20], 144). 2 As was the case with many of the British idealists, Green was a political and social reformer, being especially influential in educational reform (Gordon and White, [14.33]). Both of his major works were published after his death. Parts of his Prolegomena to Ethics were in a final form prior to his death; his main contribution to political philosophy was his Lectures on the Principles of Political Obligation, edited by R. L. Nettleship.
Green, while sometimes dismissed as a philosopher, is almost always treated nowadays with sympathy; Bosanquet (1840-1923) cuts