Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Philosophers

By Stuart Brown; Diané Collinson et al. | Go to book overview


This contains short descriptions and bibliographies concerning the major schools of philosophy mentioned in the main entries. Names in bold indicate that there are individual entries for these philosophers. The Category Index (p. 909-917) and the Index of Interests (p. 918-924) list those philosophers connected with particular schools and movements.

Absolute Idealism

A form of idealism that stems from Schelling and Hegel and which includes Hegelianism, though it was developed outside Germany as much with reference to native philosophical controversy as to Hegel. Forms of absolute idealism were developed in England by Bradley,Joachim and Bosanquet and, in America, by Royce,Calkins and Blanshard. Absolute idealism regards the world of sense as only partially real. Human knowledge, or what passes as such, is highly fragmentary and partial. True knowledge is of propositions that perfectly cohere with one another. Whatever is real is an aspect of the eternal consciousness or Absolute Spirit. Absolute idealism had some tendency to pantheism and collectivism and was opposed by those wishing to emphasize individual persons in metaphysics (personalists) and in politics.

Cunningham, G. Watts (1993) The Idealistic Argument in Recent British and American Philosophy, Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press.
Joachim, H.H. (1906) The Nature of Truth, Oxford.
Metz, Rudolf (1938) A Hundred Years of British Philosophy, trans. J.W. Harvey, T.E. Jessop and H. Sturt, ed. J.H. Muirhead, London: Allen & Unwin. (Originally published in German, Heidelberg, 1934.)
Quinton, A.M. (1971-2) 'Absolute Idealism', Proceedings of the British Academy 57.
Randall Jr, John Herman (1967) 'F.H. Bradley and the working-out of absolute idealism', Journal of the History of Philosophy 5:245-67.
Robinson, Daniel S. (1951) 'Philosophy today: absolute idealism', Personalist 32:125-36.
Sprigge, T.L.S. (1983) The Vindication of Absolute Idealism, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.


Analytical Philosophy

Analytical philosophers are those who believe that the main, or the only, task for philosophy is the 'analysis' of concepts and that philosophy should not attempt, or can attempt only with qualifications, to be 'synthetic', i.e. to make statements about the nature of reality. Though the modern analytical movement has tended to be opposed to traditional metaphysics, analysis has been conceived as a part of philosophy at least since Socrates. The modern movement began with Frege's analytical work on the nature of mathematics and is characterized initially by an emphasis on logical analysis. Russell's theory of descriptions, which sought to show how a referring expression like 'the present King of France' could have meaning even though no such person exists, was taken to be a paradigm of logical analysis. Among the other leading early figures were Moore and the early Wittgenstein. The Vienna Circle, especially Carnap, was influenced by this phase of analytical philosophy and in turn influenced it, for instance, through A.J. Ayer. Though Cambridge and Vienna are commonly regarded as the birthplaces, Justus Hartnack has claimed that analytical philosophy originated, largely independently, in Uppsala. Poland also developed its own tradition of analytical philosophy, associated with Twardowski and the Lvov-Warsaw Circle.

Analytical philosophy has developed in a number of ways. One development was through the influence of the later Wittgenstein, who, after his return to philosophy in the late 1920s, became increasingly doubtful about the practice of reductive analysis. Strictly speaking, he rejected analysis, but his later linguistic philosophy is commonly regarded as a development within the same tradition rather than a repudiation of it. Analytical philosophy took root in the highly pluralistic culture of America and, in so doing, was itself affected by other movements such as pragmatism and, as a result, became more diverse. Because of these and other developments, many of the tenets characteristic of early analytic philosophy have been questioned from within the tradition. Some, like Quine, have attacked the analytic-synthetic distinction. Strawson, though he sought to defend it, was willing to engage in what he termed 'descriptive metaphysics'. The place of logic in philosophy is no longer agreed. Many analytical philosophers since the 1970s have had broader sympathies with traditions,


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Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Philosophers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • List of Abbreviated Sources xvi
  • List of Schools and Movements xxi
  • A 1
  • Main Publications: 19
  • Main Publications: 22
  • Main Publications: 24
  • Main Publications: 25
  • Main Publications: 29
  • B 41
  • Main Publications: 97
  • C - Cabral, Amilcar Lopes 119
  • Main Publications: 148
  • D 167
  • E 209
  • F 222
  • G 261
  • H 296
  • Main Publications: 323
  • Main Publications: 330
  • I 361
  • Main Publications: 365
  • J 370
  • Main Publications: 385
  • K 387
  • Main Publications: 405
  • Main Publications: 423
  • L 425
  • M 486
  • Main Publications: 491
  • Main Publications: 498
  • Main Publications: 540
  • N 558
  • Main Publications: 577
  • O 583
  • P 593
  • Main Publications: 605
  • Main Publications: 614
  • Main Publications: 626
  • Q 640
  • R 644
  • Main Publications: 657
  • S 690
  • Main Publications: 701
  • Main Publications: 704
  • T 764
  • U 795
  • V 800
  • W 817
  • Main Publications: 827
  • Main Publications: 833
  • Main Publications: 851
  • X 853
  • Y 857
  • Z 861
  • Guide to Schools and Movements 876
  • Bibliography 893
  • Nationality Index 903
  • Category Index 909
  • Index of Interests 918
  • Index of Influences 925
  • Index of People 936
  • Index of Subjects 945


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