F. H. Bradley was the most influential of the British Idealists. He was born in 1846, and in 1870 he was elected to a Fellowship at Merton College, Oxford. He retained this Fellowship, which did not require him to teach, until his death in 1924. His most ambitious book, Appearance and Reality, was published in 1893, and throughout the 1890s he was perhaps the most prominent philosopher in Britain. Certainly he was taken very seriously in the philosophical world inhabited by Russell and Moore in the early 1890s. Russell says of G. F. Stout, one of his teachers, that he 'thought very highly of Bradley; when Appearance and Reality was published, he said it had done as much as is humanly possible in ontology'. 1 Of himself, Russell says, 'I read Bradley at this time with avidity, and admired him more than any other recent philosopher'. 2 In an essay he wrote at this time, Russell called Appearance and Reality an 'epoch-making work'. 3 Moore makes an even more striking statement about Bradley. In the first version of his Research Fellowship Dissertation (written in 1896-7), he mentions Caird's Critical Philosophy of Kant, but says that he is prevented from sympathizing with certain features of this work 'by my far greater agreement with Mr. F. H. Bradley's general philosophical attitude. It is to Mr. Bradley that I chiefly owe my conception of the fundamental problems of Metaphysics.' 4 In view of this influence, it is important for our purposes to examine Bradley's philosophy.