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By David Boucher

British Idealism -- stimulated on the finish of the eighteenth century via the nature of German Idealist inspiration built via Kant, Fichte and Hegel -- started to identify its roots throughout the heart of the 19th century and swiftly turned the dominant British philosophy. it all started to be challenged on the flip of the century by means of philosophers together with Bertrand Russell and via the top of the 1st global conflict it used to be at the retreat, even if its philosophical reverberations are nonetheless glaring. Testimony to this truth is the significant renaissance of Idealist reviews, and especially within the works of its newest twentieth-century exponents, Michael Oakeshott and R.G. Collingwood. This booklet bargains an creation to British Idealism via a examine of every of the seven key thinkers -- T. H. eco-friendly, Bernard Bosanquet, F. H. Bradley, Henry Jones, David Ritchie, R. G. Collingwood, and Michael Oakeshott. It explores the spiritual, political, ethical, ideological, and financial topics that underpin their paintings, stressing the relevance in their philosophy -- with the emphasis on social cohesiveness and the connection among person and collective accountability -- to present politics.Written through of the major specialists within the box, this can be a priceless textual content that may introduce the speculation of British Idealism to a large diversity of readers.

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Thus, when liberals spoke of freedom of contract it was not just freedom from restraint, but the maximum power of all members of a community to make the best of themselves. State involvement in the regulation of drink, housing conditions, land ownership, employment conditions and education was justifiable on the above grounds. Interference should at all times be directed to removing barriers and providing the conditions for the realisation of citizens’ powers. The central category of Green’s political philosophy was therefore citizenship, understood in a metaphysical framework.

Thus, beneath the events of the English civil war, deeper ideas were at work, deriving from the Reformation. However, Green’s conclusion is that the civil war moved events too fast. The English Commonwealth was a projection of freedom beyond its time. This was the tragedy of the English Republicans. Despite the fact that the civil war obstructed the transition from feudalism to absolute monarchy, prevented a Catholic reaction and facilitated sectarian growth, none the less, it was, as Green put it, ‘a spirit without a body, a force with no lasting means of action on the world around it.

He contended, for example, that the established Anglican church under Archbishop Laud had emulated the Catholic church, before the Reformation, and become fixed into abstract dogma and creedal adherence. It became typical of what Green referred to as a ‘religion of ordinance’. In this setting, the individual’s actions were not judged by God or some higher standard of Reason, but rather by the ordinances of the church. For Green, Catholicism and Laudian Anglicanism consequently encouraged an asocial, rule-governed and otherworldly stance.

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