- John Morrow
Thomas Hill Green (1836-82) was a figure of far-reaching influence, whose doctrines affected British thought and public policy more than any other philosopher around the turn of the century.
Idealist philosopher, liberal political theorist, and reformer, Green led the British renaissance of Hegelian philosophy in the 1870s, and ensured its total supersedence of Utilitarianism as the most prominent philosophical school in universities. Unlike German philosophical Idealism, so often used as a rationale of conservatism, Green used British Idealism as part of a practical programme of liberal reform. He attacked received views in metaphysics and theory of knowledge, and popular ideas that regarded man as a part of nature governed by deterministic laws. Emphasizing man's spirituality, Green's philosophical position left space for religious belief, although he abandoned many traditional Christian ideas. He saw human personality as an essentially social phenomenon, arguing that isolated natural man as moral agent was inconceivable. His special combination of moral individualism with collectivism, particularly his view of the state as an individual agent of moral improvement, led him to support the enlargement of the state's responsibility to the citizen, anticipating later developments such as the Welfare State. Green brought philosophy to a central position in the political life of Britain, unequalled before or since.
At the start of the century, Idealism was forced to retreat under the realist attacks of Moore and Russell. But Green, along with the Idealism movement as a whole, is now being reassessed and his importance, particularly in his articulation of the problems of political philosophy, again realized. This collection includes: Nettleship's edition of the Works, produced shortly after Green's death, and including miscellanies and a memoir; his key ethical work Prolegomena to Ethics; plus a newly collected volume of material including letters and papers. Green's works have never been brought together in this form before, making this the most complete edition ever published.
--the most complete collection of Green's works ever published
--includes a fifth volume of previously uncollected material, newly reset
--includes a new bibliography and previously unpublished material
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