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Bosanquet, Bernard (1848-1923)


Bernard Bosanquet was an English philosopher, mystic, and memorable teacher and influential guide to many thinkers, notably William James. This leading British thinker's desire to lead an ethical and moral life led him to resign his distinguished posts at Oxford in order to present his gifts to a larger audience; as a consequence he became an active member of the London Ethical Society and the Charity Organization Society. Both were positive demonstrations of Bosanquet's philosophy because he believed man should abandon himself to something larger than himself if he is to achieved a catharsis and self realization, the cosmic drama directed by the Absolute, which is the only means to experiencing a cosmic, mystical oneness.

Bosanquet was one of the leaders of the so-called neo-Hegelian philosophical movement in Great Britain. He derived his ideas from the ancient Greek philosopher Plato and the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Fredrich Hegel. Bosanquet wrote on logic, metaphysics, aesthetics, politics, and ethics. Among his best-known works were the Gifford lectures, The Principle of Individuality and Virtue and The Value and Destiny of the Individual published 1912 and 1913 respectively. A.G.H.


Sources: 1, 4: 116; 2, 33-34.