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Bradley, Francis Herbert (1846-1924)


Francis Herbert Bradley is said to be the greatest logician in British philosophy; he demolished the assumptions of Hegelian utilitarian, and hedonistic ethics, an achievement that compelled materialism and empiricism to abolish a number of their concepts. His attacks against empiricism, emphasizing experience exclusively, led to his expounding a new metaphysical system of absolute idealism. It was characterized by acceptance of the contradiction between concept and reality. But Bradley, a brilliant thinker, found that his own logic turned against him, forcing him in his later years to abandon some of his personal theories. But with the growth of enriching wisdom, he finally crowned his estimable career by acknowledging the depth of Plato's genius and adopting a platonic mysticism. His work Appearance and Reality (1893) is one of the epochal books of modern philosophy. A.G.H.


Sources: 1, 4: 169; 2, 34.