See also:English philosopher, the most typical English representative of the school of thought called Neo-Kantian, or Neo-Hegelian, was
See also:born on the 7th of
See also:April 1836 at Birkin, a
See also:village in the West
See also:Riding of
See also:Yorkshire, of which his
See also:father was rector . On the paternal side he was descended from Oliver
See also:Cromwell, whose honest, sturdy independence of character he seemed to have inherited . His
See also:education was conducted entirely at home until, at the age of fourteen, he entered
See also:Rugby, where he remained five years . In 1855 he became an undergraduate member of Balliol
See also:Oxford, of which society he was, in 186o, elected
See also:fellow . His
See also:life, hence-forth, was devoted to teaching (mainly philosophical) in the university—first as college tutor, afterwards, from 1878 until his
See also:death (at Oxford on the 26th of
See also:March 1882) as
See also:Professor of Moral Philosophy . The lectures he delivered as professor
See also:form the substance of his two most important
See also:works, viz. the Prolegomena to Ethics and the Lectures on the Principles of
See also:Obligation, which contain the whole of his
See also:positive constructive teaching . These works were not published until after his death, but
See also:Green's views were previously known indirectly through the Introduction to the standard edition of Hume's works by Green and T . H .
See also:Grose (d . 1906), fellow of
See also:Queen's College, in which the
See also:doctrine of the " English " or " empirical " philosophy was exhaustively examined . Hume's empiricism, combined with a belief in biological
See also:evolution (derived from
See also:Spencer), was the chief feature in English thought during the third quarter of the 19th century . Green represents primarily the reaction against doctrines which, when carried out to their logical conclusion, not only " rendered all philosophy futile," but were fatal to
See also:practical life .
By reducing the human mind to aseries of unrelated atomic sensations, this teaching destroyed the possibility of knowledge, and further, by representing man as a " being who is simply the result of natural forces," it made conduct, or any theory of conduct, unmeaning; for life in any human, intelligible sense implies a
See also:personal self which (I) knows what to do, (2) has power to do it . Green was thus driven, not theoretically, but as a practical
See also:necessity, to raise again the whole question of man in relation to nature . When (he held) we have discovered what man in him-self is, and what his relation to his environment, we shall then know his function—what he is fitted to do . In the
See also:light of this knowledge we shall be able to formulate the moral
See also:code, which,
See also:ill turn, will serve as a criterion of actual civic and social institutions . These form, naturally and necessarily, the
See also:objective expression of moral ideas, and it is in some civic or social whole that the moral ideal must finally take concrete shape . To ask " What is man?" is to ask "What is experience ?" for experience means that of which I am conscious . The facts of consciousness are the only facts which, to begin with, we are justified in asserting to exist . On the other
See also:hand, they are valid evidence for whatever is necessary to their own explanation, i.e. for whatever is logically involved in them . Now the most striking characteristic of man, that in fact which marks him specially, as contrasted with other animals, is self-consciousness . The simplest
See also:act into which we can analyse the operations of the human mind—the act of sense-perception—is never merely a
See also:physical or psychical, but is the consciousness of a change . Human experience consists, not of processes in an animal organism, but of these processes recognized as such . That which we perceive is from the outset an apprehended fact—that is to say, it cannot be analysed into isolated elements (so-called sensations) which, as such, are not constituents of consciousness at all, but exists from the first as a synthesis of relations in a consciousness which keeps distinct the " self " and the various elements of the "
See also:object," though holding all together in the unity of the act of perception .
In other words, the whole mental structure we
See also:call knowledge consists, in its simplest equally withits most complex constituents, of the "
See also:work of the mind."
See also:Locke and Hume held that the work of the mind was eo ipso unreal because it was " made by " man and not " given to " man . It thus represented a subjective creation, not an objective fact . But this consequence follows only upon the
See also:assumption that the work of the mind is arbitrary, an assumption shown to be unjustified by the results of exact science, with the distinction. universally recognized, which such science draws between truth and falsehood, between the real and " mere ideas." This (obviously valid) distinction logically involves the consequence that the object, or content, of knowledge, viz. reality, is an intelligible ideal reality, a
See also:system of thought relations, a spiritual cosmos . How is the existence of this ideal whole to be accounted for ? Only by the existence of some " principle which renders all relations possible and is itself determined by none of them "; an eternal self-consciousness which knows in whole what we know in
See also:part . To
See also:God the
See also:world is, to man the world becomes . Human experience is God gradually made manifest . - Carrying on the same
See also:analytical method into the
See also:special department of moral philosophy, Green held that ethics applies to the
See also:peculiar conditions of social life that investigation into man's nature which
See also:metaphysics began . The
See also:faculty employed in this further investigation is no "
See also:separate moral faculty," but that same reason which is the source of all our knowledge—ethical and other . Self-reflection gradually reveals to us human capacity, human
See also:function, with, consequently, human responsibility . It brings out into clear consciousness certain potentialities in the realization of which man's true
See also:good must consist . As the result of this analysis, combined with an investigation into the surroundings man lives in, a " content "—a moral code—becomes gradually evolved .
Personal good is perceived to be realizable only by making actual the conceptions thus arrived at . Solong as these remain potential or ideal, they form the
See also:motive of
See also:action; motive consisting always in the idea of some " end " or " good " which man presents to himself as an end in the attainment of which he would be satisfied, that is, in the realization of which he would find his true self . The determination to realize the self in some definite way constitutes an "act of will," which, as thus constituted, is neither arbitrary nor externally determined . For the motive which may be said to be its cause lies in the man himself, and the
See also:identification of the self with such a motive is a self-determination, which is at once both rational and
See also:free . The " freedom of man " is constituted, not by a supposed ability to do anything he may choose, but in the power to identify him-self with that true good which reason reveals to him as his true good . This good consists in the realization of personal character; hence the final good, i.e. the moral ideal, as a whole, can be realized only in some society of persons who, while remaining ends to themselves in the sense that their individuality is not lost but rendered more perfect, find this prefection attainable only when the separate individualities are integrated as part of a social whole . Society is as necessary to form persons as persons are to constitute society . Social union is the indispensable
See also:condition of the development of the special capacities of the individual members . Human self-perfection cannot be gained in
See also:isolation; it is attainable only in inter-relation with fellow-citizens in the social community . The
See also:law of our being, so revealed, involves in its turn civic or political duties . Moral goodness cannot be limited to, still less constituted by, the cultivation of self-regarding virtues, but consists in the attempt to realize in practice that moral ideal which self-analysis has revealed to us as our ideal . From this fact arises the ground of political obligation, for the institutions of political or civic life are the concrete embodiment of moral ideas in terms of our
See also:day and generation .
But, as society exists only for the proper development of persons, we have a criterion by which to test these institutions, viz. do they, or do they not, contribute to the development of moral character in the individual citizens ? It is obvious that the final moral ideal is not realized in any
See also:body of civic institutions actually existing, but the same analysis which demonstrates this deficiency points out the direction which a true development will take . Hence arises the conception of rights and duties which skould be maintained by law, as opposed to those actually maintained; with the further consequence that it may become occasionally a moral
See also:duty to
See also:rebel against the state in the
See also:interest of the state itself, that is, in
See also:order better to subserve that end or function which constitutes the raison d'etre of the state . The state does not consist in any definite concrete organization formed once for all . It represents a " general will " which is a
See also:desire for a
See also:common good . Its basis is not a coercive authority imposed upon the citizens from without, but consists in the spiritual recognition, on the part of the citizens, of that which constitutes their true nature . " Will, not force, is the basis of the state." Green's teaching was, directly and indirectly, the most potent philosophical influence in England during the last quarter of the 19th century, while his
See also:enthusiasm for a common citizenship, and his personal example in practical municipal life, inspired much of the effort made, in the years succeeding his death, to bring, the
See also:universities more into
See also:touch with the
See also:people, and to break down the rigour of class distinctions . Of his philosophical doctrine proper, the most striking characteristic is Integration, as opposed to Disintegration, both in thought and in reality . " That which is " is a whole, not an aggregate an organic complex of parts, not a
See also:mechanical mass; a " whole ' too not material but spiritual, a " world of thought-relations." On the critical side this teaching is now admittedly valid against the older empiricism, and the cogency of the reasoning by which his constructive theory is supported is generally recognized . Nevertheless, Green's statement of his conclusions presents important difficulties . Even apart from the impossibility of conceiving a whole of relations which are relations and nothing else (this objection is perhaps largely verbal), no explanation is given of the fact (obvious in experience) that the spiritual entities of which the Universe is composed appear material . Certain elements
See also:present themselves in feeling which seem stubbornly to resist any attempt to explain them in. terms of thought .
While, again, legitimately insisting upon
See also:personality as a fundamental constituent in any true theory of reality, the relation between human individualities and the divine
See also:Person is
See also:left vague and obscure; nor is it easy to see how the existence of several individualities—human or divine—in one cosmos is theoretically possible . It is at the solution of these two questions that philosophy in the immediate future may be expected to work . Green's most important treatise—the Prolegomena to Ethics—practically
See also:complete in
See also:manuscript at his death—was published in the
See also:year following, under the editorship of A . C . Bradley (4th ed., 1899) . Shortly afterwards R . L . Nettleship's standard edition of his Works (exclusive of the Prolegomena) appeared in three volumes: vol. i. containing reprints of Green's
See also:criticism of Hume, Spencer, Lewes; vol. ii . Lectures on
See also:Kant, on Logic, on the Principles of Political Obligation; vol. iii . Miscellanies, preceded by a full Memoir by the Editor . The Principles of Political Obligation was afterwards published in separate form . A criticism of Neo-Hegelianism will be found in Andrew
See also:Seth (
See also:Pattison), Hegelianism and Personality .
See also articles in Mind (
See also:January and April 1884) by A . J .
See also:Balfour and
See also:Sidgwick, in the Academy (
See also:xxviii . 242 and
See also:xxv . 297) by S .
See also:Alexander, and in the Philosophical Review (vi., 1897) by S . S . Laurie; W . H . Fairbrother, Philosophy of T . H . Green (
See also:London and New
See also:York, 1896); D .
G .Ritchie, The Principles of State Interference (London, 1891); H . Sidgwick, Lectures on the Philosophy of Kant (London, 1905); J . H . Muirhead, The Service of the State: Four Lectures on the Political Teaching of T . H . Green (1908); A . W . Bean, English Rationalism in the XIXth Century (1906), vol. ii., pp . 401
See also:foil . (W . H .
MATTHEW GREEN (1696-1737)
VALENTINE GREEN (1739–1813)
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