Anthony Quinton (1925–2010) was a British philosopher. Quinton served as president of Trinity College, Oxford and as chairman of the British Library. His works include The Nature of Things, Hume, and From Wodehouse to Wittgenstein.

Springtime for Hegel

Until recently the only substantial biography of Hegel was the one brought out by his follower Karl Rosenkranz in 1844, thirteen years after Hegel’s death. The book has not been translated and it is perhaps significant that it is merely mentioned, with no comment on its uniqueness, in Frederick Copleston’s …

My Son the Philosopher

Most histories of philosophy are methodologically naive. In their standard form the separate chapters are each dedicated to a particular philosopher. Each begins with a sketchy outline of biography, with some attention, perhaps, to teachers and influences. The rest is exposition and possibly a bit of criticism. There are some …

A Master Materialist

More than a few notable philosophers have been doctors. Four that come to mind are Locke, Hartley, Lotze, and William James. Locke’s medical services to Lord Shaftesbury got him started on his public career as ideologist-in-chief to the Whigs, who wanted to exclude James II from succeeding his brother Charles …

Idealists Against the Jews

The suggestion of the title of Paul Rose’s imposing book that Kant, the patron saint of liberal humanitarianism, was in fact the initiator of an important, and perhaps the crucial, strand in German anti-Semitism may come as something of a shock. But for this and for a number of other, …

The Right Stuff

Alfred North Whitehead rumbles around in the intellectual history of the English-speaking world in the twentieth century like a loose bolt in a machine. He was made of the right stuff: a professional mathematician who turned into a professional philosopher who was also magnificently equipped with a general fund of …

Know It All

Who needs an encyclopedia of over 3,000 pages, some 324 cubic inches (or about a fifth of a cubic foot) in volume, and containing more than six-and-a-half million words? The answer must be: everyone who is strong enough to lift it or to sustain its considerable weight on his lap …

Spreading Hegel’s Wings—II

In the first part of this article I discussed the current state of opinion about Hegel, his relation to previous philosophy, in particular that of Kant, and went on to consider his theory of knowledge or method and its most grandiose application in his general metaphysics. I concluded that recent …

Spreading Hegel’s Wings

Hegel’s reputation in the English-speaking world was at its lowest ebb in 1945. That was the year of Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, with its genially dismissive treatment of Hegel, and of the stormy invective of the Hegel chapter in Karl Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies. In Britain …

Rational American

What are epistemologists for? One conception of the role of the philosophical theorist of knowledge has a consoling quality. It appeals to the epistemologist by assigning him a reasonably dignified position, and to the generally interested public, which it sees as his clients, it has the merit of taking him …

Locker Room Metaphysics

How far can philosophy be subdivided into departmental pieces? Can there be a philosophy of anything? These questions are inspired by the books by Paul Weiss and Howard Slusher, each of which proclaims itself to be a pioneering contribution to the philosophy of sport. Not all that long ago the …

Salomé Unveiled

Lou Andreas-Salomé was the greatest intellectuals’ woman of her age, the two decades on either side of 1900; the most distinguished performer since Madame de Staël in her particular field, but unique as a tease, as an exponent of not kiss and tell. Her three principal conquests (Nietzsche, Rilke, and …

Philosopher, Inc.

Particular academic disciplines do not institute bodies formally charged with the maintenance of ethical standards, as do such professions as medicine and law whose services have a more immediate practical interest. But they do develop some sort of agreement about the line between respectable and less respectable ways of practicing …

Philosophy in a Cold Climate

The Polish philosophy of this century, best known for its achievements in formal logic, is a most impressive cultural phenomenon. In his extensive study of its vicissitudes during the Stalinist period Zbigniew Jordan observes that its beginning can be exactly dated. In 1895, when he was thirty-one, Kazimierz Twardowski returned …

Cut-Rate Salvation

Any effort to get a clear view of Marshall McLuhan’s doctrines is seriously discouraged by his explicit and repeatedly expressed scorn for old-fashioned, print-oriented, “linear,” rationality. By rejecting as obsolete the humdrum business of setting out definite theses, assembling evidence in support of them, and undermining actual and possible objections, …

Hobbes in One Piece

The ideas of Hobbes have never ceased to be a source of annoyance since their first bold and pugnacious presentation to the world in 1640. But even those most offended by Hobbes’s bleak account of human nature and of the most a reasonable man will hope for must admit his …

The Importance of Quine

Modern analytic philosophy is descended from a fertile if temporary union between the revived formal logic of our age and empiricist philosophy. In the last decades of the nineteenth century logic underwent, at the hands of Frege, its most important developments since Aristotle started it off as a systematic discipline.

Large Questions

Whether man is a part of nature or not is one of the largest and most persistent problems of philosophy, and unlike many philosophical problems it is a matter about which every moderately reflective person is likely to have an opinion. Most people, like most philosophers, are dualists, believing, with …