Bradley, Francis Herbert

Bradley, Francis Herbert

Bradley, Francis Herbert, 1846–1924, English philosopher. He was educated at Oxford, where he became a fellow of Merton College in 1876. His works include Ethical Studies (1876), Principles of Logic (1883), and Appearance and Reality (1893). In logic, Bradley attacked the psychological tendencies of empiricism by differentiating sharply between the mental act as a psychological event and its universal meaning; to him only the latter was the concern of logic. In metaphysics Bradley held that many phenomena considered real, such as space and time, are only appearances. Reality, or what Bradley called the Absolute, is an all-inclusive whole that transcends thought. Although greatly influenced by Hegel, Bradley's metaphysics is generally considered a highly original contribution to philosophical thought.


See his collection of essays (2 vol., 1935) and T. S. Eliot, Knowledge and Experience in the Philosophy of F. H. Bradley (1989).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bradley, Francis Herbert


Born Jan. 30, 1846, in Clapham; died Sept. 18, 1924, in Oxford. English idealistic philosopher and leader of English neo-Hegelianism.

Bradley was a graduate of Oxford University. His “absolute idealism” was an attempt to combine Hume’s skepticism with Hegel’s idealism and certain concepts of Kantian transcendentalism. Eliminating the concept of development from the Hegelian dialectical method and using formalistic logical principles as a point of departure, Bradley expressed his view of the dialectic as proof of the contradictoriness of the scientific understanding of the world in the work Appearance and Reality (1893; 2nd ed., 1969). He viewed the dialectical method as a means of breaking down sensory data to attain true “supraempirical” reality, which has a divine character.


Ethical Studies. New York, 1951.
The Principles of Logic, vols. 1-2. London, 1928.
Essays on Truth and Reality. Oxford, 1914.


Bogomolov, A. S. Anglo-amerikanskaia burzhuaznaia filosofüa epokhi imperializma. Moscow, 1964.
Metz, R. Die philosophischen Strömungen der Gegenwart in Grossbritannien, vol. 1. Leipzig, 1935.
Church, R. W. Bradley’s Dialectic. Ithaca, 1942.
Saxena, S. K. Studies of the Metaphysics of Bradley. New York, 1907.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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