Collingwood, Robin George

Collingwood, Robin George

Collingwood, Robin George, 1889–1943, English philosopher and historian. From 1908 he was associated with Oxford as student, fellow, lecturer in history, and professor of philosophy. Collingwood believed that philosophy should be rooted in history rather than in formal science, and he attempted to correlate creative endeavor with historical experience rather than to sensation. He was also significant as a historian. In Roman Britain (1936) and in some 150 monographs he brilliantly reconstructed that ancient era from his study of coins and inscriptions. For his philosophical thought, see Speculum Mentis (1924), An Essay on Philosophic Method (1933), Principles of Art (1938), and The Idea of History (1946).


See studies by A. Donagan (1962, repr. 1986), M. Kraus, ed. (1972), and L. O. Mink (1987).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Collingwood, Robin George


Born Feb. 22, 1889, in Cartmel Fell, Lancashire; died Jan. 9, 1943, in Coniston, Lancashire. English idealist philosopher and historian and representative of neo-Hegelianism. Authority on the history of ancient Britain.

Collingwood was a professor of philosophy at Oxford from 1935 to 1941. Under the influence of B. Croce, Collingwood sought to establish a link between philosophy and history. He held that philosophy ought to adopt the historical method and that both disciplines have a common subject—human thought developing historically. The historian studies human thought by analyzing the products of spiritual and material culture, and the philosopher, by interpreting the data of self-consciousness and by introspection. According to Collingwood, thought forms a hierarchy of “forms of experience” based on imagination, symbolization, and abstraction (art, religion, science, natural science, history, and philosophy). Opposing neopositivism, he advocated the traditions of idealist metaphysics derived from Plato and Hegel.


Speculum mentis. Oxford, 1924.
Essay on Philosophical Method. Oxford [1933].
The New Leviathan. Oxford, 1942.
An Autobiography. New York, 1944.
The Principles of Art. Oxford, 1947.
The Idea of Nature. Oxford, 1945.
The Idea of History. Oxford, 1956.
The Archaeology of Roman Britain. London, 1969. (With I. Richmond.)


Kissel’, M. A. ‘“Kriticheskaia filosofiia istorii’ v Velikobritanii.” Voprosy istorii, 1968, no. 5.
Kissel’, M. A. Uchenie o dialektike v burzhuaznoi filosofii 20 v. [Leningrad] 1970.
Donagan, A. The Later Philosophy of R. G. Collingwood. Oxford, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Collingwood, Robin George. Religion and Philosophy.
Collingwood, Robin George. "The Devil." In Concerning Prayer: Its Nature, its Difficulties and its Value.
Collingwood, Robin George. "Lectures on the Philosophy of St.
Collingwood, Robin George. "Ruskin's Philosophy: An Address delivered at the Ruskin Centenary Conference, Coniston, August 8th, 1919".
Collingwood, Robin George. Outlines of a Philosophy of Art.
Collingwood, Robin George. "Reason is Faith Cultivating Itself (1927)." In Faith and Reason: Essays in the Philosophy of Religion by R.G.
Collingwood, Robin George. "Faith and Reason" A pamphlet in the Affirmation Series.