Edgar Sheffield Brightman

Brightman, Edgar Sheffield


Born Sept. 2,1884, in Holbrook; died 1953, in Boston. American idealist philosopher. Representative of personalism. Disciple of B. Bowne. Doctor of philosophy (1912), law (1929), and literature (1936). Professor at Brown University and the University of Nebraska; also a lecturer at Boston University and Harvard University.

Brightman concentrated his attention on the ethics of values (Nature and Value, 1945). The point of departure in Brightman’s philosophy is the “I personality,” conceived as a mystical self-consciousness or spiritual force. Because of its activity, expressed in the creation of values, the world acquires sense, coherence, and knowability. (See T. E. Hill, Sovremennye teorii poznaniia, translated from English, Moscow, 1965, pp. 82–83.) According to Brightman, the world’s primary substance is a personal god who is limited, however, by nonrational conditions (the Given), which are capable of engendering evil because they are not created by the divine will.


The Problem of God. New York [1930].
A Philosophy of Religion [2nd ed.]. New York [1947].
An Introduction to Philosophy. New York [1951].


Istoriia filosofii, vol. 4, book 2. Moscow, 1965. Page 76.


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