John Ellis McTaggart

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

McTaggart, John Ellis


Born Sept. 3, 1866, in London; died there Jan. 18, 1925. English idealist philosopher. Taught at Cambridge University from 1897.

McTaggart interpreted Hegelian philosophy from the standpoint of radical personalism, combining it with Leibniz’ doctrine of monads. The Absolute Idea is not a subject-substance, as it is in Hegel, but a “spiritual community” of individuals. There is no supraindividual consciousness; instead, individual consciousness is the timeless substance of the world. McTaggart concluded that the soul is immortal, irrespective of the acceptance of the idea of God. It is characteristic of McTaggart that he upheld “some dogmas of religion” and declared that “true philosophy ought to be mystical.”


Some Dogmas of Religion. London, 1906.
A Commentary on Hegel’s Logic. Cambridge, 1910.
Studies in Hegelian Cosmology, 2nd ed. Cambridge, 1918.
Studies in the Hegelian Dialectic, 2nd ed. Cambridge, 1922.
The Nature of Existence, vols. 1-2. Cambridge, 1968.


Kissel’, M. A. “D. M.-Taggart i ego kontseptsiia dialektiki.” Vestnik LGU: Seriia ekonomiki, filosofii i prava, 1963, vol. 1, no. 5.
Broad, C. D. Examination of McTaggart’s Philosophy, vols. 1-2. Cambridge, 1933-38.


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