Thomas Hill Green

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Green, Thomas Hill


Born Apr. 7. 1836. at Birkin. Yorkshire; died Mar. 26, 1882, at Oxford. English idealist philosopher. Representative of neo-Hegelianism. From 1878 professor at Oxford University.

Under the influence of German classical idealism, and especially of Hegel’s philosophy, Green opposed the positivism of J. Mill and H. Spencer, which at that time dominated English philosophical thought. He called for a rejection of the philosophical tradition that began with J. Locke and D. Hume and for a return to the philosophy of absolute idealism. Green believed that reality is a system of relations created by an eternal self-consciousness, by god, and that the individual consciousness is secondary to this eternal consciousness. In ethics. Green rejected utilitarianism, regarding morality as the self-determination of the individual will, which identified with the demands of existing society. He reduced the progress of society to the progress of the self-consciousness of individuals. Green’s works were published posthumously.


Works, 3rd ed.. vols. 1–3. London, 1906.


Debol’skii. N. G. “Grin, kak metafizik.” In the collection Novye idei v filosofii, vol. 17. St. Petersburg. 1914.
Bogomolov, A. S. Anglo-amerikanskaia burzhuaznaia filosofiia epokhi imperializma. Moscow. 1964. Pages 60–62.
Lamont, W. D. Introduction to Green’s Moral Philosophy. London [1934].
Richter, M. The Politics of Conscience: T. H. Green and His Age. Cambridge, 1964.


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