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Isaiah Berlin Lecture
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British Academy Senior Research Fellowship

The Faculty is very pleased to announce that Bill Mander has been awarded a British Academy Senior Research Fellowship.  The award will be held from 1 October 2008 to 30 September 2009.  For further details about British Academy SRF awards see

Dr Mander’s research seeks to arrive at a full understanding of the movement commonly known as British Idealism. Sharply separated from styles of thought that came either before or after, lasting some fifty years, at its height taking in the majority of native philosophers, and making a deep impression on British society as a whole – by any reckoning this was a major episode in the history of philosophy in this country. Yet most contemporary philosophers remain in ignorance about it, or have only the sketchiest idea of what it involved. The study will examine its origins, the reasons for its success, and the course of its eventual decline; but as an exercise in history of philosophy, above all the analysis will be of its ideas and arguments, explaining the thoughts behind their initially strange appearance, criticising them where they are weak, defending them where they have been unfairly attacked, and bringing out what they have to say to contemporary philosophers. The study will be distinctive in that it will consider the movement as a whole, across all the branches of philosophy, not just political thought, and across all its figures, not just the famous ones. Where narrower approaches would see only the clash between idealism and its opponents, the value of this wider view is to draw attention to the rich dialogue that took place between the idealists themselves.

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