Idealist Political and Social Philosophy
Of all its contributions to the discipline, it is the political and social philosophy of British Idealism that has enjoyed the longest life. While their doctrines in metaphysics, religion, and logic were swiftly forgotten once the movement's heyday had passed, their social thought continued to attract consideration. This chapter begins with a detailed discussion of the political philosophy of Green, explaining its key ideas—such as its account of freedom and of rights—and defending it from some of the criticisms that have been raised against it. Consideration is then given of the ways in which these ideas were developed by Edward Caird, Mackenzie, Jones, Ritchie, and MacCunn; also of the various ways in which idealists responded to the notion of evolution. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the ways in which idealist political philosophers were closely involved in questions of the practical application of their ideas, including issues of education.
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