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Ten Neglected Classics of Philosophy$
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Eric Schliesser

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199928903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199928903.001.0001

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Bradley’s Appearance and Reality

Bradley’s Appearance and Reality

(p.120) Chapter 5 Bradley’s Appearance and Reality
Ten Neglected Classics of Philosophy

Michael Della Rocca

Oxford University Press

This paper explains and defends F.H. Bradley’s central argument in Appearance and Reality, i.e. his infinite regress argument concerning relations. Relata depend on other relata which depend on other relata and so on. Since Bradley’s argument claims that relations have to be grounded, and he can find no rational grounding given such regress and circularity of relations, he concludes relations are not real. Bradley thus emerges as an idealist and a monist; like the ancient philosopher Parmenides and many succeeding philosophers, he rejects diversity and multiplicity in favor of an underlying unity. Bradley’s central argument is strong and therefore the founding story of analytical philosophy, according to which Bertrand Russell and G.E. Moore vanquished the hapless Bradley, is nothing more than a founding myth.

Keywords:   F. H. Bradley, Bertrand Russell, G.E. Moore, Appearance and Reality, monist, relations, analytical philosophy, Parmenides

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