Henry Sidgwick - Eye of the Universe: An Intellectual Biography

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9781107407343: Henry Sidgwick - Eye of the Universe: An Intellectual Biography

Henry Sidgwick is one of the great intellectual figures of 19th century Britain. He was first and foremost a great moral philosopher, whose masterwork Methods of Ethics is still widely studied today. But he was many other things besides, writing on religion, economics, politics, education and literature. He was deeply involved in the founding of first college for women at the University of Cambridge. He was a leading figure in parapsychology. He was also much concerned with the sexual politics of his close friend John Addington Symonds, a pioneer of gay studies. Through his famous student, G.E. Moore, a direct line can be traced from Sidgwick and his cirlce to the Bloomsbury group. Bart Schultz has written a magisterial overview of this great Victorian sage--the first comprehensive study, offering quite new critical perspectives on the life and the work. Sidgwick's ethical work is revealed as a necessarily guarded statement of his deepest philosphical convictions and doubts. All other areas of his writings are covered and presented in the context of the late Victorian culture of imperialism. ' This biography, or 'Goethean reconstruction' will be eagerly sought out by readers interested in philosophy, Victorian studies, political theory, the history of ideas, educational theory, the history of psychology and gender and gay studies. Bart Schultz is Fellow and Lecturer in the Division of the Humanities and Special Programs Coordinator in the Graham School of General Studies at the University of Chicago.

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Book Description:

Henry Sidgwick is one of the great intellectual figures of 19th century Britain. He was first and foremost a great moral philosopher, whose masterwork The Methods of Ethics is still widely studied today. But he was many other things besides, writing on economics, politics, education and literature. Bart Schultz has written a magisterial overview of this great Victorian sage.This biography will be eagerly sought out by readers interested in philosophy, Victorian literary studies, the history of ideas, the history of psychology and gender and gay studies.

Review:

"It will be a work on Sidgwick that all those who study him will have to reckon with for years to come. It is a welcome addition to the growing literature on Sidgwick." Philosophy in Review

"This book will be a godsend to dedicated scholars of Victorian life and culture. Recommended." H.J. John, emerita, Trinity College (DC), CHOICE

"The style is lively and direct...There is a deep, complex and carefully thought out thesis running through the work, one that strikes me as insightful and extremely useful in seeing Sidgwick's life and work altogether." J.B. Schneewind, author of Sidgwick's Ethics and Victorian Moral Philosophy

"the best biography of a philosopher to appear in many years, and perhaps the best ever produced about a British thinker" Martha Nussbaum for The Nation

"Bart Schultz has written a magisterial overview of this great Victorian sage. This biography will be eagerly sought out by readers interested in philosophy, Victorian literary studies, the history of ideas, the history of pyschology and gender and gay studies." Q Literature Summer Reading

"Henry Sidgwick was one of the greatest moral philosophers ever. With ever-increasing interest in his work, there is an urgent need for a book situating Sidgwick both in the history of ideas and in the context of his time. This fascinating, wide-ranging, and provocative book, by a fine scholar, meets that need." Roger Crisp, St. Anne's College, Oxford

"Henry Sidgwick remains a thinker of the first importance for present day work in moral and social thought. Bart Schulz's major new study spells out in accessible terms the content of Sidgwick's philosophy as well as the controversies it still generates. It also paints a broad and compelling picture of a great Victorian's wider intellectual and personal interests and those of his social circle. No other work brings these elements together so effectively: the philosophy, the man and the time. Anyone alsorested in Sidgwick will enjoy and profit from this book." John Skorupski, University of St. Andrews

"Schultz's erudite prose and meticulous scholarship make this a compelling study for ... libraries." Library Journal

"Schultz's volume deserves to be widely read by scholars of high Victorian history of science since it provides so rich an analysis of both the thought and the personality of a Victorian philosopher deeply impacted by the science of his day. It also provides a way to begin to understand the transformations in Cambridge University, where Sidgwick was a leading citizen for almost half a century, as the age of Whewell passed and a new kind of university began to emerge." Frank M. Turner

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