Essay on Philosophical Method, An

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240 pp., 1933 edition, Key Texts, pub date: January 2018

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Essay on Philosophical Method, An

Collingwood, R. G.

“My best book in matter; in style, I may call it my only book.” – R. G. Collingwood

Collingwood’s mature work of metaphysics seeks to overhaul the notion of philosophical method, assigning philosophy the task of “thinking out the idea of an object that shall completely satisfy the demands of reason.” He saw natural science and history falling short in their accounts of our knowledge and limited in their aims. Propositions in philosophy, he believes, must have the scope of both natural science and history, to be both universal and categorical. The Essay is particularly interesting as an embodiment of the idealistic metaphysics Collingwood abandoned in later life.

“One of the finest restatements of contemporary British philosophy of a Platonic and Hegelian metaphysic viewed from a modern standpoint.” – Times Literary Supplement