Bernard Bosanquet

Professor of Moral Philosophy, St Andrews

(1) The Principle of Individuality and Value (2) The Value and Destiny of the Individual

In his two series of lectures, Bosanquet focuses on the theme of human beings as ‘concrete universals’ as opposed to ‘abstract universals’. The ‘individual’ is not a distinct entity, separate from the world and independent of the forces of the universe. Instead, Bosanquet argues that to speak of the ‘individual’ is to speak of ‘participants’ in totality, or as members of the world. 


Bernard Bosanquet was born on 14 June 1848 in Northumberland, England. A philosopher and social theorist, his book, The Philosophical Theory of the State (1899), stands as one of the greatest achievements of British idealist philosophy. Classical scholar of Balliol College, Oxford, from 1866 to 1870, he went on to become a fellow of University College, teaching ancient Greek history and philosophy. In 1881, he resigned, having sufficient means to relocate to London to write and take up social work. His final academic post was Professor of Moral Philosophy at St Andrews from 1903 to 1907. 

A member of the Charity Organisation Society, the London Ethical Society, and the Aristotelian Society, he was made Fellow of the British Academy in 1907. His notable works include Logic, or the Morphology of Knowledge (1888), A History of Aesthetic (1892), Aspects of the Social Problem (1895), Psychology of the Moral Self (1897), Social and International Ideals: Being Studies in Patriotism (1917), Implication and Linear Inference (1920), What Religion Is (1920), and The Meeting of Extremes in Contemporary Philosophy (1921).