Samuel Alexander

Professor of Philosophy, University of Manchester

Space, Time and Deity

In his series of lectures, Alexander begins with a review of the mind, analysing the experience of experience itself, concluding that minds and external things are coordinate members of the world. He suggests that space and time may, in a strange way, be the foundation of all being. Conducting a philosophical investigation of various types of existence, he expounds on their relationship to one another within space and time and discusses the nature of deity. 


Samuel Alexander was born on 6 January 1859 in Sydney, Australia. Acknowledged as the first in a group of Anglo-American philosophers who constructed a metaphysics of experience, his later work on aesthetics was the most significant contribution to the philosophy of art since the eighteenth century. Elected Fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford in 1882, he was the first person of Jewish heritage to hold the position. In 1893, Alexander became Professor of Philosophy at Owens College, which later became Victoria University of Manchester, retiring in 1924. 

Elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1913, Alexander received honorary degrees from St Andrews, Durham, Oxford, Birmingham, Liverpool, and Cambridge. Viewed as the foremost British philosopher in academic settings, he overcame his lifelong handicap of deafness with charm. His expanded dissertation, Moral Order and Progress, was awarded the Green Prize in Moral Philosophy in 1887. Notable works include Locke (1908), ‘The Basis of Realism’ (1909), Spinoza and Time (1921), Art and the Material (1925), Beauty and Other Forms of Value (1933), and Philosophical and Literary Pieces posthumously published in 1939. 

Published/Archival Resources