Nineteenth Century Philosophy


What was F.H. Bradley like as a person?

Bradley was made a fellow at Merton College, Oxford, in 1870. This was a lifetime position with no teaching duties, which only marriage could terminate. Bradley never married, and he lived on campus until he died. A kidney inflammation in 1871 left him careful of his health, and although he participated in the governance of the college, he avoided other social occasions. For instance, he turned down an opportunity to be a founder of the British Academy.

Bradley detested cats and shot them on the college grounds, during the night. R.G. Collingwood, his neighbor for 16 years, later wrote: “Although I lived within a few hundred yards of him … I never to my knowledge set eyes on him.”


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