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Bradley, Francis Herbert (1846-1924)

English philosopher and absolute idealist. His Ethical Studies (1876) criticized Mill's utilitarianism and defended an ethics of self-realization, understood as the conquest of the bad self by the good. Bradley's metaphysical views, akin to those of Hegel, with a special emphasis on the internal relations of the Absolute are developed at length in Appearance and Reality (1893) and defended in Essays on Truth and Reality (1914). Bradleian metaphysics became the primary target for the anti-idealistic polemics of Moore and Russell.

Recommended Reading: F. H. Bradley, Writings on Logic and Metaphysics, ed. by James W. Allard and Guy Stock (Oxford, 1994); The Collected Works of F. H. Bradley, ed. by W.J. Mander and Carol Keene (Thoemmes, 1999); Phillip Ferreira, Bradley and the Structure of Knowledge (SUNY, 1999); and W. J. Mander, Perspectives on the Logic and Metaphysics of F.H. Bradley (St. Augustine, 1997).

Also see SEP on Bradley and his moral and political thought, EB, and ELC.

Brentano, Franz Clemens (1838-1917)

German philosopher and psychologist. An early phenomenologist, Brentano proposed the notion that intentionality is the mark of the mental in Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt (Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint) (1874). He developed an associated theory of truth in Wahrheit und Evidenz (The True and the Evident) (1930) and applied phenomenological methods to ethical issues in Vom Ursprung sittlicher Erkenntnis (The Origin of Our Knowledge of Right and Wrong) (1889), defending a pluralistic view of objective intrinsic value.

Recommended Reading: Victor Velarde, On Brentano (Wadsworth, 1999) and Barry Smith, Austrian Philosophy: The Legacy of Franz Brentano (Open Court, 1996).

Also see SEP on Brentano and judgment, DPM, EB, and ELC.

Broad, Charlie Dunbar (1887-1971)

English philosopher. Although he criticized the extravagant speculation of absolute idealists like McTaggart in his Examination of McTaggart's Philosophy (1933, 1938), Broad was more willing than his contemporaries Russell and Moore to engage in metaphysical as well as epistemological theorizing. The philosophy of mind expressed in Scientific Thought (1923 and The Mind and its Place in Nature (1925) clearly defended the reality of physical and mental phenomena, including (notoriously) the possibility of genuine parapsychological phenomena.

Recommended Reading: Philosophy of C. D. Broad, ed. by Paul A. Schilpp (Open Court, 1964).

Also see Andrew Chrucky, SEP, and ELC.

Bruno, Giordano (1548-1600)

Italian philosopher of the Renaissance and follower of Nicolas of Cusa. An aposotate Dominican, Bruno tried to incorporate both Copernican astronomy and hermetic mysticism into an atomistic physics. His evident inclination toward pantheism and explicit identification of infinite matter as the eternal substance of the universe in Dell' infinito, universo e mondi (On the Infinite Universe and Worlds) (1584), De Gli Eroici Furori (The Heroic Frenzies) (1585) and De immenso et innumerabilibus (1591) earned him the condemnation of the church, which expressed its displeasure by burning him at the stake in Rome.

Recommended Reading: J. Lewis McIntyre, Giordano Bruno (Kessinger, 1997) and Frances A. Yates, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (Chicago, 1991).

Also see The Galileo Project, John J. Kessler,ELC, Alfred Weber, EB, William Boulting, Richard W. Pogge,WSB, and CE.

Buber, Martin (1878-1965)

Austrian-Jewish theologian. In Ich und Du (I and Thou) (1922) Buber suggested that genuinely religious experiences must involve reciprocal intersubjective relations between persons rather than a merely objective apprehension of abstract reality. After emigrating to Israel Buber served as first President of the Academy of Science and Humanities.

Recommended Reading: Dan Avnon, Martin Buber: The Hidden Dialogue (Rowman-Littlefield, 1998); Martin Buber and the Human Sciences, ed. by Maurice Friedman and Pat Boni (SUNY, 1996); and Kenneth Seeskin, Autonomy in Jewish Philosophy (Cambridge, 2001).

Also see SEP, EB, and ELC.

bundle theory

Belief that an object comprises only the features or properties it exhibits, without requiring the unifying presence of any underlying substance. Most notably, Hume supposed that the human self or mind is nothing more than a bundle of perceptions linked to each other only by contingent associations.

Recommended Reading: James Bricke Hume's Philosophy of Mind (Princeton, 1980).

Buridan, Jean (1295-1356)

French logician and philosopher who first developed a theory of inertial motion. His commentaries on Aristotle's theory of action made famous the predicament involved in choosing (as must "Buridan's ass") between two equally attractive alternatives. Although he defended nominalism as a solution to the problem of universals, Buridan rejected the extreme version developed by his teacher, Ockham.

Recommended Reading: Jean Buridan's Logic: The Treatise on Supposition, the Treatise on Consequences, ed. by Peter King (Reidel, 1986) and The Metaphysics and Natural Philosophy of John Buridan, ed. by J. M. M. H. Thijssen and Jack Zupko (Brill, 2000).

Also see SEP, EB, and ELC.

Burke, Edmund (1729-1797)

Irish politician and philosopher. In the early A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757) Burke offered an analysis of aesthetic judgment that greatly influenced the work of Kant. Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) includes an explicit criticism of the social contract theory, an extended appeal for the preservation of established social and political institutions, and the defence of a society ruled by respect for the rights and privileges revealed in traditional value-systems, including established religion.

Recommended Reading: The Portable Edmund Burke, ed. by Isaac Kramnick (Penguin, 1999); The Enduring Edmund Burke: Bicentennial Essays, ed. by Conor C. O'Brien, Bruce Frohnen, Peter J. Stanlis, and Peter Tann (Intercollegiate, 1997); and Edmund Burke: A Genius Reconsidered, ed. by Roger Scruton (Intercollegiate, 1997).

Also see J.H. Smeenge, SEP, EB, Bartleby, and ELC.

Butler, Joseph (1692-1752)

English clergyman and philosopher. Butler's Fifteen Sermons upon Human Nature (1726) attempted to establish human morality in the moderation of self-love by the authority of a divinely-provided conscience, and his The Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature (1736) defended revealed religion in the face of deistic challenges.

Recommended Reading: Terence Penelhum, Butler (Routledge, 1986).

Also see Steven Darwall, IEP, EB, James Kiefer, and ELC.


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Last modified 22 November 2011.
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