The Formative Years of R. G. Collingwood

  • William M. Johnston

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XIII
  2. The Family Background and Formal Education of R. G. Collingwood

  3. The Unfolding of Collingwood’s Approach to Philosophy 1913–1923

  4. Speculum Mentis (1924): A Description of the five Forms of Experience

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 91-91
    2. William M. Johnston
      Pages 93-101
    3. William M. Johnston
      Pages 102-112
    4. William M. Johnston
      Pages 113-122
  5. R. G. Collingwood’s Isolation in Twentieth Century Thought

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 147-167

About this book


Collingwood and Hegel R. G. Collingwood was a lonely thinker. Begrudgingly admired by some and bludgeoned by others, he failed to train a single disciple, just as he failed to communicate to the reading public his vision of the unity of experience. This failure stands in stark contrast to the success of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who won many disciples to a very similar point-of-view and whose influence on subsequent thought, having been rediscovered since 1920, has not yet been adequately explored. Collingwood and Hegel share three fundamental similarities: both men held overwhelming admiration of the Greeks, both possessed uniquely broad knowledge of academic controversies of their day, and both were inalterably convinced that human experience consti­ tutes a single whole. If experts find Collingwood's vision of wholeness less satisfactory than Hegel's, much of the fault lies in the atmosphere in which Col­ lingwood labored. Oxford in the 1920'S and 1930's, sceptical and specialized, was not the enthusiastic Heidelberg and Berlin of 1816 to 183I. What is important in Collingwood is not that he fell short of Hegel but that working under adverse conditions he came so elose. Indeed those unfamiliar with Hegel will find in Collingwood's early works, especially in Speculum M entis, a useful introduction to the great German.


1922 Benedetto Croce Great Britain John Ruskin archaeology concept education history of literature idealism liberty media philosophy philosophy of history psychology will

Authors and affiliations

  • William M. Johnston
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 1967
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-011-8678-0
  • Online ISBN 978-94-011-9481-5
  • Buy this book on publisher's site