chapter  4
30 Pages

Phenomenalism and idealism II: Leibniz and Berkeley

The philosophy of Bernard Bosanquet suffers from the assumption that his is merely a pale imitation of the Bradleyan metaphysics of which he was an acknowledged disciple. Bosanquet shared with the realist philosophers of his time, especially Samuel Alexander, the denial of the unreality of appearances. The logical means by which this is achieved is called by Bosanquet inference. The logic of actual science is therefore to find laws of variation, or, as Bosanquet puts it, every universal nexus tends to continue itself inventively in new matter. Having established the biological basis of Bosanquet's speculative philosophy of nature, however, even a reader sympathetic to the claim that idealism does not deny the existence of a mind-independent nature may wonder in what respect a realism premised on structures constitutes idealism at all, rather than a subspecies of realism. Bosanquet's philosophy investigates a single problem: knowledge of the union which the mind has with the whole of nature.