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Collingwood, R(obin) G(eorge) (1889–1943)

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


British philosopher and archaeologist of Roman Britain, born in Coniston, Lancaster, studied and taught in Oxford. Collingwood made significant contributions to metaphysics, aesthetics, and the Philosophy of history. He held that metaphysics should explicate the absolute presuppositions of the thought of a given society in a particular period and study their changes. These presuppositions cannot be assessed as true or false, but can only be shown historically. Influenced by Croce, he systematically developed an expression theory of art. He held that history, being concerned with the world of human activity, should seek to reconstruct in imagination the reasons that historical agents acted as they did. He was a prolific writer, and representative works include The Principles of Art (1938), An Essay on Metaphysics (1940), The Idea of Nature (1945), and The Idea of History (1946). He also wrote a widely read Autobiography (1939). ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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