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R. G. Collingwood and the Albert Memorial

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The argument of this article is that the Albert Memorial acted as a catalyst for some of Collingwood's most well known ideas in the philosophy of history and aesthetics. It was not, however, the exclusive source of those ideas, and indeed they had philosophical expression elsewhere. One may view his contemplations, then, as work in progress. For example, the logic of question and answer promoted by the Memorial was also prompted by Collingwood's reading of Bacon and Descartes. This was a reflection of his determination to depart from the realism of his philosophical teachers. Similarly, the Memorial directs Collingwood's thought forward. The Memorial acts as a facilitator of his thought on history, which in the course of its formulation undergoes many transformations. The logic of question and answer also finds a place in Collingwood's early thinking about art, but even here it is in the process of constant transition. Collingwood's reaction to the Memorial helps us to conclude that there is nothing ironic about the fact that Collingwood loathed the structure that was also the instigator of one of his most influential philosophical doctrines.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Southampton University

Publication date: January 1, 2009


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