“I think continually of those who were truly great.”1 Stephen Spender, as a poet, may be indulged; but it is hardly permissible to write the history of thought in such Carlylean terms.2 The problem is, of course, to identify the heroes, those “truly great”, who alone allegedly deserve our worship or our thought. Certainly at first sight, Thomas White fails to qualify: relegated for years to the role of a ‘minor’ figure, he has been virtually excluded from the canon of intellectual history. But it will be argued here that, following perhaps some re-definition of true greatness, he justifies, if not continual thoughts, at least some serious attention.
KeywordsIntellectual History Alternative Perception Sceptical Challenge Autonomous Discipline Educational Reformer
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