Metaphysics, Religion, and Self-Realization in F.H. Bradley

  • James W. Allard


This paper examines an apparent contradiction in F.H. Bradley’s thinking about religion. Bradley claims that “the intellectual effort to understand the universe is a principled way of thus experiencing the Deity.” Paraphrase this as (1) A metaphysical consciousness can experience God. Elsewhere Bradley writes, “God for me has no meaning outside of the religious consciousness, and that essentially is practical.” Paraphrase this as (2) God has meaning only for a practical consciousness. Bradley also claims that metaphysics is a theoretical, not a practical, activity. Paraphrase this as (3) A metaphysical consciousness is not a practical consciousness. (2) and (3) entail (4) God has no meaning for a metaphysical consciousness. But (4) is the negation of (1), and thus Bradley seems caught in a contradiction.


Moral Ideal Moral Point True Judgment Moral Demand Ethical Study 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. Allard
    • 1
  1. 1.Montana State UniversityBozemanUSA

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