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Perfectionism and the Common GoodThemes in the Philosophy of T. H. Green$
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David O. Brink

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199266401

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199266409.001.0001

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Perfectionism and the Common Good

David O. Brink (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on Green's non-naturalism, which commits him to his own dualism, inasmuch as he seems to think that a precondition of conscious experience is an active self-conscious mind that is prior to and independent of experience and so outside space and time. It is argued that Green's non-naturalism is problematic. His non-naturalism about the self threatens to reintroduce the very dualism for which he criticizes Kant. A related problem afflicts his view of the Absolute. Whereas the metaphysical and epistemological arguments of the first part of the Prolegomena seem to demand a single transcendent self-consciousness that is outside space and time, much of Green's ethics, political philosophy, and theology seems to treat the corporate spiritual principle as a transhistorical agent that is immanent in the lives of individual agents and progressive social institutions. Green must choose whether the Absolute is transcendent or immanent.

Keywords:   non-naturalism, dualism, Kant, T. H. Green, dualism, the Absolute

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