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Title: Art, metaphysics and dialectic : R.G. Collingwood and the crisis of Western civilisation
Author: Murphy, Richard
Awarding Body: University of Wales, Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis argues that Collingwood's philosophy is best understood as a diagnosis of and response to a crisis of Western civilisation. The various and complementary aspects of the crisis of civilisation are explored and Collingwood is demonstrated to be working in the traditions of Romanticism and 'historicism'. In Part One, I examine Collingwood's conception of the crisis of modernity in terms of the Romantic idea of the unity of the forms of experience and his philosophy of art. Contemporary civilisation is seen as corrupted by the suppression of emotion and is to be regenerated by art: the expression of emotion and truthful consciousness. In Part Two, the crisis of civilisation is explained as the failure of contemporary civilisation to significantly move beyond a dependency on a Platonic philosophy of being. The solution, it is proposed, is the development of a philosophy of becoming, which reconciles normative thinking with historical change. The criteria for value and truth are located, not in an ideal transcendent world, but in a 'way of life' in the widest sense. In this respect, Collingwood is compared with Ortega y Gasset and Nietzsche. Part Three demonstrates that Collingwood's dialectical philosophy reveals itself in a historicist phenomenology of mind and a dialectical theory of liberalism and civilisation. This dialectical view leads to a critique of the ill effects of capitalism and of the rationalisation and bureaucratisation of contemporary life. On these subjects, the theories of Collingwood and Ortega y Gasset are contrasted with those of Nietzsche and Weber.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available