a1 University of Hull
Although T.L.S. Sprigge described idealist philosophy as the stage beyond religion, his pantheistic idealism, while not itself a religion, offers a conception of God that seeks to meet the aspiration of human beings to understand their own place in the universe. While he shared with most mid twentieth century British philosophers a basic assumption of the primacy of experience, Sprigge took this strong empiricist assumption in a Berkeleyian rather than a Humean direction. This enabled him to find a place for the phenomenon of religious consciousness, which he saw as the source of a yearning that can be met by absolute idealism's conception of a ‘Whole’ that encompasses ourselves and all aspects of our world. He describes this recognition as the faltering adumbration of a truth – one that is sometimes encountered in aesthetic experience, and sometimes more directly in the lives of mystics. The metaphysical basis for this form of absolute idealism is provided by a concept of time in which each fleeting ‘now’ has a fixed and permanent place, and by a theory of identity according to which personal individuality is dissolved in a unitary ‘Whole’.
Brenda Almond is Emeritus Professor of Moral and Social Philosophy at the University of Hull. She holds an honorary doctorate for her work in philosophy from Utrecht University and is an elected foreign member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. She has published widely in the field of philosophy, especially moral philosophy, including bioethics, and in the philosophy of education. Her books include The Fragmenting Family (2008), Exploring Ethics: a Traveller's Tale (1998), and Exploring Philosophy: The Philosophical Quest (1995).