This lecture proposes George Eliot as a significant figure in the history of philosophy. Distinguishing between three ways of making this claim — which I call “conservative,” “reformist” and “radical” — I will argue for the radical claim. Eliot is not merely a minor figure within a recognisable philosophical canon. Nor does she break new ground only by exploring familiar philosophical ideas through the medium of fiction. Rather, she is an original thinker whose work invites us to reconceive the task, scope and methods of philosophy itself. I will show how she achieves this in Middlemarch. I will also offer more general reflections on how the history of philosophy can be expanded in conservative, reformist or radical ways in response to calls to “decolonise” and “diversify” our discipline.
The lecture is open and free of charge.
Zoom access via link :
BSHP Annual Lecture 2022 4 Nov. 2022 06:00 PM London