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John Grote: Victorian Philosophy in the Modern World December 4, 2014

Posted by Christopher Donohue in Uncategorized.

An excellent post by John Gibbins, author of John Grote, Cambridge University and the Development of Victorian Thought (Imprint Academic, 2007). John is the foremost expert on this significant Victorian figure. Here he explains the man behind the Grote Club, the inspiration behind this new venture in intellectual history, and provocatively connects Grote’s ideas to significant international currents in the history of ideas.  In future posts for the Grote Club blog, I will be exploring Grote’s influence in 20th century American and British social science circles.

The Grote Club

Simon Cook and Chris Donohue have brought an audience to, and focus upon, the Grote Cub for good reason: it played a crucial role in developing the emerging social sciences in Cambridge, Britain and America in particular. Here I wish to focus on, and explore, the man who founded, grounded and expounded the Club’s ethos and practices – Professor John Grote (1813-1866). In future blog posts we will explore several crucial elements of his life and corpus: the family and networks that grounded him; the unique methods he learned from the Cambridge Network; the intense analysis of his experience of Being in the term ‘personalism’ he coined; the recognition that as thinking was conducted in language, that conversation was core to knowing the world; a brilliant critique of Mill’s dominating utilitarian thinking, and his own unique ethical and political theories. Latter we can explore some of the many Montaignian insights…

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