Home  »  Volume XIV: English THE VICTORIAN AGE Part Two The Nineteenth Century, III  »  § 35. John Caird and Edward Caird

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIV. The Victorian Age, Part Two.

I. Philosophers

§ 35. John Caird and Edward Caird

In An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (1880), John Caird, principal of the university of Glasgow, produced a work, original in manner, but essentially Hegelian in doctrine. A similar character marked all the work of his younger brother, Edward Caird, professor of moral philosophy at Glasgow, and afterwards master of Balliol college, Oxford. The influence of Edward Caird rivalled that of his friend Green, and their teaching was in fundamental agreement. Caird, however, had a facility of literary expression such as Green did not possess; he was, also, more inclined to attack questions by the method of tracing the historical development of thought. His first important work was A Critical Account of the Philosophy of Kant (1877), which was superseded by The Critical Philosophy of Immanuel Kant (two volumes, 1889). This work is a triumph of philosophical exposition and criticism. Based upon a mastery of the whole range of Kantian scholarship, it brings into relief the leading ideas by which Kant himself was guided, and, through criticism of his arguments, gives an interpretation of it as tending, when consistently worked out, towards a system of speculative idealism. A brilliant and sympathetic exposition is contained in his monograph on Hegel (1883). His Gifford lectures, The Evolution of Religion (1893), deal less than his other works with the criticism of philosophers; they are a study of the nature of religion, especially as exhibited in the development of the Christian faith.