Idealistic Studies

Volume 53, Issue 3, Fall 2023

Kyle J. Barbour
Pages 197-212

The Hegelian Heritage of Bradley’s Degrees of Truth and Reality

In this essay, I argue that F.H. Bradley’s controversial theory of “degrees of truth and reality” is the logical development of Hegel’s own theory of truth when it is placed within the metaphysical system of the Science of Logic. Despite Bradley’s own claim that with regards to the theory of degrees of truth and reality he is indebted even more than anywhere else to Hegel, this connection has been little examined in the secondary literature. Through a careful examination of both Bradley’s works and the structure of Hegel’s logic, it will become clear that Bradley’s development of the theory is the only logical conclusion that the consistent Hegelian can make. This essay has clear ramifications for our understanding of Bradley’s philosophy and, through uncovering the logical connections that led Bradley to develop the theory, I reveal an important implication of Hegel’s thought that has been entirely overlooked.