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Eliot, Thomas Stearns (1888–1965)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-M052-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 2002
Retrieved September 23, 2021, from

Article Summary

Best known as a poet and writer of verse-drama, T.S. Eliot was also a significant critic and theorist of literature. His philosophical background in Bradleyan idealism is reflected in all his work in all of these genres. Thus his idea of tradition – the historical sense that is actually a sense of the contemporaneity of present and past – has connections with F.H. Bradley’s idea of ‘immediate experience’ and with Eliot’s own Bradleyan exploration of the concept of ‘point of view’ upon the world, including present and past. Another key concept for Eliot was ‘sensibility’, denoting the heightened awareness of immediate experience to be expected of poets, which he ascribed especially to the English Metaphysical Poets of the seventeenth century.

Citing this article:
Casey, John. Eliot, Thomas Stearns (1888–1965), 2002, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-M052-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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