Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DC073-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 21, 2024, from

List of works

The Sidgwick Papers, Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge, form the most extensive collection of original manuscript materials, but there are many other archival resources. The most comprehensive edition of Sidgwick’s works, including all of his major works (with both the first and seventh editions of The Methods) and a wide range of his previously unpublished lectures and correspondence, is a database: (1997, 1999) ‘The Complete Works and Select Scholarly Correspondence of Henry Sidgwick’, ed. B. Schultz et al., Past Masters series, Charlottesville, VA: InteLex Corporation; The second edition (1999) contains the complete matched correspondence between Sidgwick and H.G. Dakyns.

  • Sidgwick, H. (1870) The Ethics of Conformity and Subscription, London: Williams & Norgate.

    (This extremely important pamphlet marks Sidgwick’s first serious attempt to show how common-sense morality is incomplete and requires something like utilitarianism.)

  • Sidgwick, H. (1874) The Methods of Ethics, London: Macmillan; later edns, 1877, 1884, 1890, 1893, 1901, 1907.

    (Sidgwick’s masterpiece, in which classical utilitarianism is given its most sophisticated formulation and reconciled with common-sense morality, though not with egoism. The Methods set the agenda for much of the substantive ethical theory and metaethics of the twentieth century. Changes made for the second and third editions were also published separately as supplements. Sidgwick wrote a number of commentaries on his book, including ‘Some Fundamental Ethical Controversies’ Mind 56 (1889); ‘Prof. Calderwood on Intuitionism in Morals’ Mind 4 (1876); and ‘The Establishment of Ethical First Principles’ Mind 13 (1879).)

  • Sidgwick, H. (1883) The Principles of Political Economy, London: Macmillan; later edns, 1887, 1901.

    (Sometimes dismissed as inappreciative of the marginalist revolution, Sidgwick’s political economy was in fact informed by the work of Jevons, Marshall and Edgeworth, and his discussion of distributive justice and the role of the state provides an essential complement to the arguments of The Methods.)

  • Sidgwick, H. (1885) The Scope and Method of Economic Science, London: Macmillan.

    (Sidgwick’s presidential address to the Economic Science and Statistics section of the British Association is a clever exposition of the limits of laissez-faire and the absurdities of the grandiose sociologies of Comte and Spencer (reprinted in Miscellaneous Essays).)

  • Sidgwick, H. (1886) Outlines of the History of Ethics for English Readers, London: Macmillan; later edns, 1888, 1892, 1896, 1902, 1931.

    (May well remain the best work of its kind; with succinctness and accuracy, Sidgwick surveys the entire range of philosophical ethics from its origins down to his own time.)

  • Sidgwick, H. (1891) The Elements of Politics, London: Macmillan; later edns, 1897, 1908, 1919.

    (Sidgwick’s second most important book, this massive volume provides another vital complement to The Methods by setting out Sidgwick’s utilitarian politics and distinguishing his analytical approach from that of Bentham, Austin and the Mills. The InteLex edition contains helpful secondary material, as well as new primary sources.)

  • Sidgwick, H. (1898, 1909) Practical Ethics: A Collection of Addresses and Essays, London: Swan Sonnenschein.

    (Essays and addresses delivered before various ‘Ethical Societies’ which aimed at ‘the intelligent study of moral questions with a view to elevate and purify social life’. ‘The Ethics of Religious Conformity’ and ‘Clerical Veracity’ show the significance of this issue in Sidgwick’s life and thought.)

  • Sidgwick, H. (1902) Lectures on the Ethics of T.H. Green, H. Spencer and J. Martineau, ed. E.E. Constance Jones, London: Macmillan.

    (Sidgwick came to think that The Methods did not do enough to address critically the transcendentalist and evolutionist positions, and this posthumous work thus provides a useful supplement to The Methods by giving detailed criticisms of key representatives of these schools as well as further material on Martineau.)

  • Sidgwick, H. (1902) Philosophy, Its Scope and Relations, ed. J. Ward, London: Macmillan.

    (A succinct, precise articulation of his epistemology and its bearing on cognate fields of inquiry, mainly psychology, history and sociology.)

  • Sidgwick, H. (1903) The Development of European Polity, ed. E.M. Sidgwick, London: Macmillan.

    (A lucid historical survey of political doctrines, this posthumous volume provides the inductive, historical approach to politics that Sidgwick regarded as a necessary supplement to the analytical and deductive approach of The Elements.)

  • Sidgwick, H. (1904) Miscellaneous Essays and Addresses, ed. E.M. Sidgwick and A. Sidgwick, London: Macmillan.

    (Contains many of Sidgwick’s best short works, including discerning literary studies of Clough and Shakespeare, sober critiques of Arnold and perfectionist educational theories, various probing assessments of socialism, and a witty essay on ‘Bentham and Benthamism’.)

  • Sidgwick, H. (1905) Lectures on the Philosophy of Kant and Other Philosophical Lectures and Essays, ed. J. Ward, London: Macmillan.

    (Contains some of Sidgwick’s most significant metaphysical and epistemological work, and conveys some sense of his plan for his projected study of ‘Kant and Kantism in England’. Includes ‘Criteria of Truth and Error’.)

  • Sidgwick, H. (2000) Essays on Ethics and Methods, ed. M.G. Singer, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    (A helpful, well-edited selection of some of Sidgwick’s most important essays, emphasizing those that bear most directly on The Methods.)

  • Seeley, J. (1896) Introduction to Political Science, ed. H. Sidgwick, London: Macmillan.

    (In editing the work of his colleague Seeley, an ideologue of British imperialism, Sidgwick perhaps unwittingly demonstrated the severe limitations of academic Victorian political theory.)

References and further reading

  • Broad, D.D. (1930) Five Types of Ethical Theory, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

    (An extensive, sympathetic, philosophically sophisticated account that is marred by various confusions concerning Sidgwick’s notion of a method, which is treated as equivalent to a theory.)

  • Crisp, R. (1995/6) ‘The Dualism of Practical Reason’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society NS XCVI.

    (An insightful essay that develops and defends a ‘dual-source’ view of practical reason that is essentially a version of Sidgwick’s dualism of practical reason.)

  • Frankena, W. et al. (1974) ‘Monist Symposium: Henry Sidgwick’, Monist 58.

    (Commemorates the centenary of the publication of The Methods; Frankena’s paper is especially important for understanding Sidgwick’s internalism and Singer provides a provocative defence of intuitionism against reflective equilibrium.)

  • MacIntyre, A. (1990) Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry, Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press.

    (Contains a critique of Sidgwick’s ‘encyclopedist’ version of enquiry from the perspective of a traditionalist.)

  • McWilliams Tullberg, R. (1975) Women at Cambridge, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; second edn, 1998.

    (The single most important work on Sidgwick’s role as an educational reformer working for the higher education of women; this volume sheds a great deal of light on the meaning of Sidgwick’s ethical and political views in their Cambridge context.)

  • Moore, G.E. (1903) Principia Ethica, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (Moore was an ungenerous critic who largely begged the question of the dualism of practical reason, but was effective in diminishing Sidgwick’s reputation.)

  • Parfit, D. (1984) Reasons and Persons, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    (Important work in moral theory revealing a deep indebtedness to The Methods, with many astute asides on Sidgwick’s critique of common-sense morality, his account of ultimate good and his view of the person.)

  • Ritchie, D.G. (1891–2) ‘Review: The Elements of Politics’, International Journal of Ethics 2: 254–257.

    (A witty, critical and very widely-cited review of Sidgwick’s magnum opus on politics.)

  • Schneewind, J.B. (1977) Sidgwick’s Ethics and Victorian Moral Philosophy, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    (The most important work on Sidgwick’s ethics, or indeed, on Sidgwick. Schneewind situates Sidgwick’s work within the broader context of English moral theory, and is especially concerned to construe The Methods as a piece of systematic moral theory rather than simply as a brief for utilitarianism. Contains an excellent bibliography.)

  • Schneewind, J.B. and Schultz, B. (1998) ‘Henry Sidgwick, A Bibliography’, The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 3rd edn.

    (The most comprehensive bibliography of works by or on Sidgwick published before 1920.)

  • Schultz, B. (1992) Essays on Henry Sidgwick, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (A wide-ranging collection of articles, many new, covering most of the current interpretive controversies.)

  • Schultz, B. (1996) ‘Sidgwick, Henry’, Dictionnaire d’éthique et de philosophie morale, ed. M. Canto-Sperber, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1391–99.

    (A short but up-to-date introduction that both surveys Sidgwick’s philosophy and points to his larger cultural significance, including his connections to such controversial figures as J.A. Symonds and F.W.H. Myers.)

  • Schultz, B. (1998) Eye of the Universe: Henry Sidgwick and the Victorian Quest for Certainty.

    (The only comprehensive treatment of Sidgwick’s practical and theoretical philosophy, this book brings out the overall unity of Sidgwick’s writings and the central role of scepticism and the dualism of practical reason in his life and work.)

  • Schultz, B. (2000) ‘Truth and its consequences: the friendship of John Addington Symonds and Henry Sidgwick’, in J. Pemble (ed.), John Addington Symonds: Culture and the Demon Desire, London: Macmillan.

    (This essay brings out the philosophical significance of Sidgwick’s friendship and intellectual exchanges with Symonds, one of the pioneers of gay studies.)

  • Schultz, B. and Crisp, R. (2000) ‘ Utilitas Symposium: Sidgwick 2000’, Utilitas 12.

    (Original essays commemorating the centenary of Sidgwick’s death; topics covered include Sidgwick’s metaethics and practical ethics, his views on the ‘Good’, on commonsense morality, and on feminism, and how his work compares to that of Green and Spencer.)

  • Shaver, R. (1999) Rational Egoism, New York: Cambridge University Press.

    (An excellent, extensive treatment of Sidgwick on the subject of rational egoism, with insightful comparisons to the Hobbesian view.)

  • Sidgwick, E.M. and Sidgwick, A. (1906) Henry Sidgwick, A Memoir, London: Macmillan.

    (The essential biographical treatment, with a good bibliography; Sidgwick’s widow and brother drew from his letters and journal, though they excluded excessively technical or personal material.)

  • Walker, M.U. (1998) Moral Understandings: A Feminist Study in Ethics, London: Routledge.

    (An important and influential feminist critique of Sidgwick’s epistemology as reflecting masculinist prejudice in its adherence to a ‘theoretical–-juridical’ model of moral enquiry.)

  • Williams, B. (1982) ‘The Point of View of the Universe: Sidgwick and the Ambitions of Ethics’, Making Sense of Humanity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (A wonderful introduction to Sidgwick, with a penetrating critical overview that gives special currency to the interpretation of Sidgwick as a ‘Government House’ utilitarian, but compares him favourably to Moore.)

Citing this article:
Schultz, Bart. Bibliography. Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DC073-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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