|Born||January 14, 1932
London, United Kingdom
|Died||July 11, 2007
Lewes, United Kingdom
|Occupation||Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh|
|Notable work(s)||The Vindication of Absolute Idealism (1984)|
Timothy L.S. Sprigge (January 14, 1932, London – July 11, 2007, Lewes) was a British idealist philosopher who spent the latter portion of his career at the University of Edinburgh, where he was Professor of Logic and Metaphysics and then an Emeritus Fellow.
Sprigge was educated at the Dragon School, Bryanston and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.
Long concerned with the nature of experience and the relation between mind and reality, Sprigge was the philosopher who first posed the question made famous by Thomas Nagel: "What is it like to be a bat?" Throughout Sprigge's career he argued physicalism or materialism is not only false but has contributed to a distortion of our moral sense. There is, he claims, something non-physical to what a human being is and also to animals of a higher sort.
The author of The Vindication of Absolute Idealism (1984), Sprigge defended a panpsychist version of absolute idealism according to which reality consists of bits of experience combined into a certain kind of coherent whole. His work presents several new arguments in favor of the plausibility of such an account. His last book - which appeared in 2006 - was entitled The God of Metaphysics. A Festschrift for Sprigge appeared on the very day he died, Consciousness, Reality and Value: Essays in Honour of T. L. S. Sprigge (Ontos Verlag).
Though a skeptic of traditional theism, Sprigge considered himself a believer in an impersonal God. He would eventually become a Unitarian. Toward the end published a meditation on theology and philosophy entitled The God of Metaphysics, his final work, in which he argued for the existence of a "God of Philosophers" worthy of worship.
The Timothy Sprigge Room at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh contains Sprigge's library. The Sprigge Archive is located at the Edinburgh University Library.
- The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham (1968)
- Facts, Words and Beliefs. International Library of Philosophy and Scientific Method (1970)
- Santayana: An examination of his philosophy (The Arguments of the philosophers) (1974)
- The Vindication of Absolute Idealism (1984)
- Theories of Existence (1985)
- The Rational Foundation of Ethics (1988)
- The significance of Spinoza's determinism (Mededelingen vanwege het Spinozahuis) (1989)
- James and Bradley: American Truth and British Reality (1994)
- The God of Metaphysics (2006)
- The Phenomenology of Thought ed by. L. McHenry (unfinished) (2009)
- The Importance of Subjectivity: Selected Essays in Metaphysics and Ethics ed by. L. McHenry (2011)