A. C. Ewing

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Alfred Cyril Ewing (/ˈjɪŋ/; Leicester, 11 May 1899 – Manchester, 14 May 1973), usually cited as A. C. Ewing, was a British philosopher and a sympathetic critic of Idealism.[1]


Ewing studied at Oxford, where he gained the John Locke Lectureship and the Green Prize in Moral Philosophy. He taught for four years in Swansea/Wales, and became lecturer in Moral Science at Cambridge in 1931, based at Trinity Hall, and reader in Moral Science in 1954. He was an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, and one of Wittgenstein's foremost critics. He was responsible for Karl Popper's invitation to Cambridge.


Ewing believed that the study of the history of philosophy was important to philosophical practice, and paid particular attention to this in his studies of Kant.

He was a defender of traditional metaphysics (as opposed to post-modern ethics) and developed what may be termed an "analytical idealism". He was a 20th-century pioneer in the philosophy of religion, one of the foremost analysts of the concept "good", and a distinguished contributor to justificatory theorizing about punishment.

He was president of the Aristotelian Society from 1941 to 1942, and he was made a Fellow of the British Academy in 1941.


  • Value and Reality: The Philosophical Case for Theism (George Allen & Unwin, London 1973)
  • Non-linguistic Philosophy (George Allen & Unwin, London 1968)
  • Second Thoughts in Moral Philosophy (London 1959)
  • The Idealist Tradition: From Berkeley to Blanshard (editor, London 1957)
  • Ethics (London 1953, ten reimpressions)
  • The Fundamental Questions of Philosophy (Routledge, London 1951)
  • The Definition of Good (Routledge, London 1947)
  • The Individual, the State, and World Government (Macmillan, New York 1947)
  • Reason and Intuition (London 1941)
  • A Short Commentary on Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" (London 1938)
  • Idealism: A Critical Survey (New York 1936)
  • The Morality of Punishment (London 1929)
  • Kant's Treatment of Causality (London 1924)


  1. ^ Edmonds and Eidinow 2001, p. 67.