It would be an exaggeration to say that the Victorian age in England was philosophically barren; but it would not be a great exaggeration. By this somewhat uncomplimentary opening, I do not mean to imply that Victorian England contained no competent philosophers at all. Indeed, if one considers thinkers of the second and lower ranks only, their literary productivity was probably greater than those of any previous period in English, or even British, history, even if in sheer numbers they can hardly compete with the prolific hordes of our own century. It is at the very highest level of philosophical greatness and originality that one finds the Victorian age wanting. The great period of British philosophy, which runs roughly from the 1630s to the 1770s, contains at least three thinkers who cannot be matched in the succeeding 140 years, Hobbes, Locke and Hume.
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