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Additional Manuscripts c Whewell, William (1794-1866), college head and writer on the history and philosophy of science
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J. M. E. McTaggart: college stories

Trinity College stories gathered by McTaggart from Henry Jackson and others, numbered and arranged by date from 1896 to 1922. Following the main grouping of stories are light verses related to College matters by James Clerk Maxwell, J. P. Postgate, F. M. Cornford, Kennedy, and J. K. Stephen, and a cutting of a poem about William Whewell by [Tom Taylor?]; printed obituaries of William Hepworth Thompson, a letter from James Mayo dated 20 Jan. 1905, and two letters from Henry Jackson dated 8-9 Oct. 1879.

McTaggart, John McTaggart Ellis (1866-1925) philosopher

Letter from Augustus De Morgan to William Whewell

Sends Whewell an "amusing and impudent fraud" sent to members of College some years ago [not present] as "evidence of the sort of things which can be attempted -- and perhaps are often successful".

Morgan, Augustus De (1806-1871), mathematician and historian

Letter from C.A. Goodhart to Nora Sidgwick

Reports that he has been reading and re-reading Henry Sidgwick: A Memoir; says that it deepens and extends his influence, and is the best assurance that those who knew Henry can have 'of his continued presence and unfailing sympathy.' Recalls that he first became acquainted with Henry in the late 1860s, and states that he writes to draw attention to 'a phase of his work which is not noticed' in the book. States that about that time Henry and others introduced a system of inter-collegiate lectures 'which were of inestimable value to impecunious students.' Refers to his own experience of this arrangement and to the benefits that he derived from it. Mentions the names of several men from whom he received tuition, including Mr Beatson at Pembroke, Henry, Mr Levine, Mr Percy Gardner, Mr [Henry?] Jackson and Mr Marshall. Claims that he owed his first class to Henry's lectures and the papers that he did for him. Refers to The Methods of Ethics, and also to Henry's lectures on metaphysics, Whewell, Hamilton, Bentham, Mill and Kant, and relates how he convinced him on the question of Utilitarianism. Refers also to Henry's stammer, without which, he claims' 'note-taking would have been impossible.'

Goodhart, Charles Alfred (1844-1919) clergyman

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Reports that he sent off 'a solace' for her loneliness the previous day. Regrets that there is no chance of his seeing his aunt before he goes abroad. Hopes to be able to go and see her at the end of the Long [vacation]. Undertakes not to come home until he is forced, 'unless [he] can speak German properly'. Announces that he leaves Cambridge for London the following day, where he intends to meet some friends. Reports that his three weeks in Cambridge have not been spent quite as he could wish, but admits that they have been profitable. Hopes that she will like Plato, and tells her to attribute whatever she dislikes in the work to Whewell's mistranslations. Declares that he is glad to hear of her walking, and hopes that she won't overdo it. Thanks her for the ghost story [cf 101/146], and reports that he had had two at first hand by letter from a clergyman. Sends his love to William.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to John Jermyn Cowell

Explains the delay in answering Cowell's letter, claiming that he had mislaid it, and had forgotten where Cowell would be; says that he could only remember that he would be at F[lorence] 'about the beginning of May.' Apologises for his carelessness, and claims that he was further delayed in writing by his having to research some lectures that he had to give on the Acts of the Apostles. Regrets that they could not have met up at Florence. Reports that [Henry Yates?] Thompson's failure in the Tripos took them all by surprise, and that the latter seems to have taken the result 'a good deal too coolly; and to have imitated [George Otto] Trevelyan's dangerous example of reading by himself and doing no composition, without having any of Trevelyan's classical intuition...' Reports that Thompson is now in Auvergne, having perfected his French at Paris, and that Trevelyan has returned from Paris. Expresses some doubts in relation to the latter's account of his and Thompson's sojourn in Paris.

Reports that he himself has been spending his vacation in England, trying to cure his stammering. States that he is an M.A. now, and is getting to see more of the authorities of the College, whom he describes as 'a kind of big children.' Remarks that W.H. Thompson 'improves on acquaintance', and is 'so much more genial than one would have thought.' States that he [Henry] is getting over his old objections against fellow-commoners. Admits that his is a very nice life, and that he actually gets through 'so very little work.' Wishes that he could shake off his laziness and begin to write. Claims that his views on religious and philosophical subjects are 'in a state of change', and wishes that he could talk to Cowell on these matters. Claims to have given up a good deal of his materialism and scepticism, 'and come round to Maurice and Broad Church again...' Claims to be 'deeply impressed by the impotence of modern unbelief in explaining the phenomena which Christians point to as evidences of the Holy Spirit's influence.' Discusses his interpretation of the words 'religious' and 'irreligious' as applied to men.

Hopes that Cowell is 'getting happily and delightfully convalescent' in 'the famous city of Dante' [Florence]. Wonders when he is to return to England, and if his 'distaste for the law and...devotion to philosophy' will continue when his health has improved. Remarks that he always thought that Cowell was made for the practical rather than the speculative life. Reports that the ' [Apostles] Society' flourishes, and that the only new member is [William] Everett, who has considerable interests in Metaphysics. Refers to his 'declamation in chapel', with which the old Dons, especially [William] Whewell, were 'enraptured. Asks for the name of Cowell's guide for [E.E?] Bowen, who plans, with [E.M?] Young, a Swiss tour.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Announces that on the following Tuesday he goes to Germany, and states that he hopes that he shall not return until he can speak German fluently. Undertakes not to read any English, apart from her letters and the Times, and to speak it as little as possible. Asks her to tell Edward that he shall be in London from Friday until Tuesday morning, staying with J. J. Cowell in Hyde Park, and that he expects a visit from him. Explains that he wishes to see some friends who are going up for the Eton and Harrow match at Lords. Reports that he heard on Monday from their mother, who 'is with William at Beddgelert without Books', and states that he sent Whewell's Plato to her. Remarks that she seems to be enjoying herself. Regrets that he could not have gone down to visit his aunt Henrietta before he went abroad. Reports that he read through 'the famous Leiden [des jungen] Werthers [by Goethe]' the other day, which, he claims, he could not put down until he finished it. States that he has begun on Jean Paul, but finds him very hard. Undertakes to write from abroad. Sends his love to Edward.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Playfully threatens not to come to Wellington College if he does not receive a letter from her soon, though says he should not complain of her not writing as his hopes that she would rested on his 'Belief in [her] Benevolence and not on any Right or Obligation (excuse Dr Whewell's phraseology)'. Gives a list of questions which he expects her to be prepared to answer about her trip to Europe when he sees her. Reports that he arrived in Cambridge on Saturday, and that his examination begins on the following Thursday. States that if he gets a fellowship he shall have to be up [in Cambridge] 'on the 10th', and if not he shall be able to enjoy himself 'till the 15th', when he has to meet his pupils. Hopes that she is keeping up her spirits until he comes, and asks her if she found the heather looking splendid when she returned. Asks whether Edward knows the way to Sandhurst now. Supposes that the latter is very busy, and sends his love to him.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

Wishes that he could drop in on her, 'like William can, and see the [ ] lodge' for himself. Reports that their mother, 'after an ominous silence', sent him 'a laudatory but vague sentence about her.' Claims that he is 'a Galley Slave' that term, with a lecture at nine o'clock on Monday morning. Reports that he saw [Henry Weston] Eve the other day, 'but he looked more like Cambridge than Wellington College.' Reports that he has nearly got through the Old Testament, and shall have done all but Ezekiel by the time he goes down. Claims that the finest passages of the translation [from Hebrew to English] 'are destroyed by the barbarous fidelity of a ruthless German commentator.'

Reports that they have been having 'a violent university contest', and refers to Joe Mayor, who has lost his professorship [of political economy] by ten votes. Claims that the 'Bald-headed People in the university are confounded to find that the young men have elected a blind Radical [Henry Fawcett]'. States that he voted against Joe, 'purely on public grounds'. Announces that he is to dine with the Master on Monday, and is sure that he shall meet Miss Grote [Mayor's fiancée?] there.

Reports that Arthur is not well, and is 'plagued with the grandfather of all boils' on his finger. Reports that he saw Henry Bramley that day, and wonders whether he himself 'shall ever have so big a beard.' States that Oriental Studies 'are at a standstill [in Cambridge University] as [their] Hebrew Professor [Thomas Jarrett] is temporarily insane, and there is no one who can teach Hebrew or Sanscrit', and that besides him they have 'an Arabic Reader who never lectures except to at least two undergraduates...'

Asks her if she has seen any literature. Reports that there is 'a poetess who calls herself "Jean Ingelow" who is estimable', and that the 'Reviews have discovered that Woolners Poem [My Beautful Lady] is a swan', and does not think it 'a goose' himself. Asks how the house is getting on, and asks after Edward. Inquires as to whether the boys say the beer is bitter.

Letter from I. Todhunter to Henry Sidgwick

Writes on philosophy in Cambridge. States that the correspondence of Hare and Whewell gives him the impression 'that there was very little mental philosophy read at Cambridge in their younger days'. Whewell's lectures were very well attended in the early years after he was appointed professor, but the numbers attending declined after he began to develop his new system. Refers to the paper set on philosophy for the Trinity Fellowships, and to Trinity lecturers Thompson and Cope. Refers to his own undergraduate days from 1844 to 1848, and mentions the works on philosophy which were influential at that time: an article of ancient philosophy by [Maurice], and Lewes' Biographical History of Philosophy. Believes that Lewes led him and many of his contemporaries to read J.S. Mill.

States that in St. John's College in his time 'a meagre abridgement of Locke used to be read in the first year, which 'finally disappeared under Roby's zealous efforts to reform [the students].' In relation to mental philosophy in those days, remarks that there 'must have been persons who were fond of [it]', and reports that he say a copy of the French translation of some of Sir W. Hamilton's essays in the private room of the mathematical tutor Mr Hopkins. Relates that Herschel's [Preliminary Discourse on [the Study of] Natural Philosophy 'was a book much read at Cambridge'. Mentions the absence of any account of the Greek Philosophy in Thirlwall's History [of Greece], and the political activity in England consequent on the Reform Bill and its results, as possible causes of the lack of interest in [mental philosophy].

Refers to a perceived 'taste for philosophy' arising in the previous thirty years at Cambridge, and cites theological influences as the possible cause, e.g., Butler's Analogy [of Religion], the sermons of Harvey Goodwin, and Dr Mill's contact with Hare and his Christian Advocate publications. Relates having, with others, admired the Sermons of Archer Butler, and having encouraged Macmillan to buy Butler's manuscripts, and publish the Lectures on Ancient Philosophy. Thinks that they appeared in 1856. Refers to Sir W. Hamilton, who 'became first known to most Cambridge men for his attacks on mathematics and on the Universities', and to W. Walton 'of Trinity Hall formerly of Trin. Coll.'. Adds that in 1834 'Sterling and J.C. Hare and others wanted to found a prize for Essays on the Philosophy of Christianity in honour of Coleridge', but the H[eads] would not allow it. Announces that he shall publish two letters from Whewell to Hare on the subject.

Todhunter, Isaac (1820-1884), mathematician and historian of mathematics

Letter from James Martineau to Henry Sidgwick

Sends back 'both Proof and M.S.' [of The Methods of Ethics?, not included], which he read with interest. Acknowledges 'the difficulties attaching to the doctrine' criticised by Sidgwick, but does not believe them to be insuperable, 'or so considerable as the difficulties which the doctrine removes.' Admits that his lack of any adequate conception of Sidgwick's point of view, and also from the 'imperfect way' in which he has presented his own doctrine 'in the Whewell paper', he finds it impossible to present his case 'with any effect.' Suggests that the fundamental difference between their opinions is that while Sidgwick regards judgment of the actions of others as the primary moral fact, he [Martineau] finds it in judgment upon his own actions. States that he has never regarded the valuation of "Motives" as a method for determining the actions proper to pursue. Admits that the '"Moral Sentiments"' have their place 'among the scale of possible impulses', but claims that, if present, 'they cannot decide between the claims of the two competing impulses whose presence constitutes the problem, but can only add themselves on, as an intensification, to the [felt] authority of the higher.'

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