A Brief History of Politics & Philosophy

Welcome to my Politics & Philosophy blog

My blog is about the big ideas through history, compressed into easy bit-sized chunks.

You can see my latest blog posts below (and see the full list from the menu – use the icon at the top right of the screen), and subscribe via email to notifications for new blog posts. You can also follow me on Twitter via @SleemanIan or using the link at the bottom of the screen.

The American Philosophers

This post covers two American philosophers, William James and John Dewey, who were prominent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and both born in New England. Both were successful in multiple fields including science, politics and education, but from a purely philosophical perspective what they have in common is the theory of ‘instrumentalism’. […]


With Henri Bergson we reach the 20th century in this history of western philosophy. Russell categorises Bergson’s philosophy as a practical one, inspired by a love of action, where knowledge is merely the instrument of successful activity. This is in contrast to philosophies of feeling, inspired by a love of happiness, and theoretical philosophies, inspired […]

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