English idealist philosopher, 1846-1924, author of Ethical Studies, Principles of Logic, Appearance and Reality, and Essay on Truth and Reality
Fishburn and Hughes: "An English idealist philosopher, a follower of Hegel and Kant and an outspoken critic of the utilitarian and empiricist schools. Bradley's best-known work is Appearance and Reality (1893), an 'essay on metaphysics'. Described in the Preface as 'a critical discussion of first principles', it is an invitation to doubt all preconceptions and to ascertain how far reality can be known. Though claiming that knowledge of the Absolute is available to us, Bradley argues that our comprehension of it, based as it is on appearance, must be partial, but that this imperfect knowledge is not worthless. Appearance, even when misleading, is still a component of reality. Borges, always intrigued by epistemological problems of the limitations of the human mind, recalls Bradley's theories in two essays (Other Inq. 112-13 and TL 317). In a discussion of regression ad infinitum in relationships Borges quotes Bradley's ideas as expounded in chapter 4 of Appearance and Reality where Bradley denies causal relations, and indeed all types of relation, arguing that relations are realities in their own right. Thus no unitary thing can be considered a collection of its properties; rather the relatedness of its properties is a constituent of reality.
Herbert Quain: Bradley’s ‘backward-running world’ alludes to his argument that 'direction' is relative to 'our' world but not necessarily an aspect of reality. For we can suppose that there are beings who have no contact with the world we experience whose lives run in a direction opposite to ours. If we could know their world, a world in which, as Borges quoting Bradley says, 'death would come before birth, the blow would follow the wound', this would appear to us irrational and inconsistent only because of our experience. But, transcending the limits of our life, we might find a reality which had 'no direction', or rather which showed 'both directions harmoniously combined in a consistent whole'.
The Secret Miracle CF 159: Bradley postulates that time, like space, is merely appearance, and that neither belongs to reality. He denies the existence of time on the grounds that it is endless, whereas an end is essential to being. Like space, time is a relation between terms which can never be found, since there are no clear demarcations separating the past, the present and future. As Borges explains, 'if the now is divisible into other nows, it is no less complicated than time and, if indivisible, time is a mere relation between non-temporal things'." (31)