Tuesday, June 11, 2013

John McTaggart


John McTaggart was a 19th century British Hegelian (or at least strongly influenced by Hegel) who, along with other British idealists such as F. H. Bradley, is unfortunately rather neglected in today's philosophy curriculum. I was recently reading the article on McTaggart in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, when I came across this interesting fact about his name:

"John McTaggart Ellis McTaggart was born on the third of September, 1866, in Norfolk Square in London, to Francis Ellis and Susan McTaggart (Rochelle 1991, 16). He was named at birth 'John McTaggart Ellis', but took on the second iteration of 'McTaggart' after his great-uncle, also named 'John McTaggart', died without descendents and willed his money to Francis Ellis on the condition that his family assumed the surname 'McTaggart'. And so John McTaggart Ellis became John McTaggart Ellis McTaggart. (At Cambridge, he was sometimes referred to as 'McT.)" (Kris Daniel, "John M. E. McTaggart," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.)
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