Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772–1834)
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772–1834)
COLERIDGE, SAMUEL TAYLOR
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the critic, romantic poet and philosopher, was born four years before the publication of Jeremy Bentham's Fragment on Government, and died only two years before the death of Bentham's most influential disciple, James Mill, at a time when the young John Stuart Mill was making a brilliant success in political journalism. The striking fact about Coleridge's place in English intellectual history, however, is that he developed a form of idealism in virtual isolation from the mainstream of empirical philosophy. In developing his own philosophical insights, Coleridge turned to Immanuel Kant. He had two reasons for doing this. First, he was deeply dissatisfied with the mechanistic theory of mind still flourishing in English philosophy, since he was unable to formulate within its terms certain views about poetic imagination; while Kant's Critique of Judgment (1790) had, however, set out with great rigor, and within a much more tractable conceptual framework, views essentially similar to Coleridge's own.
Second, Coleridge thought he saw in Kant's Transcendental Dialectic a way of combating the chroniclatitudinarianism in English theology that had predominated throughout the eighteenth century and continued until the time of the Oxford Movement. But it must be remembered that although Coleridge was a serious student of Kant and one of Kant's earliest and ablest English interpreters, he was not a systematic or academic philosopher. His philosophical writings are always disorganized, eclectic, aphoristic. Philosophy became for him what poetry had always been: a necessary means for self-analysis, for the objectification of his personal engagement with life.
What can be very schematically called the first stage in Coleridge's philosophical development was a highly enthusiastic acceptance in 1794 of David Hartley's theory of association and the "necessitarianism" which that doctrine seemed to imply. Also at this time, after an intense study of John Locke and of William Godwin's Inquiry concerning Political Justice (1793), Coleridge became strongly inspired by the Enlightenment ideal of social perfectibility. So inspired was he that in December of that year, having had these enthusiasms reciprocated by Robert Southey, he left Cambridge without taking his degree. In January 1795 he lectured at Bristol on religion and politics and became preoccupied with Southey on the project of a pantisocracy, an ideal socialist community consisting of twelve young men and their wives, which was to be established on the banks of the Susquehanna. This project never really got under way; but its rather serious practical outcome for Coleridge was his marriage on October 4, 1795, to the uncomplicated Sara Fricker, sister of Southey's pantisocratic fiancée. Coleridge's early marriage was unfortunate because it prevented his developing what would have been in every way a more compatible relationship with Sara Hutchinson, whom he met through the Wordsworths in 1799 and whose inaccessibility he spent the greater part of his life lamenting. (Thus the celebrated Dejection: An Ode, written in 1802, should be considered more as a crescendo in this lament than as a statement of any alleged conflict between imagination and metaphysics.)
Despite his temporary acquiescence in Hartley's psychology, it was in fact Hartley's theology that most of all appealed to Coleridge. In particular, Hartley's idea of an ascending scale of affections, from primary sensations of pleasure and pain through new complexes of association to self-interest and eventually to sympathy, moral sense, and theophany (Religious Musing, 1794–1796) made a lasting impression on him. To this idea, conceived of mechanistically by Hartley, Coleridge later found an organically conceived analogue in Friedrich von Schelling's Naturphilosophie. Possibly in 1795, and certainly in 1796, Coleridge read George Berkeley. The next important stage of his philosophical development consisted in the replacement of Hartley's passive concept of mind by Berkeley's never consistently expressed notion of finite mind being actually creative in perception and imagination when it is considered as participating in the infinite, all-productive mind of God. Once more it was the place of God in the philosophy of Berkeley that most concerned Coleridge; and Berkeley's view of nature as purposive, as divine language, found expression in a number of poems written between 1796 and 1800 (for instance, Destiny of Nations, ll. 18–20; Frost at Midnight, ll. 59–62; Apologia pro Vita Sua ).
By 1797 the Godwin-Hartley-necessity phase was over. It is probably significant that Coleridge emancipated himself from the mechanical theory of mind at the same time that he lost his once firmly held belief in the ideals of the French Revolution (France: An Ode, 1798). In September 1798, Coleridge accompanied the Wordsworths to Germany. After a short meeting in Hamburg with the poet F. G. Klopstock, Coleridge left the Wordsworths to see the countryside and settled himself at the University of Göttingen in order to improve his German and to collect material for a biography of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. At Göttingen he attended the biological lectures of J. F. Blumenbach and had theological arguments with disciples of the rationalist J. G. Eichhorn. He returned to England in July 1799, transporting £30 worth of German philosophy books "with a view to the one work, to which I hope to dedicate in silence the prime of my life." This work was his never-completed Opus Maximum. Thus, the third period of Coleridge's philosophical development was a long assimilation of Kant and the German romantic philosophers, particularly Schelling, which he began in earnest in 1801 and continued well beyond 1816, when he was settled in the London house of James Gillman and able to write his most important philosophical works.
Philosophy and Faith
That "seminal" quality of mind that J. S. Mill detected in Coleridge and praised so highly needs, as we shall see, slight reevaluation. Mill was perhaps right in claiming that the "Germano-Coleridgean" school had done more for the philosophy of human culture than any of their predecessors could have done. Yet, in stressing the great contributions made to social theory by a series of Continental thinkers from Johann Gottfried Herder to Jules Michelet and in attributing to Coleridge simply a share in those contributions, Mill tended to ignore the less philanthropic and more personalistic aspects of European romanticism. For Coleridge was a post-Kantian "philosopher of life" in the tradition of Heinrich Heine's Die romantische Schule. For example, the closeness in particular doctrines and virtual identity in general philosophical orientation between Coleridge and Friedrich von Schlegel is remarkable. Both thinkers are essentially religious critics of the Enlightenment's secular anthropology. That man is a "fallen creature … diseased in his will" is a principle as axiomatic to Coleridge and Schlegel as it is self-dramatizing and even morally pernicious to the philosophical radicals.
Where Bentham and his followers write primarily as social reformers seeking, in the manner of David Hume and Claude-Adrien Helvétius, a means of harmonizing individual egoism with the general good of society, the "Germano-Coleridgeans" take man's tragic alienation from God to be the fundamental datum not only of religion but also of philosophy. For the Benthamites the area of moral significance is in socioeconomic relationships, the external actions of everyday public association. For Coleridge, on the other hand, almost as much as for Søren Kierkegaard, the locus of reality is in the individual's experience of God. Thus, with thinkers like Coleridge philosophy inevitably becomes a form of theosophy. Religion is the highest exercise of the human spirit, and philosophy is a kind of rational prolegomenon that prepares the way for man's fuller appreciation of his relationship with God. Philosophy does this by trying to ascertain "the origin and primary laws (or efficient causes) either of the world man included (which is Natural Philosophy)—or of Human Nature exclusively, and as far as it is human (which is Moral Philosophy)." The remaining branch of philosophy, according to Coleridge, is epistemology, which deals with "the question concerning the sufficiency of the human reason to arrive at the solution of both or either of the two former problems.
Reason and Understanding
The core of Coleridge's epistemology is contained in his distinction between Reason and Understanding and his insistence that these differ not in degree but in kind. Although the terminology Coleridge uses here is decidedly Kantian, Kant's distinction between understanding (Verstand ) and reason in the narrow sense (Vernunft ) is only superficially similar to Coleridge's. Like his parallel distinctions between Imagination and Fancy, Genius and Talent, Symbol and Allegory, Coleridge's contrast between Reason and Understanding is more evaluative than descriptive and well illustrates his characteristic attempt to keep empiricist and associationist concepts in a subordinate position within a larger idealist framework. Understanding is "the faculty of judging according to sense … the faculty by which we reflect and generalize," which roughly corresponds to Locke's definition of it as "the power of perception." In other words, it is what Coleridge takes to be the pragmatic reasoning faculty of the empiricists.
The Coleridgean Reason, however, is a higher and more esoteric faculty that has at least three not very clearly differentiated functions. In its "speculative" aspect, Reason (1) provides us with basic logical rules of discourse, the so-called laws of thought; (2) is the origin of synthetic a priori truths in mathematics and science; and, in its most important "practical" aspect (3) is "the source of ideas, which … in their conversion to the responsible will, become ultimate ends." Reason produces Ideas or ideals that, although not capable of demonstration, are nevertheless not self-contradictory and may have a clear and distinct form. But they can also, says Coleridge, be more like an instinct or longing: "a vague appetency towards something which the Mind incessantly hunts for … or the impulse which fills the young Poet's eye with tears, he knows not why."
What Coleridge's distinction amounts to is this: "Understanding" is a pejorative blanket term for the negative aspects of eighteenth-century logic and science, while "Reason" is an approbatory label for those personal ideals and religious beliefs that are psychologically foreign to, or at least not logically entailed by, scientific empiricism. "Reason" thus is clearly allied with Christian faith. Coleridge is not, then, doing a piece of straight conceptual analysis in making this distinction, even though he often writes as if he thinks he is. Instead, he is persuasively psychologizing in an attempt to reorient contemporary philosophical attitudes into unison with contemporary Christian ideals. The barely disguised function of Coleridge's distinction is to give metaphysical respectability to those Ideas of God, freedom, and immortality that Kant had rightly regarded as merely regulative rather than constitutive elements of knowledge.
Mind and Nature
Philosophy must begin, says Coleridge, with a primary intuition that can be neither merely speculative nor merely practical, but both in one. Here Coleridge significantly modifies the views of Schelling. If the existence of external nature is taken to be the primary intuition, as in natural philosophy, then it becomes necessary to explain how mind or consciousness can be related to it. If, conversely, mind is taken to be primary, as in the Cartesian Cogito, we must account for the existence and significance of nature. The only satisfactory way to do either of these things is to suppose that there is in fact no dualism between nature and mind. Nature appears as extrinsic, alien, and in antithesis to mind. The difference is not absolute, however, but merely one of degree of consciousness and, consequently, of freedom.
Nature is mind or spirit slumbering, unconscious of itself. It is representable under the forms of space and time, subject to the relations of cause and effect, and requires an antecedent explanation. Mind, however, originates in its own (that is, God's) acts and exists in a realm of freedom. But if in its turn this qualitative difference between nature and mind is to be accounted for, a first cause must be postulated that is itself neither exclusively mind nor exclusively nature, subject or object, but the identity of both. Such a first cause or unconditional principle could not be a natural thing or object because each thing is what it is in consequence of some other thing. Nor can this principle be mind as such, because mind exists only in antithesis to nature. (Rather than indulging in tautology here, Coleridge seems to be making the phenomenologist's point that consciousness is always intentional; i.e., is consciousness of something.) The unconditioned must be conceived, apparently, as a primeval synthesis of subject and object, consciousness and nature, in the self-consciousness of God. In God or Spirit lies the identity of the two, of being and knowing in the "absolute I AM."
Thus nature and mind seem to be conceived by Coleridge as two dialectical opposites resulting from God's free act of self-alienation in becoming self-conscious. On this last point, however, he is in his published works particularly (and perhaps necessarily) obscure. Unlike Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Schelling, Cole-ridge wishes to combine the dialectics of the Identity-Philosophy with the traditional Christian concept of dualism between creature and creator. In the unpublished Opus Maximum and other manuscripts, he elaborates this point of divergence from the Germans by distinguishing the "personeity" of God from the "personality" of man and goes to great lengths in accounting for the problem of evil. What is important and seminal in Coleridge's metaphysics, however, is not its details or conclusions, but the rich suggestiveness of its basic categories applied to certain problems in aesthetics and social theory.
Imagination and Fancy
From the formal dialectics of his idealism Coleridge drew a living description of how the artist's mind works. Since conscious life exists only through contradiction, or doubleness, the whole of nature out of which conscious life develops must exhibit opposing forces in the reconciling and recurrence of which "consists the process and mystery of production." Art is produced through that same dialectical struggle for the reconciliation of opposites that takes place between mind and nature. Art is not, then, merely imitative, but symbolic of reality. Like all symbols (as Coleridge defines them), it is consequently an inherent part of the process it represents; and the artist as creator, his consciousness being the focus of nature and Idea, matter and form, becomes symbolic of God. So, like God, the artist or Genius must suffer alienation in order to create. He needs to be in a special sense disinterested, emotionally aloof for a while from his subject matter and from himself. For in the joy of creation "individuality is lost." He must first "eloign himself from nature in order to return to her with full effect." Just as in the cosmic struggle for synthesis, so in the microcosm of art and the individual artist's mind, there is an attempted fusion of conscious and unconscious forces.
The artist (Coleridge usually considers the case of the poet) achieves such fusions in virtue of his special psychological makeup; that is, through his having the power of Imagination. Coleridge's theory of Imagination, however, does not neatly reflect any of the everyday uses of "imagination" distinguished by modern linguistic analysts. His poet does not create through merely imaginary (unreal) fantasy, nor does he imagine in the sense of making to himself or his reader a kind of supposal, veridical or false. And although it is of course true that the poet is imaginative in being creative or inventive, it is not the case, according to Coleridge, that it is in this fact alone that the poet's Imagination consists.
Nor is Imagination "invention" in the sense that it adds to the real, as common usage might suggest. Instead, as we have seen, Coleridge's view is that the poem and the poet are microcosmic analogues, indeed symbolic parts, of reality. His theory is not concerned, then, with an elucidation of ordinary senses of "in imagination" or even with ordinary senses of "with imagination." It is, typically, a piece of speculative (though not therefore unempirical) psychology that is the rather overweighted vehicle for a value judgment. In this and certain other respects, Coleridge's theory of Imagination has interesting affinities with Jean-Paul Sartre's theory in which imagination is related to the notion of nihilation of consciousness. Needless to say, Sartre is borrowing from a later development of the same German tradition to which Coleridge was indebted.
Coleridge considers three things: primary Imagination, secondary Imagination, and Fancy. The power of primary Imagination is not peculiar to poets, but is standard psychological equipment for all men. It is Coleridge's term for what he considers to be finite mind's repetition in perception of God's creative act. His view seems to be that by synthetically perceiving and categorizing things that are not me, I become conscious of myself, and that this state of human self-consciousness is analogous to God's own creative schizophrenia. Secondary Imagination is the specialized poetic faculty. Differing only in degree and in its mode of operation from primary Imagination, it is the poet's power of unifying chaotic experience into the significant form of art. Thus, secondary or poetic Imagination "dissolves, diffuses, dissipates, in order to recreate … it struggles to idealize and to unify. It is essentially vital, even as all objects (as objects) are essentially fixed and dead."
Fancy, on the other hand, differs in kind from Imagination. While poetic Imagination is organic in its operation, producing true analogues of God's creation, Fancy is merely mechanical, aggregative; it is at best imitative rather than symbolic and the instrument of Talent, as opposed to Genius. Fancy is in fact that lower-grade imagination that Locke and Hume set beside sense and memory as a third, nonreferential, source of ideas. Thus Fancy is allied to Understanding, while Imagination, in its ability to transcend and transform the phenomenal, is allied to Reason. It embodies in works of art that inner struggle between nature and mind within which art and Genius are temporary points of resolution.
Despite Coleridge's unhelpful talk about Imagination and Fancy being mental faculties, there is no doubt that the concrete application of these essentially evaluative concepts leads to a highly practical literary criticism. To mention only one instance, Coleridge's conception of the work of art as in some degree analogous to a biological organism and his distinction between mechanical regularity and organic form in poetry has had the greatest possible influence on modern criticism. Largely through the far-reaching implications of his distinction between Imagination and Fancy, Coleridge became the first English writer on poetry since the Renaissance to embody the highest powers of critical response within a framework of philosophical concepts that seemed to explain and reinforce that response rather than to inhibit or destroy it.
Morals and Politics
Although Coleridge was in his ethical theory a follower and acute critic of Kant, he is interesting today not so much for his own positive views as for his attack upon utilitarianism. Coleridge launches this attack in two ways. First, he tries to demonstrate the logical absurdity of the greatest happiness principle by reductio ad absurdum techniques; second, he "postulates the Will," which involves the claim that the utilitarian notion of personality is psychologically inadequate. On the logical side, Coleridge opens fire with the surprisingly modern assertion that the whole of moral philosophy is contained in one question: "Is Good a superfluous word … for the pleasurable and its causes—at most a mere modification to express degree and comparative duration of pleasure?" His reply is that the meaning of good can be decided only by an appeal to universal usage, for the distinction between good and pleasurable, which, he holds, is common to all languages of the civilized world, must "be the consequent of a common consciousness of man as man."
Then, avoiding the error J. S. Mill was soon to make, Coleridge distinguishes between things that are good because they are desired, and things that are or ought to be desired because they are good. This leads him to conclude that good cannot be defined simply in terms of pleasure or happiness. Against the Benthamite view that the agent's motive has nothing to do with the morality of his action, Coleridge makes two points, partly logical and partly psychological. The utilitarian position cannot generally hold, he says, because it follows from it that I could do a morally right act by sheer chance. But such complete lack of inward, conscious participation on my part could never be a sufficient criterion for my acting morally. The utilitarian principle therefore confounds morality with law. Moreover, it is no defense here to say that the principle was put forward as a criterion for judging the morality of the action and not that of the agent, because this last distinction is "merely logical, not real and vital." Acts cannot be dissociated from an agent any more than ideas from a mind.
In his social philosophy, Coleridge writes in the tradition of Edmund Burke. His mature views are contained in On the Constitution of the Church and State, which was begun as an attempt to formulate objections to various bills for Catholic emancipation and finished as an idealist treatise containing the whole logomachy of organism and the reconciliation of opposites. In any society there are always two antithetical forces at work. Since, dialectically speaking, "opposite powers are always of the same kind, and tend to union," Coleridge's idea of a well-functioning society is the nonrevolutionary reconciliation of forces working for permanence with forces working for progression. These he identifies with, respectively, the aristocratic, landed interest and the bourgeois, commercial interest of early Victorian England; a monarch also being required to maintain cohesion.
Coleridge's habit of generalizing from the history and the contemporary pattern of British political institutions rather than, as he alleges, drawing a description of the idea of a state, should at least make suspect his application of these largely a priori principles. This habit leaves Coleridge, like G. W. F. Hegel, wide open to the charge of surrounding the constitution of his own country with an aura of metaphysical sanctity to which it has no claim. Despite such ruinous methodology, however, what Coleridge has to say about the intelligentsia and the part it has to play in the dissemination of culture has been influential.
Coleridge contrasts cultivation with civilization. Civilization he takes to denote external, material social progress, while cultivation is more inward and personal: the "harmonious development of these qualities and faculties that characterize our humanity." So that cultivation can take place, Coleridge proposes the formation of a state-endowed class, the "clerisy" or "national church," which would effectively consist of professors of liberal arts officially established throughout the country. The national church would, however, be in no sense identical with the Church of England or with any purely religious organization. Its purpose would be to preserve the results of learning, to "bind the present with the past" and to give every member of the community an understanding of his social rights and duties. The almost limitless possibilities for authoritarianism in such an arrangement are, again, obvious. Nevertheless, in Coleridge's Church and State the idea of culture as something independent of material progress was first systematically introduced into English thinking, and was from then onward available in various forms, not merely to influence society but also to judge it.
Though it is no doubt true that Coleridge was, with Bentham, one of the great seminal minds of England in his age, it is not true without qualification that the cultural powers wielded by Bentham and Coleridge were "opposite poles of one great force of progression." Here Mill was surely indulging in public-spirited wish fulfillment rather than relating the facts. Coleridge and his German contemporaries undoubtedly brought to social consciousness those deeper insights into the nature of the individual and the organic complexities of human associations that were classically synthesized by Hegel in the Philosophy of Right (1821). Yet the inherent ambiguity of these insights has today become a disturbing commonplace. Mill inevitably overlooked the darker side of romanticism. For once the romantic artist or philosopher ceases to believe in God, he tends either to find a new object of veneration in history or hero worship or, more recently, to relinquish his very inwardness and imagination in solipsistic nausea. It was Coleridge's curious fortune that he never lost his belief in God.
See also Aesthetics, History of; Bentham, Jeremy; Berkeley, George; Burke, Edmund; Cartesianism; Enlightenment; Fichte, Johann Gottlieb; Godwin, William; Hartley, David; Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich; Helvétius, Claude-Adrien; Herder, Johann Gottfried; Hume, David; Idealism; Imagination; Kant, Immanuel; Kierkegaard, Søren Aabye; Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim; Locke, John; Mill, James; Mill, John Stuart; Romanticism; Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von; Schlegel, Friedrich von.
The Complete Works of S. T. Coleridge, edited by W. G. T. Shedd, 7 vols. (New York: Harper, 1853 and 1884), was very far from complete. Fortunately, Professor Kathleen Coburn is now in the process of preparing the first scholarly and really comprehensive edition of practically everything Coleridge wrote, apart from the Collected Letters, edited by E. L. Griggs, 6 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956–1971). Coburn has already brought out two volumes of Coleridge's Notebooks (London and New York, 1957 and 1962) and his Philosophical Lectures (London: Pilot Press, 1949). Coburn's Inquiring Spirit: A New Presentation of Coleridge from His Published and Unpublished Prose Writings (New York: Pantheon, 1951) gives an exciting foretaste of what is to come.
Among the prose works essential for a study of Coleridge as a thinker, note particularly the following: Biographia Literaria (New York: Kirk and Merein, 1817), edited by John Shawcross, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1907); The Friend, 3 vols. (London: Fenner, 1818); Aids to Reflection (London: Taylor and Hessey, 1825); On the Constitution of the Church and State, According to the Idea of Each (London, 1830); Coleridge on Logic and Learning, edited by A. D. Snyder (London, 1929); S. T. Coleridge's Treatise on Method, edited by A. D. Snyder (London: Constable, 1934); Coleridge's Shakespearean Criticism, edited by T. M. Raynor (London: Constable, 1930); Specimens of the Table Talk of the late S. T. Coleridge, edited by H. N. Coleridge, 2 vols. (London: Murray, 1835).
On Coleridge's general philosophical position, see especially John H. Muirhead, Coleridge as Philosopher (London: Allen and Unwin, 1930) and Elizabeth Winkelmann, Coleridge und die Kantische Philosophie (Leipzig: Mayer and Müller, 1933). Both these works are reliable but philosophically very old-fashioned. Among the very large number of articles on Coleridge's thought, A. O. Lovejoy, "Coleridge and Kant's Two Worlds," reprinted in Essays in the History of Ideas (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1948) deserves special attention. James D. Boulger, Coleridge as Religious Thinker (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1961) gives a good account of the later Coleridge.
On the theory of imagination, see especially James V. Baker, The Sacred River (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1957); I. A. Richards, Coleridge on Imagination (2nd ed., New York: Norton, 1950); René Wellek, A History of Modern Criticism (London, 1965), Vol. 2, Ch. 6; J. M. Cameron, "Poetic Imagination," in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, n.s. 62 (1961–1962): 219–240. The best short work in this field is Gordon McKenzie, Organic Unity in Coleridge, University of California Publications in English, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1939), 1–108. R. H. Fogle, The Idea of Coleridge's Criticism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1962) is suggestive if not always epistemologically acute.
A reliable account of Coleridge's political thought is given in John Colmer, Coleridge: Critic of Society (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959). J. S. Mill, "Bentham" and "Coleridge," in London and Westminster Review (1838 and 1840) will always remain great classics. Also see F. R. Leavis, Mill on Bentham and Coleridge (London: Chatto and Windus, 1950) and Raymond Williams, Culture and Society, 1780–1950 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1958), Part II, Ch. 3. Justus Buchler, The Concept of Method (New York: Columbia University Press, 1961) contains an interesting analysis of the Treatise on Method and compares Coleridge's views with those of other thinkers, including Bentham.
other recommended works
Appleyard, J. A. Coleridge's Philosophy of Literature: The Development of a Concept of Poetry, 1791–1819. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1965.
Barfield, Owen. What Coleridge Thought. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1971.
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. The Friend: A Series of Essays to Aid in the Formation of Fixed Principles in Politics, Morals, and Religion with Literary Amusements Interspersed. London: W. Pickering, 1844.
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. The Relation of Philosophy to Theology, and of Theology to Religion. London: Ward, 1851.
Gallant, Christine, ed. Coleridge's Theory of Imagination Today. New York: AMS Press, 1989.
Hamilton, Paul, D. Phil. Coleridge's Poetics. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1983.
Haney, David P. The Challenge of Coleridge: Ethics and Interpretation in Romanticism and Modern Philosophy. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001.
Haney, John Louis. The German Influence on Samuel Taylor Coleridge. New York: Haskell House, 1966.
Hedley, Douglas. Coleridge, Philosophy and Religion: Aids to Reflection and the Mirror of the Spirit. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Hodgson, John A. Coleridge, Shelley, and Transcendental Inquiry: Rhetoric, Argument, Metapsychology. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989.
Lockridge, Laurence S. Coleridge the Moralist. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977.
Marks, Emerson R. Coleridge on the Language of Verse. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1981.
McNiece, Gerald. The Knowledge that Endures: Coleridge, German Philosophy and the Logic of Romantic Thought. London: Macmillan, 1992.
Modiano, Raimonda. Coleridge and the Concept of Nature. Tallahassee: Florida State University Press, 1985.
Newlyn, Lucy. The Cambridge Companion to Coleridge. Cambridge, U.K.; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Orsini, Gian Napoleone Giordano. Coleridge and German Idealism: A Study in the History of Philosophy with Unpublished Materials from Coleridge's Manuscripts. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1969.
Perkins, Mary Anne. Coleridge's Philosophy: The Logos as Unifying Principle. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Perry, Seamus. Coleridge and the Uses of Division. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Swinden, Patrick. "Coleridge and Kant." In Literature and the Philosophy of Intention. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan; New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Taylor, Anya. Coleridge's Defense of the Human. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1986.
Wheeler, Kathleen M. "Coleridge's Attack on Dualism." In Romanticism, Pragmatism, and Deconstruction. Oxford, U.K.; Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1993.
Wylie, Ian. Young Coleridge and the Philosophers of Nature. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.
Michael Moran (1967)
Bibliography updated by Desiree Matherly Martin