Arnold, Matthew (1822-1888) - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Matthew Arnold, the English poet and social and literary critic, was the son of Dr. Thomas Arnold, headmaster of Rugby. Matthew Arnold was educated at Winchester and Rugby and entered Balliol College, Oxford, in 1841. In 1847 he became private secretary to Lord Lansdowne, who in 1851 appointed Arnold inspector of schools, a position he held until 1886. In 1857 he was elected professor of poetry at Oxford.

As a critic, Arnold ranged over a broad spectrum from literary criticism through educational theory to politics, social thought, and religion.

Arnold's most important contribution to nineteenth-century thought was his discussion of the significance of culture as a social ideal. His related discussion of the function of criticism has been widely influential. He also contributed to the dispute over the relation between the Christian Scriptures and belief.

In Culture and Anarchy (London, 1869), Arnold defined "culture" as "a pursuit of our total...

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This section contains 1,194 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Arnold, Matthew (1822-1888) Encyclopedia Article
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Arnold, Matthew (1822-1888) from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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