Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the philosophers who influenced Shelley's works. Shelley, for instance, was influenced by Plato's metaphysics, political science, and poetics; he often redeploys, in his poems and images, ideas taken from his deep study of the philosopher's writings. He was also interested in the French materialists, of whom he read Laplace, Condorcet, Volney, Cabanis, and Holbach, the latter of whom he translated in the summer of 1812, and seems to have been particularly influential. Shelley quoted Holbach' radically anti-Christian masterpiece Système de la nature (1770) at length in the notes to Queen Mab, but perhaps the most important philosopher of all for him was David Hume. Shelley's polemical Essay on a Future State draws heavily both on Hume's scepticism and his psychological account of belief.

Keywords: Percy Bysshe Shelley, philosophers, Plato, Holbach, David Hume

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.