By E. B. Cook, W. R. Henry, C. A. Gilberg
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Such a varied list of works, and their place as examples of the 'second Species' of criticism, suggest two of Harris's fundamental principles: that concern for individual authors and texts takes place within the context of a tradition of critical theory (of 'philosophical' criticism), and that within 33 George Dyer provides a contemporary discussion of Harris's concept of 'philosophical criticism', in Poetics (1812), II, pp. 86-92. 5 this tradition the interpretation and evaluation of individual works are matters of scholarship, acts of 'historical' criticism.
The institution of criticism in the eighteenth century 17 taught him - by his disinterested, extensive views - to leave his estate behind in order more actively to serve civic virtue by leading the polity. Thus, too, Dennis's poet may serve the state, though such opportunity come perhaps only through patronage: 'For whenever a good Poet has laid aside Poetry for any other employment, he has seldom failed of succeeding in that employment, tho it has been of never so great importance' (I, p. 290).
Now that philosophical criticism has come to England and settled fundamental issues - including issues of value - the practising critic becomes a historical scholar. 34 To put the point another way: there is a contradiction in how Harris locates himself in relation to the developments he traces. Is he part of the unfolding of events (as would appear from his genealogy as a critic of the second species), or is he above and outside them - is he philologist or (historical) critic? 35 The gentleman can no longer be understood as capable of taking an extensive and impartial view of the whole by virtue of his social position — a position which supposedly frees him from such shaping; it is the later eighteenth century's hope that such vision may, however, be the possession of the scholar - what the next century would call the 'intellectual'.