Teaching Fellows

Thomas Newbold

Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences Newbold, Thomas

Area of Study

Department of History

Thomas Newbold

Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences

Thomas Newbold is a historian of nineteenth century Bengal, with a particular focus on the history of philosophy, historiography, and the intellectual history of the British empire. His dissertation “The Critical Age: Moral Revaluation and Modern Periodization in Bhadralok Bengal” examined how – in the wake of irresolvable debates on the moral value of practices formerly held to be virtuous and increasingly found to be execrable– Bengali intellectuals turned away from arguments prizing the value of authoritative injunctions to rework arguments drawn from “common-sense” philosophy and moral intuitionism to argue that only the workings of a “moral faculty” intrinsic to individuals ensured the possibility of truly virtuous conduct. Newbold’s current research explores how later in the nineteenth century Bengali intellectuals traded moral intuitionism for arguments that proposed that true virtue was given only by the development of one’s character and the forwarding of the progressive march of history.