In his 1912 essay, ‘A Tory Philosophy’, Hulme quotes Nietzsche’s dictum ‘Philosophy is autobiography’, a belief, he points out, also held by Renan, who claimed that ‘Philosophies and theories of politics are nothing in the last resort, when they are analyzed out, but the affirmation of a temperament’ (CW, p. 233).1 In this context Hulme is explaining the difference between ‘the romantic’ and ‘the classic’, but it is an argument he put forward many times. He would slightly modify that view by 1915, but that he himself felt so keenly at this stage that politics or philosophy could be shaped by psychic needs is an issue worth exploring; Hulme’s philosophical enquiries always have an urgency and passion, a driving need to articulate some way of understanding the world, a compulsion to explain and defend his latest point of view. As his friend Jacob Epstein put it, ‘His passion for the truth was uncontrolled’ (1960, p. 7). The changing ideas that he put forward during the eight years charted by his surviving writing embody a highly personal quest, although it is also emblematic of his time. Establishing the chronology of his work has freed Hulme from the charges of muddle and confusion that some of his critics brought against him in the past, understandably enough, perhaps; in Herbert Read’s Speculations Hulme’s pieces had appeared in almost entirely the opposite order from that in which he wrote them, so making coherent sense of them was certainly challenging. Now thanks first to Michael Levenson, and more recently to Karen Csengeri, we can see the stages in Hulme’s development a good deal more clearly. If to Levenson those stages largely appeared as a series of sudden shifts and reversals, Csengeri argues, rightly I think, as Patrick McGuinness has also done, that there are certain continuities.2 I want to look here at some of the ongoing concerns that link the early and the later Hulme; although he may come up with different answers, he is very much driven by the same questions, and even the answers are perhaps not as different as they may at first seem.