David Pears

Born on this day — check out the obits along with Pears and Murdoch in discussion on the idea of freedom.

When his book Ludwig Wittgenstein was published in 1971, Igor Stravinksy wrote to congratulate Pears on the beauty of his writing, which, wrote Bernard Williams, “combines in a very pure form the more conversational and the more formal aspects of analytic philosophy (it is rather reminiscent of a certain kind of 20th-century French music)”. For Williams – they had given a fascinating seminar on identity together in the 1950s, which was described as “the high-point of philosophical activity of the time” – Pears’s questions and discoveries, which were often “deliberately, and realistically, vague”, were “constantly shaped … by a project of self-understanding”.

The Guardian

In Iris Murdoch’s first novel, Under the Net (1954; he was the dedicatee of The Unicorn, 1963) the character of Hugo is partly drawn from Pears, and there’s also something of him in Dave, the freelance philosopher.

The Independent

Christopher Peacocke memior