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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…

On Hating and Despising Philosophy

Bernard Williams in the LRB reprinted in Essays and Reviews: 1959-2002. An update, see: The London Review of Books. As long as there has been such a subject as philosophy, there have been people who hated and despised it. I do not want to exaggerate, in a self-pitying or self-dramatising way, the present extent or intensity of this dislike; I…

The Virtuous Whisky Drinker and Living Well

Richard Menary’s lovely essay   I want to suggest that becoming a virtuous whisky drinker is not simply seeking after pleasurable sensations. Being a virtuous whisky drinker is taking pleasure in directing our senses at the complex array of tastes and smells that the beautiful dram affords us. My acquaintance enjoyed his sweet alcoholic mix, but…

Adam Smith as a Scottish Philosopher

Below is the intro to Gordon Graham’s chapter. Was Adam Smith a Scottish philosopher? The question seems an odd one. He was a philosopher and he was Scottish. What more could we need to know, in order to arrive at the simple answer ‘yes.’ And in any case, why does it matter? On reflection, however, neither…

The Avuncular David Hume

Hume is on my mind especially in regard to my current work on Adam Smith. To this end, I’ve been re-watching Bryan Magee’s series The Great Philosophers from ’87. I’ve especially enjoyed the Hume discussion with John Passmore. Magee is an expositor second to none despite the fact that his expert guests are more intimate with-…

Oakeshott Association Conference Programme

Here is the programme for the MOA meeting at Colorado College. Charles Sanders PeirceConservatismConversationEric VoegelinfoucaultHegelhistory of political thoughthumeLiberalismMichael OakeshottMichael Oakeshott AssociationmodernityPhilosophy of historyphilosophy of social sciencePolitical philosophyR. G. Collingwoodrationalism