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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…

Wittgenstein and Hayek

My Cousin, Ludwig Wittgenstein — a lovely memoir (see family tree below). The first extract below (The New Yorker) reminded me of the Percy legacy (second extract). Wittgenstein, once asked a pupil if he had ever had any tragedies in his life. The pupil, evidently well trained, inquired what he meant by “tragedy.” “I mean suicides,…

Retrieving Realism

Speaking of Being in the World this (prima facie) is what one would call a philosophy publishing event. charles taylorCognitionCognitive neuroscienceCognitive scienceconsciousnessDavid HumeDescartesdistributed cognitiondistributed knowledgedonald davidsonEmbodied cognitionEpistemologyHubert DreyfusKantnatural kindsphilosophical psychologyPhilosophy of mindquinerealismRetrieving RealismRortysituated cognitionWittgenstein

Russell’s “On Denoting”

Speaking of Davidson, here is a two-parter from Stephen Neale (a Davidson expert) on Russell’s seminal paper “On Denoting” published in MIND in 1905 and the ensuing philosophical debate centred around it. “On Denoting” is arguably the most important philosophical paper of the 20th Century, a paper one has to tackle if one is trying to…

Dorothy Emmet

I was reminded by a most prolific chum of mine about Dorothy Emmet who so kindly agreed to my coming up to Cambridge to ostensibly chat to her about Bosanquet. This was in 1990 when she was 86. Taking this opportunity to speak to someone of her calibre and longevity we spoke over a long lunch…

Oakeshott on the History of Political Thought

Martyn’s essay opens the second half of the Companion. The fact that nonhistorical elements were interwoven into the lecture course strongly suggests that Oakeshott was doing something other than offering his students an outline history of Western political thought. And this suggestion is in part confirmed by the fact that Oakeshott’s own title for the…

A. E. HOUSMAN

I’ve always described Housman’s intellect as akin to “wrestling with razor blades” as least in his classical scholarship. I chanced upon the The Housman Society which I’m pleased to see has been ticking along for almost 40 years. My first exposure to AEH’s austere intellect was through Gow’s A. E. Housman: A Sketch Together with a List of…

Philosophical Literature

H/T to a kindred spirit “Infrequent literary reflections by an analytic philosopher” for bringing the slowly but surely growing secondary literature to my attention. Since it was through Kafka that my latent philosophical impulse was first generated, I’ve always wanted to write a piece on some aspect of his work. I have however been granted…