Not Knotted Phosphorous

[As I cannot stand celebrity, I cannot bear ideology.]

When I told my father, who was a lawyer, that I was thinking of studying philosophy, he responded with an ironic, “Now, that’s really something. I see you’re not going to be happy with any kind of work that isn’t in direct connection with the truth.”

I was discomfited by his observation. He knew what he was talking about. Then again, there was my enthusiasm for football.

In the early 1970s you were taught at the universities of Harvard and Berkeley. Could you tell us what the atmosphere was like?


Voice never television…

“Then, all of a sudden, events were occurring that were very real but which we hadn’t dared to imagine.’

“…social-democratic goodwill in search of a credible-pragmatic formulation”.

“As if values were something that might exist or not!”

“I’m imagining a son, who has his own family, visiting his elderly mother in hospital where she lies in an irreversible coma. The doctor asks if he’d prefer them to pull out the plugs before or after the holidays. Here, the traditional response of “we’ll abide by the judgement of science” doesn’t hold. We are the ones who have to make the decision. If somebody has to kill her it must be us, the people who love her most.”

“…there are no pure facts that are independent of values.”