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Ghost Artists

J.I.M. Stewart, 18 December 1980

The Case of the Philosophers’ Ring by Dr John H. Watson 
by Randall Collins.
Harvester, 152 pp., £6.95, September 1980, 0 85527 458 1
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... addition to Holmes and Watson the main characters are Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, A.N. Whitehead. J.M. Keynes and G.E. Moore. Rather in the role of what are coming to be known as ‘guest artists’, room is also found for Lytton Strachey and Virginia Woolf. All these, together with Annie Besant, turn out to be goodies or near goodies, and over ...


Brian Pippard, 6 June 1985

Science and the Modern World 
by A.N. Whitehead.
Free Association, 265 pp., £11.95, February 1985, 0 946960 14 3
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... Sixty years ago, when Alfred North Whitehead delivered the lectures that were published as Science and the Modern World, he was famous as a penetrating philosopher of mathematics, the teacher and later the colleague of Russell, a man of wide learning who had turned to metaphysics and developed a new system so profound that few dared criticise it; he was also an educational reformer and an upright man loved by his many friends ...

The Last Thing Said in Germany

Sheldon Rothblatt, 19 May 1988

War and the Image of Germany: British Academics 1914-1918 
by Stuart Wallace.
John Donald, 288 pp., £20, March 1988, 0 85976 133 9
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... was discontinued, and he was snubbed at high table. His Principia Mathematica collaborator A.N. Whitehead could hardly be expected to remain on amicable terms with him after losing a younger son in battle. These and other examples of volte-face, rationalisation and sabre-rattling are dismaying. How dismaying, however, depends on one’s assumptions about ...

Where structuralism comes from

John Sturrock, 2 February 1984

Course in General Linguistics 
by Ferdinand de Saussure, translated by Roy Harris.
Duckworth, 236 pp., £24, March 1983, 0 7156 1738 9
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Semiotic Perspectives 
by Sandor Hervey.
Allen and Unwin, 273 pp., £15, September 1982, 9780044000266
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... having ‘concocted’ the chief object of his inquiry, la langue, and of being at one with A.N. Whitehead in naively falling for the ‘Method of Intensive Distraction’. Saussure’s definition of language (langue) as an abstract system of which actual languages were the living evidence was too platonic to be stomached by the behaviouristic Ogden and ...

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