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Simplicity Smith

Rosalind Mitchison, 6 March 1980

A System of Social Science: Papers relating to Adam Smith 
by Andrew Skinner.
Oxford, 278 pp., £9.75, November 1979, 0 19 828422 5
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... of Smith’s economic thought. Assisted by two sets of students’ lecture notes, Professor Skinner is able to show when and how Smith made the link between the ideas of the division of labour and the importance of the extent of the market. For a moment we can enter into the mental processes of this reserved philosopher. Professor ...

Pocock’s Positions

Blair Worden, 4 November 1993

Political Discourse in Early Modern Britain 
edited by Nicholas Phillipson and Quentin Skinner.
Cambridge, 444 pp., £35, March 1993, 9780521392426
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... disagreements, Hobbes and Harrington shared. Hobbes is the subject of two strong essays. Quentin Skinner follows the erratic development of his attitude to the Classical tradition which regarded a training in rhetoric and eloquence as essential to the advancement of both civic virtue and truth. In his works of the 1640s Hobbes’s mistrust of rhetoric led ...

Secret Signals in Lotus Flowers

Maya Jasanoff: Myths of the Mutiny, 21 July 2005

The Indian Mutiny and the British Imagination 
by Gautam Chakravarty.
Cambridge, 242 pp., £45, January 2005, 0 521 83274 8
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... Italy. In Delhi it is an oddity, as was its founder, the swashbuckling military adventurer James Skinner, who built it ‘in fulfilment of a vow made while lying wounded on the field of battle’. (Skinner’s equally remarkable contemporary Begum Samru – a Kashmiri dancing-girl turned army commander – built a Catholic ...

Seventy Years in a Filthy Trade

Andrew O’Hagan: E.S. Turner, 15 October 1998

... we learn of the society in which ‘the journalist rated somewhere between apothecary and cat-skinner.’ And the seediest of these parson-scribes found a natural home in the Grub Street of the day, an acre or two of foundling newspapers and inky warrens, inhabited, as Dr Johnson had it, ‘by writers of small histories, dictionaries and temporary ...


Ian Hamilton, 25 January 1996

Not Playing for Celtic: Another Paradise Lost 
by David Bennie.
Mainstream, 221 pp., £12.99, October 1995, 1 85158 757 8
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Achieving the Goal 
by David Platt.
Richard Cohen, 244 pp., £12.99, October 1995, 1 86066 017 7
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Captain’s Log: The Gary McAllister Story 
by Gary McAllister and Graham Clark.
Mainstream, 192 pp., £14.99, October 1995, 9781851587902
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Blue Grit: The John Brown Story 
by John Brown and Derek Watson.
Mainstream, 176 pp., £14.99, November 1995, 1 85158 822 1
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Kicking and Screaming: An Oral History of Football in England 
by Rogan Taylor and Andrew Ward.
Robson, 370 pp., £16.95, October 1995, 0 86051 912 0
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A Passion for the Game: Real Lives in Football 
by Tom Watt.
Mainstream, 316 pp., £14.99, October 1995, 1 85158 714 4
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... snapshot you keep showing me. Where did they get this stuff? From Sky TV, from Fever Pitch, from Skinner and Baddiel? Or did they get it from their fathers, old soccer bores with nobody to talk to except their captive kids? ‘Once upon a time there was this big white horse.’ Another dismaying feature of the new ‘soccer-literacy’ is that its exponents ...

The Reaction Economy

William Davies, 2 March 2023

... 20th century, pioneered by John B. Watson after the First World War and later identified with B.F. Skinner, was established with the explicit aim of rendering human responses predictable and thereby controllable. Psychology would abandon any theory of mind in favour of data on observable behaviour. Behaviourists imagined a wholly conditioned, programmable ...

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