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The [ ] walked down the street

Michael Silverstein: Saussure, 8 November 2012

by John Joseph.
Oxford, 780 pp., £30, March 2012, 978 0 19 969565 2
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... an extraordinary act of devotion, two of Saussure’s former students at the University of Geneva, Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye, undertook to collate the course notes of students who were enrolled in one or another of Saussure’s three pedagogical attempts at a ‘course of general linguistics’ in 1907-8, 1908-9 and 1910-11, together with the few ...

Psychoneural Pairs

A.J. Ayer, 19 May 1988

A Theory of Determinism: The Mind, Neuroscience and Life-Hopes 
by Ted Honderich.
Oxford, 656 pp., £55, May 1988, 9780198244691
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... fairly close approximations, ascribing their discrepancies to ‘observational errors’. But, as Charles Sanders Peirce pointed out, this was simply a term of art: there was seldom any good reason to believe that there was anything wrong with the experiments. In his view, and in mine, the deviations were a matter of chance, and I follow him in taking ...

Carlyle’s Mail Fraud

Rosalind Mitchison, 6 August 1981

The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle: Vol. VIII 1835-1836, Vol. IX 1836-1837 
edited by Charles Sanders and Kenneth Fielding.
Duke, 365 pp., £32.95, May 1981, 0 8223 0433 3
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... These volumes are issued as a pair, with a single index, and rightly, because they hold together for a coherent segment of Carlyle’s life. The dominant theme of the two is the writing of The French Revolution: in Volume VIII Carlyle is struggling with the first two volumes, in IX he produces the third, spends four months battling with the proofs and finally sees the whole book published and reviewed ...

Bare Bones

Steven Shapin: Rhinoceros v. Megatherium, 8 March 2018

The Rhinoceros and the Megatherium: An Essay in Natural History 
by Juan Pimentel, translated by Peter Mason.
Harvard, 356 pp., £21.95, January 2017, 978 0 674 73712 9
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... giving birth to evolution.’ ‘When a man desires ardently to know the truth,’ the pragmatist Charles Sanders Peirce wrote at the close of the 19th century, ‘his first effort will be to imagine what that truth can be … It is not too much to say that next after the passion to learn there is no quality so indispensable to the successful prosecution ...

Wasp in a Bottle

John Sturrock, 10 February 1994

Charles Sanders Peirce 
by Joseph Brent.
Indiana, 388 pp., £28.50, January 1993, 0 253 31267 1
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The Esssential Peirce: Vol. I 
edited by Nathan Houser and Christian Koesel.
Indiana, 399 pp., £17.99, November 1992, 0 253 20721 5
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... Irish) and fearsomely bad-tempered. Looking morosely back on his own life in old age, his son Charles blamed his father for having passed down to him three crippling ‘mental twists’ (with Peirce everything is grouped in threes): an unusual mathematical ability which, far from being a blessing, had led him to hold unacceptable religious opinions; a ...

Copying the coyote

Richard Poirier, 18 October 1984

The Principles of Psychology 
by William James, introduced by George Miller.
Harvard, 1302 pp., £14.95, December 1983, 0 674 70625 0
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A Stroll with William James 
by Jacques Barzun.
Chicago, 344 pp., £16, October 1983, 0 226 03865 3
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Becoming William James 
by Howard Feinstein.
Cornell, 377 pp., $24.95, May 1984, 0 8014 1617 5
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Essays in Psychology 
by William James, edited by Frederick Burkhardt and Fredson Bowers.
Harvard, 467 pp., £32, April 1984, 0 674 26714 1
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... of colleagues. It is here that James differs markedly from his dear and prickly friend, Charles Sanders Peirce, who can be said to have given the name ‘pragmatism’ to American philosophy in a paper James heard in 1872. Both James and Peirce were indebted in their pragmatisms to a definition of belief given by the Scottish ...

I need money

Christian Lorentzen: Biden Tries Again, 10 September 2020

Yesterday’s Man: The Case against Joe Biden 
by Branko Marcetic.
Verso, 288 pp., £12.99, March 2020, 978 1 83976 028 0
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... of the Western allies and the substantial egos of Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Field Marshal Montgomery and General Patton. Dad thought Eisenhower was a man with ballast, a leader. But the Finnegans wanted to argue Ike’s policies.Note the trace of red-baiting in the bit about the steel company (‘un-American’); the ...

Fetch the Chopping Knife

Charles Nicholl: Murder on Bankside, 4 November 2021

... of the quarto outlines the case – ‘The most tragicall and lamentable murther of Master George Sanders of London, Marchant, nigh Shooters Hill, consented unto by his own wife’ – and says that the play has been ‘lately diverse times acted’ by the Chamberlain’s Men. It was published near the end of 1599 (at some point after its registration at ...


James Meek, 5 April 2018

... to NHS England, the master of Leicestershire’s STP is a long-term NHS administrator called Toby Sanders, who’s also managing director of West Leicestershire CCG. But when I approached Sanders in August, I got nowhere: initially a flat refusal, through an intermediary, to have anyone talk to me about anything to do with ...


Neal Ascherson: Cold War Stories, 23 July 2009

Constructing the Monolith: The United States, Great Britain and International Communism 1945-50 
by Marc Selverstone.
Harvard, 304 pp., £36.95, February 2009, 978 0 674 03179 1
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... and offered to exchange Lee Meng for a British businessman arrested for spying – Edgar Sanders, cousin of the suave film star George Sanders. Instantly, the British press proclaimed that ‘the Communist monolith’ was in action, as the Kremlin flashed orders from Moscow to Beijing, Budapest and the underground ...


Jon Halliday, 2 June 1983

In the Service of the Peacock Throne: The Diaries of the Shah’s Last Ambassador to London 
by Parviz Radji.
Hamish Hamilton, 343 pp., £12.50, April 1983, 0 241 10960 4
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... people she had invited to dinner had refused to come because Radji was going to be there (George Sanders was right – always check out your fellow guests). Radji slams her for ‘tactlessness’. But this is just the sort of thing he needed to know. An interesting case of the discriminating guest is Anthony Howard, then editor of the New Statesman, who ...

It’s me you gotta make happy

Andrea Brady: John Wieners, 29 July 2021

Yours Presently: The Selected Letters of John Wieners 
edited by Michael Seth Stewart.
New Mexico, 333 pp., £60, December 2020, 978 0 8263 6204 9
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... The person who most encouraged him to ‘meditate upon himself’ was the straight poet Charles Olson. Wieners first encountered Olson at a reading on the night of Hurricane Hazel in 1954. Olson offered him a loan for tuition, room and board at Black Mountain College, and Wieners studied there in 1955 and 1956. After this, he recommended Olson’s ...

Leaping on Tables

Norman Vance: Thomas Carlyle, 2 November 2000

Sartor Resartus 
by Thomas Carlyle, edited by Rodger Tarr and Mark Engel.
California, 774 pp., £38, April 2000, 0 520 20928 1
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... the Collected Letters owes a great deal to the American Carlyle scholar and founding editor C.R. Sanders. The new Strouse Carlyle Edition, intended to replace the unsatisfactory and unannotated 30-volume Centenary Edition (1896-99), is also American, administered by the Dickens Project, a ‘multicampus research group of the University of California’. It ...

Racist Litter

Randall Kennedy: The Lessons of Reconstruction, 30 July 2020

The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution 
by Eric Foner.
Norton, 288 pp., £18.99, October 2019, 978 0 393 65257 4
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... public recognition. By comparison, key framers of the Reconstruction Amendments – James Ashley, Charles Sumner, Lyman Trumbull and Thaddeus Stevens – are obscure. Unfamiliar, too, are the origins and back stories of their constitutional handiwork, which Foner ably describes.Throughout his career Foner has championed progressive radicalism in the American ...

White Power

Thomas Meaney, 1 August 2019

Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America 
by Kathleen Belew.
Harvard, 330 pp., £23.95, April 2018, 978 0 674 28607 8
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Revolutionaries for the Right Anti-Communist Internationalism and Paramilitary Warfare in the Cold War 
by Kyle Burke.
North Carolina, 337 pp., June 2018, 978 1 4696 4073 0
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... The New World Order (1991) claimed to unveil a vast Jewish-capitalist conspiracy, while Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein’s pseudoscience blockbuster, The Bell Curve (1994), laboured to justify America’s racial hierarchy. In 1989, Beam had already put the question to his brethren: ‘Now that the threat of communist takeover in the United ...

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