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Colin McGinn, 23 November 1989

The Secret Connection: Causation, Realism and David Hume 
by Galen Strawson.
Oxford, 291 pp., £32.50, August 1989, 0 19 824853 9
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J.L. Austin 
by G.J. Warnock.
Routledge, 165 pp., £30, August 1989, 0 415 02962 7
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... than about his philosophical ideas. It therefore comes as a bit of a shock to read Geoffrey Warnock’s study. The impression here conveyed is that Austin was almost pathologically incapable of getting anything right. Time and again Warnock has to correct obvious mistakes, apologise for unclarities, expose ...

Biting into a Pin-cushion

A.D. Nuttall: Descartes’s botch, 24 June 2004

Flesh in the Age of Reason 
by Roy Porter.
Allen Lane, 574 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 7139 9149 6
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... Berkeley did not, however, complete his reification of the ideas (the ‘sensa’). G.J. Warnock in his book on Berkeley wondered why Berkeley did not throw away the other half of the duplicated universe: why did he not discard the mediating idea and simply insist that the sensum and the object were a single, fully real thing? Instead Berkeley ...

An Example of the Good Life

Steven Shapin: Michael Polanyi, 15 December 2011

Michael Polanyi and His Generation: Origins of the Social Construction of Science 
by Mary Jo Nye.
Chicago, 405 pp., £29, October 2011, 978 0 226 61063 4
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... But the philosophers, with few exceptions, never admitted him to their club. G.J. Warnock dismissed Polanyi by insinuating his foreignness: Polanyi, he was quoted as saying, ‘was not a philosopher at all. He was only a philosophe.’ The bibliography wasn’t right; the idiom was alien; the sentiments were embarrassing. All that ...

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