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Wittgenstein’s Bag of Raisins

Norman Malcolm, 19 February 1981

Culture and Value 
by Ludwig Wittgenstein, edited by G.H. von Wright, Heikki Nyman and Peter Winch.
Blackwell, 94 pp., £9.50, September 1980, 0 631 12752 6
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... as Vermischte Bermerkungen (Miscellaneous Remarks), now appears with facing English translation by Peter Winch. (The title Culture and Value will make Wittgenstein turn in his grave.) For those who see Wittgenstein as the creator of a great new direction in philosophy it may come as a shock to learn that he did not regard himself as an original ...

Living within the truth

Onora O’Neill, 13 June 1991

The Political Responsibility of Intellectuals 
edited by Ian MacLean, Alan Montefiore and Peter Winch.
Cambridge, 312 pp., £27.50, December 1990, 0 521 39179 2
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... that doubt about truth and about moral standards may be less treacherous than false confidence. Peter Winch takes a related position where he claims that attempts to justify moral claims in more ultimate terms distort and weaken the claims themselves. Both Gellner and Winch find the supposed political ...

In Paris

Peter Campbell: ‘The Delirious Museum’, 9 February 2006

... at least pretends to attack) the bricks and mortar. His piece consists of a turnstile, a winch, worm gear, a 100-ton jack, timbers and steel plates, designed to be placed in the entrance to a museum. Visitors passing through the turnstile drive a glacially slow extension of the timbers which, in theory, threaten to knock down the walls. When it was ...

Burrinchini’s Spectre

Peter Clarke, 19 January 1984

That Noble Science of Politics: A Study in 19th-Century Intellectual History 
by Stefan Collini, Donald Winch and John Burrow.
Cambridge, 385 pp., £25, November 1983, 9780521257626
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... Collini has made his reputation as the historian of late 19th-century sociological thought. Donald Winch has long been known for path-breaking studies of the Smithian and Keynesian epochs. John Burrow’s elegant anatomy of the evolutionary paradigm in Victorian Britain has recently been succeeded by a rightfully acclaimed historiographical work. Though three ...

Close Cozenage

David Wootton, 23 May 1996

Astrology and the 17th-Century Mind: William Lilly and the Language of the Stars 
by Ann Geneva.
Manchester, 298 pp., £40, June 1995, 0 7190 4154 6
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... at least of the standard questions astrologers answered less pressing. On the other hand, there is Peter Winch’s The Idea of a Social Science (1958), which stresses that Evans-Pritchard had given an account of a coherent, self-sustaining way of making sense of the world, one which ensured that belief in oracles would seem rational. These two ...

I am a severed head

Colin Burrow: Iris Murdoch’s Incompatibilities, 10 August 2016

‘The Sea, the Sea’; ‘A Severed Head’ 
by Iris Murdoch.
Everyman, 680 pp., £14.99, March 2016, 978 1 84159 370 8
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... And being fair to Murdoch is quite hard at the moment. She has received a sympathetic biography by Peter Conradi, which may be too kind to her, and a sour memoir by A.N. Wilson from which even the concept of kindness appears to be absent. What with John Bayley’s Iris and the film of it, and all the ‘coo wasn’t she a one’ coverage of her sex life, she ...

The Great Scots Education Hoax

Rosalind Mitchison, 18 October 1984

The Companion to Gaelic Scotland 
edited by Derick Thomson.
Blackwell, 363 pp., £25, December 1983, 0 631 12502 7
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Experience and Enlightenment: Socialisation for Cultural Changes in 18th-Century Scotland 
by Charles Camic.
Edinburgh, 301 pp., £20, January 1984, 0 85224 483 5
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Knee Deep in Claret: A Celebration of Wine and Scotland 
by Billy Kay and Cailean Maclean.
Mainstream, 232 pp., £9.95, November 1983, 0 906391 45 8
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Education and Opportunity in Victorian Scotland: Schools and Universities 
by R.D. Anderson.
Oxford, 384 pp., £25, July 1983, 0 19 822696 9
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Scotland: The Real Divide 
edited by Gordon Brown and Robin Cook.
Mainstream, 251 pp., £9.95, November 1983, 0 906391 18 0
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Wealth and Virtue: The Shaping of Political Economy in the Scottish Enlightenment 
edited by Istvan Hont and Michael Ignatieff.
Cambridge, 371 pp., £35, November 1983, 0 521 23397 6
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... to decide on any one standard and stick to it. The editors are not keen on the line put forward by Peter Townshend, of 140 per cent of the supplementary benefit level, because it would leave over one and a half million people receiving less than half the average wage. An even stronger objection is that every time a generous government raises the supplementary ...

Oxford University’s Long Haul

Sheldon Rothblatt, 21 January 1988

The History of the University of Oxford. Vol. I: The Early Oxford Schools 
edited by J.I. Catto.
Oxford, 684 pp., £55, June 1984, 0 19 951011 3
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The History of the University of Oxford. Vol. III: The Collegiate University 
edited by James McConia.
Oxford, 775 pp., £60, July 1986, 9780199510139
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The History of the University of Oxford. Vol. V: The 18th Century 
edited by L.S. Sutherland and L.G. Mitchell.
Oxford, 949 pp., £75, July 1986, 0 19 951011 3
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Learning and a Liberal Education: The Study of History in the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Manchester, 1880-1914 
by Peter Slee.
Manchester, 181 pp., £25, November 1986, 9780719018961
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... volumes of the History to supply us with details and appropriate qualifications. In the meantime Peter Slee, in a trim and readable book, offers us his views on the place of history teaching in undergraduate liberal education at Oxford and Cambridge and in the new Late Victorian university college at Manchester. His concern is principally with what was ...

Shovelling Clouds

Adam Mars-Jones: Fred Vargas, 22 April 2015

Temps glaciaires 
by Fred Vargas.
Flammarion, 490 pp., €19.90, March 2015, 978 2 08 136044 0
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... to patch up his defective memory. When he has noticed a significant detail, he has to work hard to winch it up into consciousness, a process that is described as being like shovelling clouds – though it’s also like the experience of Proust’s narrator, overwhelmed by the mingled taste in his teacup but unable without patient introspection to connect it to ...

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