Idealist Epilogue [Book Review]

The Owl of Minerva 12 (1):5-6 (1980)
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Thirty three years lie between Geoffrey Mure’s beginning upon the study of Literae Humaniores at Oxford before the First World War, and my own arrival there for the same purpose at the end of the Second. To read this book is to be made vividly aware how far the world moved in the single human generation. That I shared so many of Mure’s ideals and enthusiasms made me something of a freak in the Oxford of my own time; yet I remember vividly my feeling, when I first read his Study of Hegel’s Logic, that here was someone talking to himself in an empty room. I was a student reading Hegel’s Logic while everyone else was discussing The Concept of the Mind. No one was ever more consciously out of step than I. Yet I felt no urge to seek out the Warden of Merton; and with this small testament of a philosopher’s life before me, I can see that this was because I belonged as firmly to my generation as he did to his. He was a pupil of H.H. Joachim and I of H.H. Price. Price was not my “tutor”, but it was from his living example, more than any other, that I learned that philosophy is a perennial activity in which many discordant voices can have their place - and perhaps be brought to concord. I was lucky, I think, to learn this from one whose principal concerns were so far removed from mine, and not - like Mure - to take the impress of philosophy as a perpetual concordia discors from someone with whom I was in perfect sympathy. To comprehend discordia concors as a young rebel is better than to find that one’s concordia has become discordant in later years.



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