Those of us who spend our lives reading, writing, and teaching philosophy are accustomed to the glacial pace at which the field moves. There are bursts of splendid activity -- fourth century B. C. Athens, seventeenth and eighteenth century Northern Europe -- but there are also stretches of five hundred years or more in which not much of note happens. I am reminded of the lovely passage in T. H. White's The Sword in the Stone in which Merlin turns Wart [the young Arthur] into a mountain so that he can get some sense of the perspective from which mountains experience change.
After a lifetime lived at this tortoise pace, the mayfly existence of a blog is unsettling. No sooner have I posted a comment than it disappears into cyberspace, and my blog cries out for new content. Today, the first of my seventy-seventh year, my blog will be devoted to recalling to mind some extended essays that I posted as long ago as last summer. Those of you who have been with me from the start will no doubt remember them, but there seem to be some folks who have joined us along the way, and this recollection is for them.
There are two lengthy texts that have been stored on a website provided by the University of Massachusetts, accessible from a link provided in this blog. Here they are:
First of all, the book length Memoir I wrote six years ago, in the month before my seventieth birthday, entitled A Harvard Education: A Memoir of the Fifties. You can access each chapter by clicking on the following links:
The second extended post laid out in detail my conception of the ideal liberal arts college. This is a fantasy I have indulged on and off over the years -- in a sense a footnote to my 1969 book The Ideal of the University. The entire multi-part essay can be found at:
Finally, there is the eight part essay on South African higher education and the story of my founding of University Scholarships for South African Students. This is not archived, but can be found scattered among the August 2009 posts, which you can access by clicking on that date at the top left of this blog.