My old student Tom Cathcart asks whether I ever taught the famous Kant Course at UMass. The course was famous, by the way, not because I taught it but because Clarence Irving Lewis taught it for decades at Harvard, and generations of Harvard philosophy students, of whom I was one of the very last, took it. It was ferociously difficult and the best course I ever took in my life.
The answer is yes, I taught it on several occasions. There is a sad story connected with one of the first times I taught it at UMass. In the middle '70s [I am in Paris and do not have access to my file cabinet] I decided to offer a year-long graduate seminar on Hume and Kant, something I had always wanted to do. I took the students, over the course of the year, through Hume's Treatise and Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion Kant's First Critique and the Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. At the time, I was living in a beautiful brick Federal style house in Northampton, six or seven miles to the east of the university, and I thought it would be splendid to have the seminar meet in my home one evening a week. I would serve tea and coffee and snacks and hold forth on Hume and Kant. What could be better?
Well, some while into the first semester word came back to me through the rumor mill that the students were seriously put out by the necessity of having to come over to Northampton for the course, so I gave in and rescheduled it for one of the ugly barren seminar rooms in Bartlett Hall where the Department had its offices.
I am somewhat ashamed to admit that the experience put me in mind of the Gospel According to Matthew, Chapter 7 verse 6. Oh well.