Remembering Bert Dreyfus
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Whenever I received an invitation to a conference and Bert was also among the list of invitees I would be delighted because I knew he and I were going to have an intense and enjoyable argument. Only at the last of these meetings, in KOS, in June 2015 did Bert come across with less than his usual precision and verve—at that meeting he was suddenly old and doddery, and it shocked me. It’s a funny arrangement: you spend your life gradually getting to know someone and mutually refining your thoughts and then, when you are really starting to get things sorted out, you and they get old and die. Whose stupid idea is that?
One reason I really enjoyed arguing with Bert was that he was a famous, heroic, philosopher, with a glittering academic past, from a great American university; I was proud that he was prepared to include me, a mere sociologist, with an invisible academic past, from a minor British university, in the circle of people worth talking to. But much more, it was because the...