Word and Objection: How
Monty Python Destroyed
Some might say that a rather senior philosopher like myself has his creative days behind him.1 Indeed, some have actually said this. But I am finding, partly because of the circumstances I will discuss here today, that this conventional wisdom has it all backwards: I, even as I near eighty, am behind my most creative days. But then again, as most of you know, I've long been accustomed to being at odds and out of step with most of the “trends” and conventional “wisdoms” in philosophy! [audience laughter—Eds.]
Well, let me begin with a personal reflection of sorts. Many of you know that my heart, along with my intellect, is rooted in Great Britain. On my earlier visits to your department, you may have heard me speak of what went on in the drawing rooms of some of the finer British universities in the middle decades of the last century, in my dear youth. Ah, to be wandering room to room back then! One might spy down one corridor young men furiously debating something called sense data—the sight of a red lorry or
1 This chapter was transcribed and edited from audiotape. Sections headings
were added for readability—Eds.