This book has taken a long time and has acquired many debts. For comments on the manuscript and for conversations on these topics over the years, I am grateful to Frederick Beiser, Victor Brudney, Arnold Davidson, Michael Forster, Daniel Garber, Michael Hardimon, Peter Hylton, Edward Minar, Ellen Rosendale, Steven Vogel, Candace Vogler, Lindsay Waters, and the readers from Harvard University Press.
I thank the Humanities Institute at the University of Chicago for a quarter without teaching responsibilities in winter 1993, and I thank the University of Chicago for a two-quarter leave in autumn 1995 and winter 1996 that enabled me to finish the manuscript.
David and Allie Brudney generously allowed me to use an absurd amount of space (thus made unavailable for games) on the hard drive of the family computer. They are eager to learn what life is like without their dad working on this book.
To my father, Victor Brudney, I owe my most important training in intellectual pleasures. All my life he has been my mentor. My mother, Juliet Brudney, has been an inspiring model of steadfast perseverance in the interminable struggle with words. I am also enormously grateful to them both, as well as to my wife's wonderful parents, Eleanor and King Rosendale, for their unfailing and unflappable support and encouragement.