William James liked to quote James Clerk Maxwell, as having, from childhood, a passion for discovering “the particular go” of things. James, like C. S. Peirce, and arguably like David Hume the century before, thought that philosophy is wrong-footed by considering abstract notions rather than the actual pursuits and practices that give rise to our talking in abstract terms. In this lecture, Professor Blackburn applied this moral to the tricky cases of aesthetic and moral truth. There are sceptics about these notions, but perhaps they too have not paid enough attention to James’s advice, and Hume’s practice.
Professor Anthony O'Hear, Director of the Royal Institute of Philosophy
Professor Simon Blackburn, Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy, University of North Carolina