No newspaper does obits like the UK’s Independent. Here is one from today, about a philosopher, whose mother was born in the White House, the daughter of Grover Cleveland, who before he went to the White House was the Mayor of Buffalo!
Here is a snip, followed by the link:
“The moral philosopher Philippa Foot was among the great pioneering moral philosophers of the age. The modesty of her output – two volumes of collected papers, Virtues and Vices (1978), Moral Dilemmas (2002) and a culminating book, Natural Goodness (2001) – should not belie its superior, often stunning, quality: absolutely “about the stuff”, in Cora Diamond’s phrase about Foot’s close philosophical colleague Elizabeth Anscombe, a philosopher for whose appointment at Somerville Foot proposed vacating her own. That was a gesture characteristic of her lived integrity. Hers is moral philosophy at its best, never abandoning real life; and she kept words on a Wittgensteinian leash, close to their ordinary homes. Her thinking is driven not by commitment to abstract doctrine but by a haunted preoccupation with cases and examples, such as the German Letter Writers’ sacrifice of their lives in protesting against the Third Reich. Foot returned again and again to such situations to explore their moral import. She was born Philippa Bosanquet in 1920 and educated mainly at home before going to Somerville College, Oxford, in 1939 to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics. She graduated in 1942 and worked as a government economist for the rest of the Second World War before returning to Somerville. In 1949, she became a Fellow of the college. In the 1960s and 1970s she held visiting professorships at Cornell, MIT, Berkeley, and the City University of New York, before settling in 1976 at UCLA, where she stayed 15 years. She was an Honorary Fellow of Somerville until her death.Her mother had been born in the White House, the daughter of President Grover Cleveland; her father was an industrialist in Kirkleatham, where she was brought up in typical upper-class fashion. She and her sister Marion, hunting with other local grandees, recalled huntsmen on horseback and full rig entering Raby Castle hall. In adult life she would use hunting metaphors to illustrate discussions of philosophers: who fell at the first ditch, who were front-runners. Her gift for philosophy mystified her: believing that she lacked other kinds of intelligence or knowledge, she could not account for it. Yet she knew she was a front-runner all the same.Around the age of eight Philippa got abdominal tuberculosis and suffered the then “cure” of sleeping for a year, including winter months on an out-of-doors balcony, in North Yorkshire. This taught her a hard-won self-sufficiency. When their mother threatened to sack Nanny, her main source of love and care, the 10-year-old Philippa and her 11-year-old sister Marion packed their infant bags to leave home. The death of this good woman in 1976 was a deep loss to her….”
Heh, Ma, where’s pa, he’s gone to the White House, Ha ha ha!
A reference to his out of wedlock daughter….
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Tuesday morning humor….