… for Michael Dummett:

He never lectured twice on exactly the same material, preferring to maintain as much freshness as possible in his delivery. It was impossible to hear him lecture and not to have a profound sense of thought in action. He would pace up and down, cigarette in hand, pausing periodically to formulate in his own mind how best to proceed, referring only occasionally, if at all, to his notes. The upshot would always be a beautifully structured and wonderfully conceived argument in which ideas about the most abstract topics were seamlessly woven together.

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2 Responses to “From the Guardian’s obituary …”

  1. jim Says:

    He would pace up and down, cigarette in hand,

    Not possible now. I remember Sammy Eilenberg teaching at Columbia, cigar in one hand, chalk in the other. One waited for him to try to smoke the chalk or write on the board with the cigar (but he never did) as he barked out his rhetorical questions.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    jim: And my memory is Allan Bloom at the University of Chicago, madly pulling on one cigarette after another while lecturing…

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