Orwell and Philosophy

Martin Tyrrell on a champion of common sense.

“I think Sartre is a bag of wind and I am going to give him a good [metaphorical] boot.”

Thus George Orwell. The ‘boot’ – a hostile review of Sartre’s Portrait of the Antisemite – duly appeared in the Observer towards the end of 1948. A few months on and Orwell found Bertrand Russell’s Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits no more impressive; it made him feel that philosophy should be made illegal. Orwell wrote a great deal in a relatively short space of time, and on a great many subjects, but little else that he wrote referred directly to philosophy.

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