The Roots of Reason

Jeffrey Scheuer on the philosophical legacy of J. Renford Bambrough.

I never met John Renford Bambrough (1926-1999), the Cambridge philosopher who shaped and inspired my own thinking perhaps more than any other twentieth century figure. Looking back, I’m saddened and slightly surprised that I didn’t take the opportunity to seek him out or attend his lectures during the year I spent as a graduate student in England in the 1970s. When I finally visited St John’s College, Cambridge, in the fall of 2002, and met with some of Bambrough’s former colleagues, it was with a sense of regret at having arrived too late.

I studied at an American college where philosophy quickly became the framework of my intellectual universe. During the graduate year in London, studying Political Thought at the London School of Economics, I often traveled to Oxford to visit friends and attend lectures by noted Oxford philosophers.

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