John Gardner at Home

Anonymous memories (1)

Although we have only interacted one-on-one a handful of times, I’ve seen in various way the tremendous impact you have on the lives of those around me; fellow taught and research students, colleagues and Les. Your friendship with him is something which I know matters a huge amount to both of you and from the time I experienced it first in the classroom through to now I’ve always thought about how nice it would be to have with someone what the two of you have, a real meeting of minds and personalities.

I very clearly remember some of my early BCL seminars with you both, and of course the ones you ran with Tony at All Souls. Whilst aspects of the discussion were definitely above my station (I remember leaving All Souls on a Friday evening and turning to ask a friend what metaphysics was—an uncertainty which I now believe to be well grounded!) I was so very impressed by your charitability and care with questions asked by students and others. Even with the roughest of asks you tried to find the diamond in it, or if need be to let the questioner down as slowly as possible. I think of this as a model of good practice and have always tried (but often failed) to emulate it.

It is always an incredible pleasure to be in the classroom, seminar room or lecture hall with you, in large part because of the way in which unassumingly and unpretentiously you are the smartest person in it.