John Gardner at Home

Memories from Aditi Bagchi

Dear John,

I recently learned that you are ill and I am so sorry. I wish you all the best.

I also wanted to say two more things. I audited a seminar at Oxford that you taught with Honore and it was a breathtaking glimpse at legal philosophy. It led me to take a seminar in law school that you taught with Jules Coleman, which basically set me on my career in private law philosophy. Hearing you talk about issues of responsibility and justice hooked me on a series of questions I am still thinking about many years later.

The second thing is that, starting in college, I entertained a thesis that people who study philosophy professionally, especially questions of moral philosophy, are more decent in their own interpersonal interactions, more humble in their personal outlooks. Needless to say, this theory was extinguished once I came to know a larger sample size of philosophers. But occasionally the decency-humility hypothesis strikes me as plausible once again, and my interactions with you are always such occasions.

I haven’t seen much of you recently but it is always a pleasure to hear your intellectual voice in your writing. Sadly, I rarely read legal philosophy outside of my particular projects these days. But I do always read your work because I know I will get something out of it and, really, it is just *so* good.

Thanks for everything.