John Gardner at Home

Memories from Rae Langton

Dear John,

Just a note to say thank you, for who you are and what you’ve taught us all, and taught me, which is not just about how to rethink things that matter (surprises about consent and dancing…) but also about the joy, how much fun philosophy can be, your wicked sense of mischief. I will never forget your wonderful Moral Sciences Club talk at Cambridge a couple of years ago, nor the hilarious dinner that followed, when I was delighted by your irreverence about some sacred cows of a Dworkinian stripe. And then you astonished me a few weeks ago by coming to my Hart Lecture at Univ, and introducing me so generously, when you had far more important things to do in the time that remains. I’m sorry I still haven’t got to know you well enough to know what to wish you: whether, when the time comes, to fight against the dying of the light, as Dylan Thomas would have wanted, or rather, to go gently into that good night. I think, probably, the latter. But you will know what is best.