Found among papers at Jot HQ ( heaven knows where it came from ) is this printed list of the good and great ( some not so good) who were invited by a friend or friends to attend a party for the philosopher (Lord) AnthonyQuinton and his American-born wife Marcelle ( nee Weiger), a sculptor.
We don’t know who drew up the list or when the event took place, although it must have been in or before 2003, the year in which one of the invited died. Nor do we know where it happened, although one must assume that since most of the invited were Americans, the venue was in the US, most probably in the home of the host and hostess. This could have been in New York City, where the Quintons had one of their homes. This philosopher had four homes around the world! Diogenes made do with a barrel, Wittgenstein with a bedsit furnished mainly with deck chairs.
Quinton taught philosophy at Oxford and is credited with having a rigorous intellect, but he was hardly a Wittgenstein or even an A. J. Ayer. The fact that he was a Tory and the intellectual force behind the political movement that propelled Margaret Thatcher to Downing Street, couldn’t have recommended him to the young who were reading PPE or PPP at his University in the 1980s. In the tributes that followed his death in 2010 friends and colleagues praised his bonhomie. Much of his clubbable personality came across when he presented the popular and long-running radio series ‘ Round Britain Quiz ‘, a truly challenging quiz show in which a panel of high powered intellects ( as opposed to some of the nitwits that perform on ‘Celebrity Mastermind’ ) try to make connections between seemingly unrelated people, concepts and texts. Luckily, despite the general ‘dumbing down’ of broadcasting, the show has survived and, thank goodness, remains as challenging as ever it was. Continue reading