Browse our collection of first hand source material on the members of our quartet.

‘Rings and Books’ by Mary Midgley

Midgley wrote this essay in the mid-1950s for BBC radio. In her memoir The Owl of Minerva, she recalls:

“I wrote it because I had suddenly been struck by the fact that nearly all the famous philosophers whose lives we know about were lifelong bachelors…

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Philippa Foot ‘Sir’ letter

In May 1983, Philippa Foot was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was sent a rather grand certificate informing her of the honor. As you may notice, the certificate is addressed:...

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Then and Now

by Mary Midgley Mary Midgley Considers How What Is Called Philosophy Has Changed Since She And Her Friends First Plunged Into It Changes In World-Pictures. When we four people started studying Philosophy at Oxford in the early...

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Iris Murdoch lifeline

Iris Murdoch was born in Dublin in 1919 and studied Classics at Sommerville College, Oxford (1937-42). During the war, she worked for the treasury in London and lived with Philippa Food. Afterwards she went to Austria for UNRRA,...

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Philippa Foot lifeline

Philippa Foot (née Bosanquet) was born in 1920 and studied PPE at Sommerville College, Oxford (1937-42). During the war (1942-7) she worked as an economist in London, living with Iris Murdoch. She returned to Somerville College...

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Mary Midgley lifeline

Mary Midgley (née Scrutton) was born in 1919 and studied Classics at Somerville College, Oxford (1937-42). During the war she worked in the Civil Service before returning to Oxford to begin a PhD with Gilbert Murray on Plotinus....

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Elizabeth Anscombe lifeline

G. E. M. Anscombe was born in 1919 and studied Classics at St Hilda’s College, Oxford (1936-41). After graduating, Anscombe held a studentship at Newnham College, Cambridge (1942-5), before returning to Oxford for a research...

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Interview with Mary Warnock

Last week Liza, Clare and I went along with Lindsay (our film-crew!), to interview Mary Warnock at her London home. We’ll be posting some sound-extracts from the interview here in the coming weeks (along with some from our...

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Interview with Mary Midgley

Clare, Luna, and I went along to interview Mary Midgley today at her home in Newcastle. We spent an incredible 90 minutes learning about life in Oxford during the 1930s and 40s, and hearing her thoughts on the contemporary lot...

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