The Soul (An inaugural lecture given at University College London on May 13th, 2004)

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Michael Dummett says in the preface to his book on Frege that he is always disappointed when a book lacks a preface. ‘it is like arriving at someone’s house for dinner’ Dummett says ‘and being conducted straight into the dining room’. I feel the same way about inaugural lectures. To give an inaugural lecture is in part an acknowledgement of a professional honour, and in part an opportunity to pay a personal tribute to the institution which has honoured you in this way. It is not difficult, and a pleasant task, to do this. My professorship has no predecessor, of course, but I hope that this does not disqualify me from saying something about what I owe to UCL and to its philosophy department. The intellectual character of the department as it is now was largely shaped by the influence of the late Richard Wollheim. I am sorry to say that I did not know Richard Wollheim well, and it is a cause of great sadness for the whole department that Richard was never able to return to the department as he had planned to do before he died last autumn. But I nonetheless feel the influence he left in the department, and I would like to pay a small tribute to it here.
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