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Publication Date: 20 Sep 2018
Publisher: SPCK Publishing
Page Count: 224
Author: Anthony Kenny
ISBN-13: 9780281079193, 9780281079209, 9780281079216, 9780281081479

Brief Encounters

Notes from a Philosopher's Diary
By Anthony Kenny
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Cardinals, directors, dissidents, dons, judges, novelists, philosophers, prime ministers, scientists, world statesmen. . . Throughout his long and distinguished career, Sir Anthony Kenny has encountered some of the most notable and influential leaders of the post-war world.

In these brilliantly vivid vignettes Kenny offers telling and often unexpected insights into the achievements, flaws and foibles of sixty public figures - past and present - each of whom has contributed in decisive ways to our political, spiritual and cultural heritage.


1. Three Priests: Alexander Jones, Jack Kennedy, Herbert McCabe
2. Three Cardinals: W.T, Heard, J.C. Heenan, C. Murphy O’Connor
3. Three Anglicans: Austin Farrer, Henry Chadwick, Richard Harries
4 Three Oxford Dons: Christoppher Cox, Russell Meiggs, Richard Cobb
5. Three Heads of House: Christopher Hill, Isaiah Berlin, Daphne Park
6. Three Benefactors: Bill Coolidge, Irwin Miller, David Astor
7. Three Businessmen: Robert Maxwell, Warwick Fairfax, John Templeton
8. Three Oxford Philosophers: Gilbert Ryle, R.M. Hare, Philippa Foot
9. Three Wittgensteinians: Elizabeth Anscombe, Peter Geach, G.H. von Wright
10. Three Overseas Philosophers: W.V.Quine, Ernst Tugendhat, Jacques Derrida
11. Three Prime Ministers: Harold Macmillan, Ted Heath, Margaret Thatcher
12. Three British Statesmen: Denis Healey, Roy Jenkins, Chris Patten
13. Three Privy Councillors: Peter Brooke, Boris Johnson, Yvette Cooper
14. Three Heads of State: King Olav V, Francesco Cossiga, Bill Clinton
15. Three Judges: Jim Kilbrandon, Tom Bingham, Laurie Ackermann
16. Three Dissidents: Ivan Supek, Mihailo Marcovich, Julius Tomin
17. Three Irish Leaders: Charlie Haughey, Garret FitzGerald, Mary Robinson
18. Three South African Leaders: Desmond Tutu, Mampela Ramphele, Nelson Mandela
19. Three Novelists: Graham Greene, Iris Murdoch, David Lodge
20. Three Scientists: Noam Chomsky, Richard Dawkins, Denis Noble
Related Posts 1
  1. A Chat with Anthony Kenny A Chat with Anthony Kenny Anthony Kenny is on our blog today discussing his new book Brief Encounters. He will be at Church House Bookshop on 17 October with Richard Harries. Details here.  
About the Author
Sir Anthony Kenny FBA was born in Liverpool in 1931, and was educated at Upholland College and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. From 1963 to 1989 he was at Balliol College, Oxford, first as Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy, and then as Master. He later became Warden of Rhodes House, President of the British Academy and of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, and Chair of the Board of the British Library. He is the author of over forty books on philosophy and history, including OUP’s four-volume New History of Western Philosophy and The Enlightenment: A very brief history (SPCK 2017).
Press Reviews

Brilliantly entertaining.

- Melvyn Bragg

As a painter of biographical portraits Anthony Kenny excels as a brilliant miniaturist. This is a marvellously stimulating way to approach autobiography. The range of his friendships and acquaintances is immense.

- Peter Hennessy

Few academic philosophers have had successful careers in public life as well as in scholarship. Among those few Sir Anthony Kenny stands out for the wide range of his intellect and the lively style with which he addresses both the realm of exalted ideas and the world of ordinary facts. These vignettes offer an engaging record of people who have mattered, from a writer who has always wondered whether he really belongs to our public culture, even though sitting at the top of it.

- Roger Scruton

Kenny's style is unpretentious, effective, and at times wonderfully informal and amiable.

- Review of Metaphysics

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