518. Harrod to G. E. Moore , 29 January 1936 [a]

[Continues from 489 ]

Christ Church, Oxford #

29 January 1936

Dear Professor Moore

I was so glad to get your letter and to hear that you have decided to publish the article. [1] I will make a point of being prompt in proof-reading. I quite understand the necessary delay in your coming to a decision.

I have in mind to read in my spare time this week-end a work by my colleague, A. J. Ayer, which has just appeared and is receiving vigorous boosts from the publisher Victor Gollancz. [2] The possibility of its appearance is largely due to a very handsome testimonial which you wrote for him about a year ago. [3] He is not a persona grata with most Oxford philosophers, we had no teaching vacancy in philosophy and my college, I fear, does far less than Trinity to endow people to do research, so that it was quite difficult persuading them to elect Ayer, as they have now done, to a five years' research position. Your letter was of decisive importance. We also got a delightful testimonial from Whitehead, who stated--I suppose in order to impress the canons of Christ Church--that Ayer appeared to him an abler man than his old pupil the present Bishop of Birmingham. [4]

The book seems to me rather young and dogmatic, but written in very clear and vigorous English. If you read it, I should be very interested to learn from you some time what you think of it. For, though he is settled here for another 4 years, we are rather worried about his future

Yours very sincerely

Roy Harrod

  1. 1. Harrod, "Utilitarianism Revised" ( 1936:5 ). Moore's letter accepting Harrod's article for Mind is dated 21 January 1936 (in HP IV-768).

    2. A. J. Ayer, Language, Truth and Logic (1936).

    3. This letter was not found. The episode is described in Ayer, Part of My Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978, pp. 161-63; Moore's letter is summarized on p. 162).

    4. See letter 419 R, [jump to page] .

    1. a. ALS, two pages on one leaf, in Moore Add 8330 8H/7/2, by kind permission of Syndics of Cambridge University Library.


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