As I become older I find that my perception of the past changes. New ways of thinking today change the way I think about the past. It is hard to remember exactly how I felt about things (politics) then because of what is happening now. Richard

Philosopher's reply

Dear Richard,

L.P. Hartley said “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there." In a similar way, one’s earlier self can almost seem like another person, difficult to comprehend. But the task of comprehending is surely crucial. This goes for the history of one’s society as much as for one’s personal history. It is a task of self-understanding. But also, quite often, one of charity: towards our forebears, or towards the person we once were.

Roger Teichmann

Philosopher's profile

Roger Teichmann

Oxford University, UK

Iris Murdoch was an extraordinary person, combining, in herself and in her writing, an ardent seriousness of purpose with lightness, imagination and humour.  This combination characterises both her wonderful novels and her highly original brand of philosophy

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