The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

January 6, 2012

January 6, 1859

Samuel Alexander (January 6, 1859, to September 13, 1938) was an Oxford educated philosopher. A recipient of the Order of Merit (1930), his major contribution to philosophy is Space, Time, and Deity (1920). His colleague Ernest Rutherford, "The father of nuclear physics" said to Samuel Alexander at some point, "When you think about all those years you've been talking about those things, Alexander, and what does it all add up to? Hot air, nothing but hot air." Rutherford would make his own contribution to hot air, hot hot air: his research was instrumental in the development of the bomb.  For most of his colleagues and students, though, Alexander was a revered figure.

After his retirement in 1924, the University of Manchester commissioned a bust of him to be displayed on campus and we quote from his speech of acknowledgement of this honor, which quite delighted him. Samuel Alexander said ...It is a great thing, I feel, to have secured the affection of my pupils and my colleagues, and my other friends. ...I cannot tell how I have won this affection; unless it be that I possess a fair stock of affection myself, which extends to all children and to dogs and cats and other animals...

Which is an odd comment. 

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