Retrospective: Harry Redner – Pursuing Philosophy as a Vocation

by Jill Redner

For Harry, philosophy was a vocation in Weber’s sense. But pursuing this ideal in today’s technocratic multiversity can seem almost quixotic, because specialist knowledge and technical expertise are cultivated, rather than a general intellectual grasp of problems affecting humanity. Generalists still exist but are increasingly likely to find themselves dismissed as mere “intellectuals”. Harry accepted this situation with good humour: “Though my academic sins be scarlet”, he quipped recently, “let my books be read”.