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Reason and romance: The world’s most cerebral marriage

Derek Parfit and Janet Radcliffe-Richards believe that philosophy should guide behaviour. Their marriage shows that it can

Professors of philosophy Janet Radcliffe-Richards and Derek Parfit. © Mark Allan

In the 1980s there was a seminar held regularly in the wood-panelled Old Library at All Souls College in Oxford. It was known informally as “Star Wars.” Four giants of moral and political philosophy would take turns to lead the discussion and spend the best part of two hours sparring with each other at one end of the room, which would be packed mostly with eager, awestruck postgraduate…

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