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Bryan Magee: 1930-2019—the champion of philosophical wonderment

The author, broadcaster and MP sparked a love of academic philosophy in countless curious viewers and readers

By Julian Baggini  

Photo: BBC/Eamonn Mccabe

If you ask British philosophers who grew up in the 1970s and 80s whose work first got them hooked on the subject, two names come up again and again: Bertrand Russell and Bryan Magee. Russell was a titan of the field, famous for his philosophy the world over and the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Magee was a writer, broadcaster and politician without a major original philosophical book to his name. But without his work, many of us would have grown up without any contact with…

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