Brenda Almond obituary


My mother, Brenda Almond, who has died aged 85, was a thinker, creator and ethicist.

She was born into a bad, working-course household in Birkenhead, Merseyside. Her father, Edward, a painter and decorator, was named up for the duration of the second earth war and died before long immediately after her mom, Margaret (nee Potter), died of a respiratory sickness when Brenda, an only little one, was 5.

Irrespective of this tricky commence, following Birkenhead significant faculty, Brenda went to College University London, wherever she researched philosophy below AJ Ayer, who turned a lifelong friend, supporting her in her tries to promote “practical philosophy” even as he himself was resolutely of the reverse persuasion. She was awarded the Rosa Morison prize for philosophy and graduated with to start with-class honours, going on to gain an master’s in philosophy from the College of London for a thesis on ethics and rationality.

When at UCL, Brenda met Des Cohen, who was a pupil at the London College of Economics they married in 1959 and had four children. Brenda juggled bringing us up with the initial ways of her job. Brenda and Des divided in 1982, and later on divorced.

Her 1st occupation was instructing philosophy at Exeter College in 1959, right after which she taught at the College of Ghana in Accra (1960) and Keele College (1962-63) and then held a publish in the philosophy of schooling at Brighton University of Education (1964-74).

In 1974 she grew to become a lecturer in philosophy at Surrey College, the place she was caught up in a countrywide political controversy in excess of the closure of the philosophy section.

Then, in 1986, she grew to become reader and, afterwards, professor of social and ethical philosophy at Hull College, the place she established and, from 1992 to 2002, headed the Social Values Research Centre. From 1988 to 2001, Brenda served on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, and, soon after retiring in 2002, she grew to become a member of the Human Genetics Fee (2002-08).

In her first book, Instructional Imagined (1969), she argued that, with schooling, a single dimensions does not and need to not suit all. She specially concerned that, specified the chance, the state would seek out to impose its values on citizens, an plan shared by Plato all these yrs back – only he was in favour of it.

Of her several other guides, potentially Brenda’s most reliable voice can be observed in her greatest-recognised title, The Philosophical Quest (1990), which was published in a Penguin version. The e book is a combine of typical, essentially educational, summaries of the core themes of philosophy, with more fluid, artistic passages in which the narrator information acquiring philosophical letters from a mysterious correspondent called Sophia.

Brenda’s later writing centred on defence of the “traditional family”. She identified quite a few present day threats to it, and warned that its fragmentation was triggering serious social complications.

One of her lifelong pleasures was to sit down at a piano and sing tunes – if possible accompanied by friends. She will be remembered as a warm and extremely caring human staying who recognized the relevance of the straightforward actions by way of which people today weave their daily lives.

Brenda is survived by her kids, Anna, Louise, Paula and me, five grandchildren and a terrific-grandchild.


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