More than anyone I have ever read, Stanley helped me not so much to mean what I say, but to understand what I mean. The memorable period for me was a summer in the early 70s when I came upon "The Claim of Reason." Here was a voice I could not get out of my head, a way of thinking, of approaching thought that appeared to me at once what I knew I knew but couldn't quite see or know what to do with, something like the "alienated majesty" that Stanley found in Emerson, as I was later to find out, a book that seemed to speak to me directly, as if in finding himself out, Stanley had also found me. This sense of thinking as an intimate transaction, as a very mode of intimacy--with ourselves and with others-- is what Stanley's work pointed us all to. And that sense of intimacy, a reflective intimacy, intimacy at a distance that made it all the more intimate because not too quick and not pretending to be too deep--just exactly what he meant by "ordinary language philosophy--has stayed with me ever since. Stanley was a philosopher. But he was a Jewish philosopher and an American philosopher, and a certain culture of both cultures, a theoretical pragmatism, was just everywhere in his work. I met Stanley a few times at Buffalo, when he was invited to speak, and he was the most approachable and appreciative of persons. I once asked him how it was that, after publishing so little for so long, he had become a publishing demon. With a twinkle in his eye and standing on one foot--to intimate Hillel's response when Hillel was asked to describe the Torah's message in one sentence--he said to me, in his best version of demotic Jewish-American
speech, "I used to worry about what they would say. But now, I tell myself, if they don't like it, 'let them do me something.'" Would that I could, now, do something for him. He meant very much to me and to so many others.