I was happy to see the British magazine Prospect carry an interview/review of the work of the fascinating novelist Nicholas Mosley. Mosley’s Hopeful Monsters is an extraordinary novel of ideas. It’s easy to make a hash of that genre, but Mosley’s protagonists are so viscerally committed to their fields of study (one’s a physicist, the other an anthropologist) that it’s easy to see why they care about the interplay of philosophy and science in the mid-twentieth century. The book can even be taken as an extended meditation on the degree to which the model of natural sciences can be extended to social science.
(That theme is more explicitly treated in his autobiography, Efforts at Truth. This memoir also contains one of the most bizarre accounts of an alleged “defamation by fiction” I’ve ever seen.)
A few more thoughts after the break. . .