Apprenticing with H. Tristram Engelhardt, jr.
a tribute to the founder of our thing
Serving as a graduate assistant to H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr. was truly an academic apprenticeship unlike any other. In part, this was because the apprenticeship extended far beyond strictly academic matters like philosophy and bioethics; and, in part, this was because Tris is a force of nature, an endlessly fascinating man and loyally committed mentor who seemed to me never to require sleep or downtime. He wants his students to come out of the apprenticeship with experience publishing papers and books, teaching undergraduate and medical students, managing professional journals, organizing and participating in academic conferences, and so on, but he would count it as a disappointment if they did not also know the three necessary conditions for something's being a single-malt Scotch (and have sufficient experience in appreciating the resulting product of those conditions from a variety of distilleries); the major dates, events, and colorful characters (especially one "Big Drunk") in the history of the Republic of Texas (T.R. Fehrenbach's magisterial history, Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans, was esteemed on a level approaching the works of Kant, Hegel, and Husserl); and a host of other items regarding philosophy, history, medicine, religion, politics, economics, science, gastronomy, culture, world travel, personal finance, and, of course, Texana (to name just a few areas of major interest). One never knew exactly what to expect on any given day (aside from exhaustion at trying to keep up with Tris!), but it was always interesting and enlivening.
Garrett, J. R. (2015)., Apprenticing with H. Tristram Engelhardt, jr.: a tribute to the founder of our thing, in L. M. Rasmussen, A. S. Iltis & M. J. . Cherry (eds.), At the foundations of bioethics and biopolitics, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 265-267.
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