Philosophers’ Graves Need Restoration

The graves of several philosophers are in need of restoration.

Tamer Nawar, assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Groningen, took photos of the tombstones of G.E. Moore, Frank Ramsey, and Elizabeth Anscombe and Peter Geach.

The graves of G.E. Moore, Frank Ramsey, and Elizabeth Anscombe and Peter Geach are in need of restoration.

Professor Nawar wrote in about the need for the restoration and upkeep of the grave sites and was wondering whether readers of Daily Nous had any ideas about how to accomplish this. Perhaps some philosophical society, or Cambridge University, would want to make the needed arrangements.

He writes:

I’m not entirely sure how one would go about doing it (any advice welcome), but the project would require: (a) some money; (b) some legal know-how; and perhaps also (c) a local person on the scene.

He also said that he spoke with a stone-cutter, Eric Marland, who was involved in the restoration of Wittgenstein’s grave by the British Wittgenstein Society, and suggested he might be someone that an interested party could contact for advice.

Suggestions welcome.

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Andrew Buskell
Andrew Buskell
6 years ago

There seems to be little interest around Cambridge in the Ascension Burial grounds–but it might be worth contacting the Philosophy department in Cambridge or the current organiser of the Moral Sciences Club, not least since several of their predecessors are buried in Ascension (incl. John Wisdom, just out of picture, next to G.E. Moore). This might be an auspicious time to highlight the location and vulnerability of the grounds, as there will be increased traffic around that area with the opening of the North-West Cambridge Site.

Just as a side note, I have spotted many a strange thing on Wittgenstein’s grave over the few years I’ve been here: a tiny silver hammer, a valentine’s card, and a tiny SD camera card. I’ve passed over them in silence.

6 years ago

A family member recently purchased a headstone marking the plot of his great-great grandfather. The process went like this: (1) contacted the cemetery and asked about buying a new stone. (2) Received a letter stating that a next-of-kin would need to submit approval for the purchase of the new stone. (3) Received said permission from the next-of-kin (a cousin of his). (4) Sent the information to the cemetery and purchased the new stone.

I would imagine this is the standard procedure in buying/repairing new stone. I don’t know how much a lawyer would help in a situation like this: if the family doesn’t want a new stone for the relative, then one ought to respect those wishes. Hope this helps in some way.

6 years ago

Justin – The article you link to on Wittgenstein’s grave indicates that the Anscombe/Geach grave in your third picture has already been restored, and in fact was restored before Wittgenstein’s. (Unless it’s already somehow gotten that bad again, in which case grave restoration may be a futile effort … )