Via her being his graduate student.
"Jude" – as her husband Ian Hacking was prone to call her – was no doubt more
obscure than she deserved to be, given the brilliance of her thought.
was – from her profuse work with H. P. Grice (who loved her) through to her late work with Philip
Clark – a quintessentially collaborative philosopher.
But then so was Grice. He would joke that his conversations with Sir Peter Strawson were so minimal than nobody ELSE understood them!
Clark presented some of
their joint work at the annual meeting of the
Canadian Philosophical Association.
One can glimpse something of the character
of Baker’s mind in her frequently cited “Trust and Rationality” for Pacific
Philosophical Quarterly, 1987 -- the same publication that had Grice airing his views on "Actions and Events" and "Aristotle and the multiplicity of being".
But it was in interpersonal dialogue that Baker's brilliance shone through.
Baker was a marvelous interlocutor, always willing to
consider another’s work on its own terms.
Interestingly, she learned that from Grice! She admired Grice for putting in Baker's shoes (metaphorically) when writing her dissertation. And it was Baker who awoke in Grice a new view of MORAL philosophy alla Kantotle.
A sharp but sympathetic critic Baker was, and an
imaginative source of vivid and realistic examples (which, according to Grice, as we say, enlivened his own interest in ethics in his later years).
Baker was above all
an amazing friend, one who never failed to ask attentively after the troubles of
those who visited her bedside.
Such virtues are difficult to quantify and but should never be overlooked.
But we should take care not to overlook these who would
not – not even on their death beds – let others be overlooked.