Philosophers almost by profession are minders of other people's business, that is their intellectual business; which, though a necessary trade, is not always a popular one. So Socrates found long ago. Discretion may therefore seem called for, and still more so in writing of Dr Leavis. Leavis is, so to speak, a hot subject; and not only so in himself, hence to be taken up with caution, but a cause that heat is in other men. Nor is that all; other, harder obstacles remain. It would seem that Leavis explicitly shuts the door on any philosophical approach. Philosophers, broadly speaking, deal in abstractions (even those who profess not to). Leavis wrote long ago, at the start of Revaluation, ‘No treatment of poetry can be worth much that does not keep very close to the concrete’. That ruling, which might debar my whole enterprise, I can take instead as raising immediately its main theme.