This is a quote from Roger Penrose's book Shadows of the Mind wherein he will explain that
it may be necessary to refer to some abstract person* such as
'observer' or a 'physicist'. It is clear that there is no implication
as to the sex of such an individual, but the English language does not
have a neutral gender third-person singular pronoun.
Penrose finds the use of the plural pronoun they for such a reference to one person "grammatically offensive." He finds no merit in alternating the references between feminine and masculine. And he thinks using "he or she" every time is awkward.
And to illustrate that awkwardness he has written a very awkward sentence that uses the "his or her" convention three times.
"Were I to refer to" is the same as "If I were to refer to." The verb form is in the so-called subjunctive mood for a condition contrary to fact, i.e, Penrose is not actually going to refer to an actual person in a way that makes a presumption about the person's sex, but if he did, he would understand that it might give offense. Ordinarily you say "I was," but in the cases that call for the subjunctive, you say "I were."