Irving Singer (1926-2015) (updated)


Irving Singer, professor emeritus of philosophy at MIT, has died. He had been at MIT since 1958. The following is from an obituary posted by MIT:

Singer was an eminent philosopher whose academic career spanned 65 years — with more than half a century as a professor at MIT.  Singer was the author of 21 books in the field of humanistic philosophy, focusing on topics such as the philosophy of love, the nature of creativity, moral issues, aesthetics, and philosophy in literature, music, and film. His works have been translated into Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish, among other languages…

The MIT Press recently honored Singer’s career by initiating “The Irving Singer Library,” which includes republication of his books including “The Nature of Love,” volumes 1, 2, and 3, and “Meaning in Life,” volumes 1, 2, and 3; “Cinematic Mythmaking: Philosophy in Film”; “Ingmar Bergman, Cinematic Philosopher: Reflections on his Creativity”; “Mozart and Beethoven: The Concept of Love in Their Operas”; and “Modes of Creativity: Philosophical Perspectives.” Other books by Singer include “George Santayana, Literary Philosopher”; and “Santayana’s Aesthetics: A Critical Analysis.” A manuscript in progress at the time of Singer’s death was titled “Creativity in the Brain.”…

Until age 85, he was still actively teaching. Singer enjoyed teaching immensely, appreciating it as integral to his process of developing ideas that would inform his writing projects. Several of Singer’s course lectures are viewable on MIT OpenCourseWare, on topics including “Philosophy in Film and Other Media”; “Feeling and Imagination in Art, Science, and Technology”; and “The Nature of Creativity.”  

Timothy Madigan, an associate professor of philosophy at St. John Fisher College, recalled Singer’s influence on his work: “Irving was a role model to me, and a true exemplar of a man of wisdom. He will be greatly missed, but his works will continue to live on.”

The notice goes on to detail other aspects of Singer’s life and work, and is available here.

(via Patricia Marino)

UPDATE (2/16/14): The New York Times has an obituary for Singer here.

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