Lives of PhilosophersCategory
According to the philosophical training that I received, scholars select their research topics on the basis of an impartial assessment of the scholarly potential of these topics. I recognized very early in my career that this is not the case. The reasons that academics choose the topics of their research and teaching are often related to their personal lives; early ..
John Arras, professor of biomedical ethics and philosophy at the University of Virginia, has died. Professor Arras was known for his work in bioethics. Prior to moving to Virginia, he taught at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Montefiore Medical Center and Barnard College. In addition to his research an teaching, Arras was known for his public service. He was..
Sandra Lee Bartky, Professor Emerita of Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, died earlier today. (more…)
Philosopher parents: how, if at all, do you talk philosophy with you own children?
I don’t give my children philosophy lessons, nor do we celebrate Socrates’ birthday. There may be a few more books of logic puzzles laying around the house than average, along with many of the children’s books listed here, but I don’t force philosophy on the kids. If the opportunit..
Clifford Sosis continues his very interesting series of interviews with philosophers with Mary Louise Gill of Brown University. There’s a lot in this one, which Sosis helpfully sums up:
She talks about reading Gone with The Wind in secret at home (it was forbidden), being required to read J Edgar Hoover’s Masters of Deceit in the 6th grade, her father, John Glanv..
Patrick Suppes, emeritus professor of philosophy at Stanford University, has died. Suppes was known for his work in several areas, most notably philosophy of science. Stanford University has posted a memorial notice here. His complete bibliography and the text of an intellectual autobiography he wrote in 1978 can be found here, and here is another site that collects..
Jon Alstchul, associate professor of philosophy at Loyola University New Orleans, has died. Professor Altschul worked mainly in epistemology and philosophy of mind, and received his Ph.D. from University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2009. A brief article in Loyola’s newpaper, The Maroon, reports university president Kevin Wildes saying, “All who knew Jon remembe..
Philosophy Bites has compiled the answers philosophers have given to the question, “Who is the most impressive philosopher you’ve ever met?” I am listening to it now. It is delightful to hear the admiration and smiles and warmth in the voices of these philosophers as they name and explain their choices. Feel free to discuss their choices, or add your own, in the com..
Jonathan Trejo-Mathys, an assistant professor of philosophy at Boston College, has died. Trejo-Mathys worked mainly in political philosophy and critical social theory. Prior to his appointment at Boston College, he had been a Fulbright Scholar as well as a fellow at the Justitia Amplificata Centre for Advanced Studies in Frankfurt. He received his PhD in 2009 from N..
João Paulo Monteiro, professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of São Paulo (USP), died on April 17th, 2016. He taught at USP for roughly 30 years. He worked in epistemology and political philosophy, but his focus was primarily on David Hume (he was a charter member of the Hume Society). (more…)
José Benardete, professor emeritus of philosophy at Syracuse University, has died. The author of three books—the latest was Greatness of Soul: In Hume, Aristotle and Hobbes, As Shadowed by Milton’s Satan (Cambridge)—Professor Benardete was known for his work in metaphysics and, I am told, his dedication to a philosophical life. For years, numerous interesting a..
G. Aldo Antonelli, professor of philosophy at the University of California, Davis, died unexpectedly earlier this week. Professor Antonelli was known largely for his work in logic. Prior to taking up his position at UC Davis, he also taught for many years at UC Irvine, and held appointments at Pittsburgh, Yale, Stanford, Michigan State, and elsewhere. You can learn ..
Claudia Card, Emma Goldman Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has died. Professor Card received her undergraduate degree in philosophy at Wisconsin, and joined the faculty there after getting her PhD at Harvard in 1969. She wrote on a wide range of topics in ethics and social philosophy, and is especially well-known for her work in femin..
For this installment of “Hobbies of Philosophers”, I talked to Steff Rocknak, professor of philosophy at Hartwick College. Steff works on Hume, Quine, philosophy of art, and philosophy of mind. But she also has a successful career as a sculptor—it is certainly much more than a hobby, so in this case, the title for this series is terribly inapt given the central im..
The philosopher Michael Theunissen died on April 18, 2015. He studied in Bonn and Freiburg and defended his much-cited habilitation thesis Der Andere: Studien zur Sozialontologie der Gegenwart (The Other: Studies in Contemporary Social Ontology) in Berlin in 1964. He was professor in Berne, then Heidelberg and Berlin, where he was colleague alongside figures such ..
Philosopher Derek Parfit died last night, according to several sources. He was emeritus fellow of All Souls College at Oxford University, Global Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at New York University, and also had held appointments at Harvard University and Rutgers University.
Parfit was an ingenious philosopher, by all reports a kind colleague, and an espe..
Happy World Philosophy Day, philosofriends. World Philosophy Day was created by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to celebrate philosophy and promote the idea that “philosophy is a discipline that encourages critical and independent thought and is capable of working towards a better understanding of the world and promotin..
Last year I waited until mid-December to post the gift guide and tons of philosophers missed out on pencil sharpeners because their loved ones had already bought them something else. I’m not going to make that mistake again. Today is”Cyber Monday,” a holiday that stretches back to the era before all of the marketing professionals who used the word “cyber” to describ..
Ah, summer…. that part of the year in which I like to think I have time to read something besides philosophy. Help me keep the dream alive, philosofriends, and recommend some fiction. If you want to say something about why you’re recommending this or that particular work, be my guest. But you don’t have to. Because it’s summer. (more…)
Umberto Eco, known to the world as the author of novels such as The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum, has died. Obituaries have appeared in mamy outlets (e.g., New York Times, NPR, The Guardian, The Telegraph). Eco was also an academic, working in philosophy and semiotics. He’s quoted in several articles as saying, “I am a philosopher. I write novels only on..
Hilail Gildin, professor of philosophy at Queens College, has died. Gilden worked in political philosophy, publishing books on Mill, Spinoza, and Rousseau. He was one of the founders, with his teacher, Leo Strauss, of Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy, and served as its editor-in-chief. (via Moti Mizrahi)
A philosophy student who defected from North Korea provides some information about life as a philosophy student there in a recent interview (part of a series of interviews with David A. Caprara, a journalist working with the Global Peace Foundation in Seoul, South Korea). The student now lives in Seoul.
The access to philosophy books in North Korea is quite limit..
Pamela Sue Anderson, Professor of Modern European Philosophy of Religion at Oxford University, died this past Sunday, from cancer. She was 61. (more…)
Hilary Putnam, Cogan University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, died earlier today. Professor Putnam was a tremendously influential philosopher, working across a broad range of fields, including philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, philosophy of language, philosophy of math, and moral philosophy. (A list of his works is available here.) He received h..
Michael Martin, professor of philosophy emeritus at Boston University, has died. Martin worked mainly in philosophy of religion, and is known for his defenses of atheism, in such works as Atheism, Morality, and Meaning and various edited collections, including the Cambridge Companion to Atheism. He also wrote a few plays. Following an initial appointment at the Univ..
At his new site, What Is It Like To Be A Philosopher, Clifford Sosis (Coastal Carolina) has posted a long and wide-ranging interview with Michael Ruse (Florida State). The interview covers a lot of his personal life and how he got into philosophy, evolution and creationism and his testimony in the McLean versus Arkansas Board of Education lawsuit, interdisciplinary ..
Alan Wertheimer, professor emeritus at the University of Vermont, has died. Professor Wertheimer worked mainly in ethics and political philosophy, both theoretical and applied, with well-known work on coercion, exploitation, and various topics in biomedical ethics. He spent most of his career at the University of Vermont, in the Department of Political Science, but ..
Keith Donnellan, professor emeritus in the philosophy department at UCLA, has died. Donnellan was known for his work in philosophy of language, particularly on definite descriptors. I will post links to obituaries as they appear.