David Armstrong (1926-2014)


David Armstrong, a philosopher known for his work in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind, has died. He had retired from the University of Sydney in 1992, and had previously held appointments at Birkbeck and University of Melbourne, and visiting positions at Yale, Stanford, Franklin and Marshall, University of Texas, and Notre Dame.

UPDATE (5/15/14): In the comments, James Franklin informs us about this obituary, “David Armstrong, Great Mind, Great Man,” in Quadrant Magazine, on whose board Armstrong was a member.

The funeral will be held at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium, 199 Delhi Road, North Ryde. Sydney, on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 at 12.15pm.

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Daniel Nolan
Daniel Nolan
6 years ago

He also had a visting appointment at the University of Nottingham when I was there. It was great to have him as a colleague for that semester, and he’ll be much missed.Report

Edward Howlett Spence
6 years ago

I am greatly grieved to hear of David Armstrong’s death. He was my teacher and mentor when I completed both my Honours and PhD degrees in the Traditional and Modern Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney ( 1985-1996). He was and will be one of the great philosophers of this century. May he rest in peace. He will be greatly missed. My condolences to his family.

Edward H. SpenceReport

willo angelette
6 years ago

I am grieved to loose perhaps the last of the original pioneers of Materialist theory of mind.Report

James Franklin
6 years ago

A great loss indeed. While his materialist theory of mind is his best known work, I would say his later Aristotelian realist theory of universals was really more significant. His Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics (2010) gives a readable summary of his final position.Report

Cathy Legg
Cathy Legg
6 years ago

I appreciated how much he sincerely loved philosophy, and was willing to challenge philosophical orthodoxy in Australia in the 60s with a brand new approach.Report

James Franklin
6 years ago

Cathy’s comment could need some distinctions made. Armstrong challenged (philosophical orthodoxy), in Australia (in that he addressed traditional metaphysical problems as opposed to the linguistic philosophy then in vogue overseas. But did he challenge (philosophical orthodoxy in Australia)? His philosophy was very close to that of his teacher, John Anderson. (Though it’s true he had to fight for the differences, Anderson’s personality being what it was.)Report