Martin Tamny (1941-2014)

Martin Tamny, Professor of Philosophy at CCNY and the CUNY Graduate Center, has died. Professor Tamny worked in the philosophy and history of science. Saul Fisher (Mercy College) sends along the following remembrance:

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Martin Tamny on October 18, 2014, at the age of 73.

Martin was born in the Bronx, New York, and attended George Washington High School, the City College of New York, and Wolfson College at Oxford. He received his PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center in 1976. He was Professor of Philosophy at CCNY and the CUNY Graduate Center, where he worked tirelessly with, and on behalf of, his students.

In addition, he served his fellow faculty members with dedication, distinction, and distinctive wit, as Dean of Social Sciences (1984-85), Chair of the CCNY Philosophy department (1990-1993), and Dean of Humanities and the Arts (1993-2000), and many other faculty leadership and administrative capacities over more than 30 years at City College and the CUNY Graduate Center.

Martin’s scholarship in early modern history of philosophy of science included, with J.E. McGuire, Certain Philosophical Questions: Newton’s Trinity Notebook (Cambridge University Press, 1983), a transcription, expansion, and commentary on Newton’s 1664-65 notebooks. He was also dedicated to the public understanding of science and the philosophy of science, as a longtime member of the New York Academy of Science (History and Philosophy of Science section) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Section L, History and Philosophy of Science), as well as the American Philosophical Association and History of Science Society.

May his life and scholarship be an inspiration.

The New York Times obituary is here.

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Dennis Massa
Dennis Massa
4 years ago

I remember Professor Tamny from when I was a student in his Logic class at CCNY in the early 70’s. His teaching style and wit made an everlasting impression on me that I remember to this day. It spurred an interest in me about a subject I knew very little of. I remember he taught his course mainly through a book that he himself wrote, Symbolic Logic was the name of it, I believe. I cherished that book and couldn’t wait to got to that class and learn from him, which, believe me, was not the way I felt about too many classes! Throughout the years, I’ve grown to love doing logic puzzles which may not sound like much, but it’s actually helped me through some of the darkest periods of my life, however strange that may sound. Professor Tamny was truly an inspiration to me and I am so sorry to hear that he has passed on. However, I am glad to find out here about his illustrious and honored career and of all of his accolades, all of which he so richly desereved, if not more. I’m sure all of his students and colleagues felt the same way about him.