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 his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, his Ph.D. from UCLA, and taught at Northwestern University, Princeton University, and MIT, before joining the faculty at Harvard.
There will be a funeral Monday at 12:30 p.m. at Levine Chapel, 470 Harvard Street, Brookline, Massachusetts. Burial will be immediately after at the Crawford St. Cemetery at 776 Baker Street, West Roxbury.
His wife, Ruth Anna Putnam, writes in an email, “If you would like to make a gift in Hilary’s memory, please donate to Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, Alabama 36104.”
I will update this post with further information and memorial notices as they become available.
(correction: the title of this post initially incorrectly stated Putnam’s birth year as 1929. It is 1926.)
UPDATE: Below are links to related online material. If you have relevant links please mention them in the comments or email them to me. Thank you.
- Obituary from The Boston Globe (4/26/16)
- A lengthy set of reflections on Putnam by Alan Gilbert at 3:AM Magazine (4/7/16)
- A remembrance by Lindsay Waters of Harvard University Press (3/25/16)
- Obituary from The Wire (3/25/16)
- Obituary from The Economist (March 26th, 2016 issue).
- Obituary from The Washington Free Beacon (3/19/16).
- The New York Times’ obituary for Putnam (3/17/16).
- The Guardian’s obituary for Putnam (3/14/16).
- “A Half Century of Philosophy, Viewed from Within” by Hilary Putnam (1997).
- Samir Chopra (Brooklyn College, CUNY) with reflections on Putnam’s work (3/14/16).
- Martha Nussbaum (Chicago) on “the glory of Putnam’s way of philosophizing.” (3/14/16) (via Henry Richardson and Corey Briley)
- Eric Schliesser (Amsterdam) shares his remembrance of Putnam. (3/14/16)
- Prospect Magazine profile of Putnam (2013).
- Julian Baggini’s write up of his interview of Putnam for The Philosophers’ Magazine (2001). (via James Garvey)
Below is a photo of Putnam participating by video in a conference last October, “The Philosophy of Hilary Putnam” at IIT Bombay, courtesy of Sanjit Chakraborty.