David Braine (1940-2017)
David Braine, a philosopher at the University of Aberdeen, died this past February. Professor Braine worked in a broad range of philosophical fields, including philosophy of religion, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, and ethics.
According to a page at Aberdeen’s website,
David Braine was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he held a Demyship in Natural Science from 1958-62, obtaining Hon. Mods (Physics) in 1959 and then graduated B.A. Hon. (History) in 1962 (M.A., 1965). From 1962-3 he studied philosophy under C.C.W. Taylor, Geoffrey Warnock and Patrick Gardiner, and as B.Phil. student under Gilbert Ryle, 1963-65, with some study under Elizabeth Anscombe, graduating B Phil. (Oxon) in 1965. From 1965-89 he was a Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. He was awarded a Gifford Fellowship from 1982-1988. Following complications after his spinal injury of 1977, he took medical retirement in 1989, becoming Honorary Lecturer 1989-2002, and Honorary Research Fellow since 2002.
The spinal injury mentioned above was owed to a car accident which left him paralyzed from the chest down, according to an obituary in the Catholic Herald by Alan Fimister.
Fimister writes, “Braine was a considerable character and a more important thinker than is always appreciated.”
I read parts of Braine’s book The Human Person: Animal and Spirit at some point in graduate school. I can’t speak now to the success of his arguments but I remember finding them terrifically interesting at the time, and thinking that the book is a much better contemporary development of a Thomistic view of human nature than most of what I have read in that tradition.
Also, what a great name.Report