Robert S. Cohen (1924-2017)


Robert S. Cohen, professor emeritus of philosophy and physics at Boston University, died yesterday, June 19th, 2017. Professor Cohen was known mainly for his work in the philosophy and history of science. 

Professor Cohen edited over 100 books in the history and philosophy of science. He was one of the founders the Boston University Center for Philosophy and History of Science in 1960, which he directed for 33 years. In 1963 he launched Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science. There is a Robert S. Cohen archive at the Institute for the Vienna Circle, and there is a library at Tsinghua University that bears his name.

Professor Cohen’s funeral will be on Thursday, June 22nd at 10 am at Temple Isaiah in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Below is a video of Professor Cohen speaking on the occasion of the BU Center’s 50th anniversary celebration, in October, 2010.

(source: Alisa Bokulich, via PHILOS-L)

(I will update this post with links to obituaries as I learn of them.)

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Mollyann Wingerter
Mollyann Wingerter
4 years ago

so sad we have lost another great person in physics and science!Report

Larry Cahoone
Larry Cahoone
4 years ago

Internationalist, inveterate traveler, physicist and philosopher, political but welcoming, short but neither nasty nor brutish, one of the major conduits by which philosophy of science was established in post-WWII United States, director/editor with Marx Wartofsky of one of the two or three most influential venues/journals of philosophy of science for many decades, inspired by the Vienna Circle but with a markedly pluralistic approach that broadened philosophy of science in the 1960s-80s (e.g. philosophy of biology and social science), and, as has become ever more apparent by contrast in the years since his retirement, one of the few genuine purveyors of menschlichkeit in our profession. May the road rise to meet you, Bob. And thanks for everything.Report

Monish
Monish
4 years ago

The end is also a beginning. Bob now lives in memories of him in the countless people he influenced to be open, independent and interdisciplinary. He influenced me deeply and showed me a path that I still follow. Thanks for being part of my universe.Report

Carolyn Evans
Carolyn Evans
4 years ago

I’m glad to have worked at BU 1988-2000. It is most odd that today, after years of not visiting website, I would be here to read this. A great scholar and good man. He is missed.Report

Alisa Bokulich
Alisa Bokulich
4 years ago

An obituary with photographs and remembrances of Bob Cohen can be found at http://www.bu.edu/cphs/about/robert-cohen/Report

Atila Bayat
Atila Bayat
4 years ago

He gave us news of the passing of our teacher J.N. Findlay, a renowned thinker in 1987. A sad day to bear, and he had us thinking of the future. Outstanding professional editor, we should know more about him.Report