Jaegwon Kim (1934-2019)

Jaegwon Kim, professor emeritus of philosophy at Brown University, has died.

Professor Kim was known for his writings in philosophy of mind and metaphysics, as well as action theory, epistemology, and philosophy of science. You can view a list of some of his research here.

He worked at Brown in the 1960s and then from 1987 on. He also taught at the University of Michigan, Swarthmore College, Cornell University, the University of Notre Dame, and Johns Hopkins University. Born in Korea, he received his Bachelor’s degree in philosophy, French, and mathematics from Dartmouth and his Ph.D. from Princeton.

In his last book, Mind in a Physical World: An Essay on the Mind-body Problem and Mental Causation, he critiqued attempts to downplay the significance of certain philosophical problems with views regarding the mind or to believe they “can be solved in a simple and easy way, without having to pay a heavy metaphysical price”:

There are no free lunches in philosophy any more than in real life, and I believe the cheap ones aren’t worth the money. We might as well go for the real stuff and pay the price.

Professor Kim died on Wednesday, November 27th.

(via Robert J. Howell)

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