Margaret Morrison (1954-2021)


Margaret Morrison, professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto, has died.

Professor Morrison was known for her work in philosophy of science, winning a Guggenheim fellowship in 2017 recognizing her for her research on “the role of models in scientific investigation, mathematical explanation in physics and biology,… the role of computer simulations in knowledge production,… how we extract concrete information from abstract mathematical representations, [and] the epistemology of computer simulation.” She is the author of Reconstructing Reality: Models, Mathematics, and Simulations, among many other works (including a few on some figures in the history of philosophy), which you can browse here.

Professor Morrison joined the Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto in 1989. Prior to that, she held positions at Stanford University and the University of Minnesota. She has also held research fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, the Centre for the Philosophy of the Natural and Social Sciences at the London School of Economics, and the Centre for Mathematical Philosophy at the Ludwig Maximillian University. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario and was an undergraduate at Dalhousie University.

(via Stephan Hartmann)

UPDATE (1/11/21): The Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto has published a brief memorial notice here. The notice states that Professor Morrison died on January 9th from cancer.

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Paul Humphreys
Paul Humphreys
6 months ago

Margie Morrison had a special talent for using scientific results to illuminate complex and difficult philosophical problems. Her work on models and simulations was particularly notable in that regard; her nuanced and level headed work in the area will continue as a source of insights for many of us far into the future. At least as important was Margie’s subversive sense of humor. It brightened many a philosophical conversation and was evident even in the dark days of treatment for a particularly brutal form of cancer. I’ll miss her greatly.Report