Jorge J. E. Gracia (1942-2021)

Jorge J.E. Gracia, professor emeritus of philosophy and comparative literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo, has died.

Professor Gracia’s research and writing ranged across many areas of philosophy, including metaphysics, philosophical historiography, philosophy of language, issues of ethnicity, race and nationality, medieval/scholastic philosophy, and Hispanic, Latino and Latin-American philosophy. You can browse some of his works here.

Professor Gracia started teaching at Buffalo in 1971 and taught there his entire career, holding visiting positions at several other institutions over the years. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, his M.A. from the University of Chicago, and his undergraduate degree from Wheaton College. He was born in Cuba and fled to the United States when he was 18. You can read more about his life and work in a memorial notice posted by the University of Buffalo Department of Philosophy.

He died on July 13th.

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William Irwin
2 years ago

He was an excellent philosopher, but much more importantly he was a supremely kind and generous human being who loved to laugh.

Ivan Jaksic
2 years ago

In addition to his many contributions, he opened up and validated the field of Latin American philosophy. He was a model scholar and a most generous human being.

Susan L Smith
2 years ago

Jorge was the ultimate scholar and mentor. Always generous with his time and his laughter. His kindness, humble nature and high academic standards will be greatly missed.

Elizabeth Millan Brusslan
2 years ago

Jorge opened the field of philosophy to so many of us, and he did so with much grace and good humor. His desire for our flourishing will inspire us to continue his legacy of cultivating a more inclusive field of philosophy. My debt to him is one I carry most gladly.

Michael Gorman
Michael Gorman
2 years ago

I learned many things from Jorge Gracia, but maybe the most important was the following, which he taught mostly by example: In philosophy, you are trying to find the right view, not the most exciting view. Exciting views get you talked about, but that’s not what we’re here for.

Stephen Menn
2 years ago

I didn’t know Jorge very well, but he was very kind to me whenever we saw each other over the years. His work on medieval philosophy, particularly on individuals and on different versions of the problem of individuation in a broad range of medieval authors, was a model of lucidity. And he worked productively on many other things too. I will miss him. I hadn’t known about his illness, and am very sorry to hear about it. The memorials on the Buffalo webpage, which Justin links to, are well worth reading.

Tim Madigan
2 years ago

Jorge was a role model to me, as both a committed scholar and an inspiring teacher. But most of all, he demonstrated through his writings and his life just what “the love of wisdom” really means. I benefitted tremendously from knowing him.