David Gauthier, professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, has died.Professor Gauthier was well-known for his contractarian theory of morality, set forth in his 1986 book, Morals By Agreement (Oxford University Press). He also worked on the political philosophy of Hobbes and Rousseau, authoring books on each. Several volumes of his collected essays have been published, as well. You can learn more about his writings here and here.
Professor Gauthier joined the department of philosophy at Pittsburgh in 1980. During the 22 years prior to that, he was a member of the department of philosophy at the University of Toronto. He has held visiting positions at the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, Berkeley, Princeton, the University of California, Irvine, and the University of Waterloo. He earned his B.Phil and D.Phil at the University of Oxford, a master’s degree at Harvard University, and his undergraduate degree at Toronto.
According to the University of Pittsburgh, in his younger days he once ran (unsuccessfully) for the Canadian House of Commons, and was an occasional newspaper columnist and writer on public affairs. An asteroid is named for him.
He died on Thursday, November 9th, 2023.