Charles Parsons (1933-2024)

Charles D. Parsons, professor emeritus of philosophy at Harvard University, has died.

Professor Parsons was known for his work on the philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of logic, Kant, and historical figures in the foundations of mathematics, such as Frege, Hilbert, and Gödel. He is the author of Mathematical Thought and Its Objects (2007), Philosophy of Mathematics in the Twentieth Century: Selected Essays (2013), From Kant to Husserl: Selected Essays (2012), and many other works. You can learn more about his writings here. Parsons also was an editor of The Journal of Philosophy for 25 years.

Parsons earned his AB and PhD from Harvard University and worked for a year at Cornell University before returning to Harvard for a few years. He then joined the Department of Philosophy at Columbia University, where he taught for 20 years. In 1989 he moved back to Harvard.

He died on April 19th, 2024.


Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Guanglong Luo
Guanglong Luo
1 month ago

great mind

Eric Steinhart
1 month ago

He was a fascinating man; I used to enjoy discussing mathematics and philosophy of mathematics with him. He always had novel insights.

Sean Ebels Duggan
Sean Ebels Duggan
1 month ago

As was said above, a great mind. But must also be said that he was exceptionally kind. I could multiply examples, but here is one: I was an interloper at Harvard, hanging around the philosophy department because my wife took her Ph.D there. As such I often found myself standing awkwardly at the margins of department events. Charles would quite often end up standing next to me, asking how I was. Though he was hardly an ebullient conversationalist, it wasn’t a coincidence that he found his way to me in order to, in his own quiet way, make me feel welcome.