Professor Leslie Armour will be remembered for his urbanity and learning by those who had the pleasure of knowing him as teacher, colleague, or friend. But even if you know him only by his writings, you will have an inkling of what I mean. The opening words of an insightful essay on Spinoza’s account of immortality call to mind the temper of the man: "If one reads some of his commentators,” Leslie wrote, "one might suspect Spinoza of toying with his readers’ hopes and emotions in telling them that they are in some sense immortal and then advancing a notion of eternal life that is much like being dead.”
Leslie completed his thesis in 1956, at the University of London under the direction of C. E. M. Joad and Ruth Saw. It was an examination and defense of British Idealism and was the root of his later historical pursuits in philosophy. It awakened his interest in German idealism, from which the British version had arisen, and led in turn to broader forays into philosophical history, particularly that of the modern era, to which his books on Spinoza, Pascal, and Hegel bear witness.
This was not the kind of historian of philosophy who’s a slave to details of time and place, though Leslie had an uncanny ability to recall and apply them at the most apposite, and often comical, moments. But his important contributions to the fundamental problems of philosophy, in books like The Rational and the Real (1962), The Concept of Truth (1969), Logic and Reality (1972), and The Conceptualization of the Inner Life (1980), lay bare some of the philosophical roots from which the historian drew his sustenance.
Indigenous Canadian philosophy was also a matter of great importance to Leslie. He wouldn’t permit you to ignore it, and wouldn’t like you much unless you at least respected it. Works like The Faces of Reason: Philosophy in English Canada 1850–1950 (co-authored with Elizabeth Trott) make it easier than you might suppose to please him on both counts. Throughout his long career, Leslie was not only one of Canadian philosophy’s leading historians, but also among its principal champions.
His interests extended beyond the narrow professional discipline philosophy has become. For some time he was editor of the International Journal of Social Economics, and, after ending his full-time career at the University of Ottawa in 1995, he was welcomed as Research Professor of Philosophy at Ottawa’s Dominican University College, where his interest in philosophical theology found a discerning audience.
In 1998 Leslie Armour was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. We will not soon forget him. Perhaps he will turn Spinoza on his head, and show us a way of being dead that is something like immortality.
- Graeme Hunter, University of Ottawa
Lee B. Brown, professor emeritus of Ohio State University (Columbus) where he taught for over forty years, passed away on February 13, 2014, at his home in Columbus. He was eighty-two. In an age of specialists he was a Renaissance man. The depth and breadth of his knowledge, and his brilliance in discussing it, were astonishing. With that breadth came boundless intellectual curiosity; if there was a topic that confronted him that he knew nothing about, he soon would know a great deal of it. In all this he was immeasurably aided by a prodigious memory. He read voraciously and could recall the smallest details from things read years before.
Brown was born in rural Iowa in 1932, and moved to Utah when he was nine. He served in the Navy during the Korean War before beginning his college education. He received his B.A. from the University of Utah, attended some classes at UC Berkeley, and then studied with Bill Earle and Erich Heller at Northwestern, where he received his doctorate. Northwestern, like many Midwestern schools at the time, featured the battle between continental and analytic philosophy. Brown learned both and understood both. Those who knew him well would have him translate Lacan into Lycan or Dretske into Derrida. His skill at this was nothing short of eerie. A fine example of how he married the analytic and the continental is his essay on Freud and Sartre in the Schilpp volume on Sartre.
What informed Brown’s skill here was total intellectual honesty. He was egoless in discussion. He could hold his own and more on any topic ranging from Gödel to jazz. But he took criticism only as a way of possibly discovering truth, and self-aggrandizement was absolute anathema. Learning truth and understanding it was his sole intellectual goal. He had devoted students who knew and loved this.
Departments, especially at very large universities, are often isolated from one another. Because of his knowledge of literature and the arts, Brown was an ambassador at large for the philosophy department. The legendary social gatherings at his home brought together faculty and students from many disciplines, and artists and musicians of both local and national prominence. A party at his home might (and on more than one occasion did) feature an intense discussion about time and relativity in one room and Eubie Blake, the great ragtime pianist, demonstrating his theory of time and rhythm in another.
His articles and reviews, mainly about jazz and literature, are revelatory. Jazz was really his great passion and his collection and corresponding knowledge of records and films that span its history are well known in the aesthetics world. His knowledge of the arts and the philosophy of art are clearly evident in a textbook (coauthored with David Goldblatt), Aesthetics: A Reader in Philosophy of the Arts. The book refreshingly includes the popular arts in its discussions, Brown being as much at home in seedy jazz clubs as at Lincoln Center. He had a total intellectual commitment in every aspect of his life. To him, the personal was the complete integration of the life of the mind into the world around him. Those closest to him felt no less than privileged. But Brown would have never thought of it that way. To him, the knowledge he gained and dispensed in discussions was simply inseparable from happiness.
- Alan Hausman, The Ohio State University; Hunter College CUNY
Leonard S. Carrier, professor emeritus of philosophy, University of Miami, passed away on June 26, 2014. He received his A.B. (1956) and M.A. degrees (1958) in philosophy from the University of Miami and his Ph.D. from Stanford University (1967), and, after teaching at Macquarie University and the University of South Florida for brief periods, moved to the University of Miami in 1969 where he taught until his retirement in 2000. He was the author of dozens of articles; three books, Experience and the Objects of Perception (University Press of America, 1981), Mortal Souls: A Neo-Aristotelian Theory of the Human Psyche (Peter Lang, 1997), and The Essential Tie Between Knowing and Believing: A Casual Account of Knowledge and Epistemic Reasoning (Edwin Mellen, 2011); and one novel, Bet on the River (Outskirts Press, 2013). While at the University of Miami he taught a wide range of courses at all levels, including courses in epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and the history of philosophy, especially Aristotle.
In addition to a productive career in philosophy, Carrier was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, a novelist, a Field Editor for Mellon Press, a USTA tennis official, and an active tennis player throughout his adult life. He was a central member of the department of philosophy throughout his time at the University of Miami and contributed substantially to its status. While there he advised several generations of undergraduate and graduate students, directed undergraduate and MA theses and Ph.D. dissertations, and served as director of graduate studies for a number of years as well as the department’s representative on the faculty senate, on which he served as vice chair. He was well respected and well liked by students and colleagues alike, and will be missed by us all.
- Harvey Siegel, Philosophy, University of Miami
- Howard Pospesel, Philosophy (Emeritus), University of Miami
- Otávio Bueno, Philosophy, University of Miami
John Joseph Compton, academic-lifetime professor of philosophy at Vanderbilt University, died after a brief illness on Saturday, January 18, 2014, at the age of eighty-five. Born May 17, 1928, and educated at Wooster College and Yale University, he joined the philosophy faculty at Vanderbilt in 1952 at the age of twenty-four and remained there for forty-six years, retiring in 1998.
John hailed from a distinguished academic family. His father was Arthur Holly Compton, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis. One of Arthur Compton’s brothers led MIT and the other, the University of Oregon. John Compton was keenly aware of this history and added luster to the Compton name by exceptional service as an academic citizen, leading the philosophy department for seven years, chairing the faculty council and helping to shape virtually every major academic decision of the university.
A gifted philosopher and a brilliant teacher, John was equally effective at the graduate and undergraduate levels. His commitment to, and passion for, teaching made him a towering figure in the Vanderbilt community. They earned him the prestigious E. Harris Harbison Award of the Danforth Foundation and, on campus, the Chancellor’s Cup.
John was a perceptive critic and a generous interlocutor. As a thinker, he was attracted to Merleau-Ponty and the phenomenological tradition. His knowledge of the philosophy of science was both broad and deep. His publications were well received in this country and abroad.
The quest to be of service to others led John to accept several calls from his professional society, the American Philosophical Association. From 1971 to 1974 he served as secretary-treasurer of the Eastern Division of the APA and followed that service by being elected, in 1974, vice-president of the Eastern Division. In 1975, however, when John’s many friends in the APA urged him to do what was expected and seek the presidency (vice presidents did not automatically ascend to the presidency in those days, as they do now), John declined to run for the top office. Many were puzzled by this decision, but those close to him knew that he was always ready to take on jobs that called for him to contribute services to his fellows, but shrank away from seeking positions of honor.
In the best tradition of philosophy, John lived his convictions. He played a prominent role in attempts to desegregate the south. He championed social justice and devoted himself to environmental causes. He and his charming wife, Marjorie, were always ready to help students and young faculty.
John Compton spent his last years as a nearly full-time caretaker for Marjorie. For decades, the large, warm spaces of the Compton home served as the site for most of the department’s social activities. Marjorie’s hospitality and liveliness set the tone for these gatherings. She died less than two months after the death of her beloved husband. John and Marjorie are survived by three children: Beth Compton Interlandi, Cathy Compton Swanson, and John Arthur Compton, plus four grand-daughters and one great-grandson.
- Donald W. Sherburne, thirty-five-year colleague and friend, along with the members of the Vanderbilt philosophy department
Anne Donchin, professor emerita, philosophy department, women’s studies program, and philanthropic studies program, Indiana University-Purdue University–Indianapolis (IUPUI), died on August 26, 2014. Born in Chicago on March 2, 1930, Anne studied at the University of Chicago (Ph.B. 1953), the University of Wisconsin (BA 1954), Rice University (MA 1965), and the University of Texas, Austin (Ph.D. 1970). She went on to become a gifted teacher and a leading proponent of feminist bioethics.
Like many women of her generation, Anne’s early philosophical career did not follow a smooth, direct path. Not only did early teachers tell this exceptional young woman (she was admitted to the College at the University of Chicago at the age of fifteen) that there were no opportunities for women in philosophy, but also she married John Adams in 1949, left the University of Chicago, and gave birth to four children between 1956 and 1963. Despite the pessimistic advice of her philosophical "mentors,” the shifting demands of her husband’s career, and her devotion to raising her children, Anne succeeded in completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin, as well as her MA in philosophy at Rice with a thesis on the analytic-synthetic distinction. After that, she commuted 165 miles from Houston to the University of Texas, Austin, completed her coursework and exams in a single year, and wrote a Ph.D. dissertation critically examining Paul Feyerabend’s philosophy of science.
In 1970, the year she received her Ph.D., Anne took up a position as assistant professor of philosophy at Texas Southern University. This marked the beginning of her long, innovative pedagogical career. What is remarkable about Anne’s teaching approach—remember this was 1970—is that it was student-centered. For example, Anne was responsible for teaching an aesthetics course to students who were mostly African American. So she constructed her syllabus around aesthetic objects familiar to her students—African-American literature, film, and music—and she drew the philosophical topics out of and introduced the philosophical texts through artworks her students could relate to. In other courses at Texas Southern and in her subsequent teaching at SUNY New Paltz, Bloomfield College, Rutgers University, Medgar Evers College, and IUPUI, she used the same approach. One of Anne’s former students at IUPUI, Paula Barrickman, writes:
Anne's impact on my life was profound. Over time, she was my professor, my supervisor, my mentor, and my friend. I could have never achieved what I did in life if not for her unwavering belief in me. It was a privilege to know her.
In time, Anne became more and more attentive to the tensions between the core concerns of professional philosophers and real-life human issues, and her sensitivity to these tensions influenced the trajectory of her scholarly career.
Shortly after completing her Ph.D., Anne’s scholarly interests began to shift away from epistemology and towards bioethics and feminist philosophy. Her published articles in these areas take up issues concerning gender justice, chronic illness, and reproductive technology. What is distinctive about much of her work on these topics is that she positions them within a relational autonomy framework. Her best-known and most widely cited publication is "Autonomy and Interdependence: Quandaries in Genetic Decision Making” (in Relational Autonomy, edited by Catriona Mackenzie and Natalie Stoljar, Oxford University Press, 2000). In it, Anne rejects individualistic models of decision-making in medical practice as completely inadequate to the tough choices people face because of our advancing knowledge of genetics, and she develops and defends an account of relational autonomy. Prior to her death she was working on a book entitled Procreation, Power, and Personal Autonomy: Feminist Reflections. At different times, both the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Lilly Foundation funded her scholarship.
In addition to her publications, Anne turned her scholarly interests into activism within the profession of philosophy. Frustrated that regnant theory in bioethics ignored the viewpoints of women and members of other subordinated social groups, she spearheaded the founding of the International Network on Feminist Approaches to Bioethics in 1992 and served as an early co-coordinator (1992–1998). FAB, as it is known, has grown to be a thriving international organization that holds biannual conferences, publishes books and a journal, and fosters scholarly communication through its listserv. Anne co-edited two of FAB’s major publications: Embodying Bioethics (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1999) andLinking Visions (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2002). In addition, she was an associate editor of Bioethics,served on various feminist bioethics boards, and reviewed manuscripts for numerous journals and scholarly presses.
In 2000, Anne retired from IUPUI, but she remained professionally active – writing, editing, and speaking until failing health curtailed her work late in her life. She is survived by her life partner and fellow philosopher Edmund Byrne, a daughter, Joanne Adams, three sons, John, David, and Christopher Adams, and three grandchildren. She will be greatly missed as well by the many colleagues whose lives she touched and enriched. A memorial service was held on September 2, 2014, at Grace Episcopal Church in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. FAB will hold a session honoring Anne at their next conference in Edinburgh in 2016.
- Diana Tietjens Meyers, University of Connecticut, Storrs
Rolf Arthur Eberle passed away on March 23, 2014, in Pfäffikon, Switzerland, following a long struggle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was eighty-two years old and was well known for his contributions to formal foundations and uses of nominalism, for detailed explications of Nelson Goodman’s approach to ontology and nominalism, for innovations in the foundations of mereology (including its relations to abstract algebras and set theories), and for a variety of contributions and publications in the areas of logic and formal semantics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science.
Rolf’s path along what appeared to be a lifelong commitment to formal methods in philosophy was hardly a straight one. It involved spending a couple of his younger years on the Left Bank in Paris, "studying” existentialism, and returning on occasion to the family home in Basel via motorcycle. Rolf graduated from a trade school in Basel and was working his way into the family business of flour milling when he began attending a gymnasium after work hours and encountered Emil Fellmann, who was director of the gymnasium and instructor of mathematics and Latin. Fellmann himself was regarded as a historian of the "precise sciences,” achieved an international reputation as a historian of natural science, and published several significant works on Leibniz, Euler (including a highly regarded biography later translated into English), and the Bernoullis. From Fellmann, Rolf received a solid grounding in algebra, plane and solid geometry, and trigonometry—subjects with which he had struggled in trade school. This opened his eyes to the beauty of mathematics, and Rolf felt that Fellmann was a lasting influence on his intellectual and academic life.
There was also an episode in which Rolf was sent by his father to Kansas State University in order to learn some of the technical aspects of flour milling. This was less than successful, and at one point a mill under his supervision ran amok while he was engrossed in reading Being and Nothingness. But at Kansas State he began auditing philosophy classes taught by Professor Cecil Miller, and they became long-term friends. Ultimately he ended up at UCLA—with a year’s advanced standing from his trade school diploma! There he fell in with the likes of Donald Kalish (who later became his dissertation supervisor), Richard Montague, Alfred Horn, and David Kaplan (then a graduate student). The prospect of a career in flour milling operations management receded into the background.
Rolf entered UCLA as an undergraduate and emerged as a Ph.D. It was as an undergraduate that he took a philosophy of science class from Richard Montague in which one day Montague offhandedly tossed to the class an "exercise” of demonstrating that the classic Hempel-Oppenheim account of explanation was inadequate. Being both naïve and fully in awe of Montague, Rolf took him seriously and produced an analysis that became the core of "Hempel and Oppenheim on Explanation” co-authored by Eberle, Kaplan, and Montague, published in Philosophy of Science(1961), and long regarded as a classic article on scientific explanation. Rolf’s first professional appointment in philosophy was at Kansas State University, from which he moved to the University of Rochester in 1967.
While philosophy of science, at least under one construal or another, remained of interest to Rolf, and he published in the area periodically, the preponderance of his interest and focus was reserved for what we most frequently and broadly refer to as "nominalism”—and problems confronting the nominalist in saying precisely what nominalism is, what are the appropriate methods to be employed, and the manner and degree in which these methods can be employed to address and solve substantive philosophical problems. His most widely cited work is surely Nominalistic Systems (Reidel, 1970), and it is very widely cited indeed as a foundational work in formal philosophy and formal nominalism. The first page of its introduction describes the "constructionist method of philosophical analysis” that he had adopted through his studies with Kalish, Kaplan, Montague, and Carnap, and that he would follow (with refinements and enhancements) for the next twenty years.
I always felt that what I learned from Rolf was not so much philosophy—and it certainly wasn’t a particular metaphysical or anti-metaphysical perspective—but methodology: an approach to doing things philosophical in which problems were clarified with precision, and clear and understandable techniques were employed to solve those problems as measured against the similarly clear and precise statement of criteria of adequacy which themselves were supported by careful argument and a consideration of advantages, disadvantages, and consequences. This view of Rolf’s contributions to philosophy, logic, semantics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science is borne out by such later papers as "Models, Metaphors, and Formal Interpretations” (Appendix to The Myth of Metaphor, by C. M. Turbayne, 1970), "Replacing One Theory By Another Under Preservation of a Given Feature” (Philosophy of Science, 1971), "Ontologically Neutral Arithmetic” (Philosophia, 1974), "A Logic of Believing, Knowing, and Inferring” (Synthese, 1974), "Semantic Analysis Without Reference to Abstract Entities” (The Monist, 1978), and "Logic with a Relative Truth Predicate and ‘That’-Terms” (Synthese, 1984).
Along these lines, Bill Harper has observed that when Rolf joined the University of Rochester faculty in 1967, Henry Kyburg (who at that point was beginning work on what would be The Logical Foundations of Statistical Inference) quickly benefited from Rolf’s semantic and model-theoretic approach to problems, and felt that Rolf had provided "the tools to make formal representations of rational belief systems much more informative.” In my own case I came to realize that this methodological approach similarly provided me with a set of conceptual and technical tools that served me not only in my academic career in philosophy but in subsequent research programs and application development in software engineering, formal language development and compilers, and the application of semantic methods in applied inferencing, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, cognitive science, and formal ontology development and use in the biomedical sciences. At some point I realized that Rolf’s approach had also provided me with the conceptual foundations and logical framework for "object-oriented programming” long before this methodology and terminology entered the vocabularies of computer science and software engineering.
None of this influencing of other logicians and philosophers could have happened if it were not for the fact that Rolf was a remarkable teacher and mentor—at all levels from undergraduate instruction through collaborative and critical work with professional colleagues. And my own debt to him in this regard is almost inexpressible. He was a quiet and shy man (his own preferred description of himself) who sometimes found it difficult to enjoy interacting with people in a purely social setting. But he possessed a wonderful sense of humor and a quick wit, and he was always open, highly tolerant, and helpful with students. Brian Cupples has remarked that "he was so helpful in so many ways, it is hard to put into words.” Rolf’s early retirement in 1991, at the age of sixty, was a substantial loss to the university and to future students, but was compelled as a matter of principle for Rolf in the face of a changing department administration bent on relaxing standards in areas for which he felt personal responsibility.
In his retirement, a significant portion of Rolf’s intellectual attention and effort turned to poetry, which had always been of interest to him. I believe that part of this came from his old infatuation with existentialism, and that part of it came from his concern with the notion of meaning and how meaning can be communicated in different ways. And part came from his sense of humor, which was often self-deprecating in a humble way. A work of Rolf’s that has never been published is "The Thisness of Nowness and the Highness of Man: A Contribution to Existentialist Thought.” The overall tone and flavor of the poem are exhibited in its second stanza (which also illustrates a subtle influence of formal philosophy and a nominalistic perspective on the presentation):
By thisness we shall understand the so-being of this as it is in the now;
not anything has-been nor anything will-be, not the why of the this, nor the how.
But by nowness we shall understand the so-being of now as it is in the this.
Thus applying the term to the there or the yonder of now is clearly amiss.
Once these definitions are quite apprehended there is no more rational doubt,
that there can be no thisness but thisness of nowness. And showing how this comes about,
we need but observe in the field of appearance that everything given is there;
that none but the present is here-now presented, that thisness to nowness must bear
the relation of of-ness; and every existent must now-this at present exist.
For has-beens and will-bees are nothing but fictions and shouldn't be said to subsist.
Beyond such a tongue-in-cheek expression of deep thoughts, Rolf also expended considerable effort in translating classic poetry from German to English. His favorite target for this was Rilke, and in 2009 he published Rhyming Rilke: Selected Poems of Rilke with English Translations (Gangchil, India). As the title suggests, the emphasis in this collection of translations is on preserving the rhyming, and one characterization of this might be "translation from one poem to another under preservation of the rhyming feature.” Rolf’s introduction explains that he has specifically attempted to preserve "auromusical qualities” at the expense of literal meaning, synonymy, or emotive appeal. He then warns readers that any who are "averse to conceptual analysis” should skip the rest of the introduction and proceed directly to reading the poems. The sense of humor was always there.
Rolf is survived by his wife Helen, three daughters, and two grandsons. I would like to thank Helen Eberle, Bill Harper, and Brian Cupples for helping me in the reconstruction of some of these memories.
- Gary H. Merrill, North Carolina State University
Joseph C. Flay, professor emeritus at Penn State University, passed away on June 27, 2014, at the age of eighty-two in State College, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Reading High School and served in the U.S. Air Force. He earned a B.A. in philosophy from Penn State, graduating cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Pi Gamma Mu. He earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Southern California in 1965. During his graduate studies he received an NDEA Fellowship and a Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship. In 1963 he took a position as an instructor of philosophy at Penn State, eventually rising to the rank of full professor. He remained at Penn State until his retirement in 1994.
Joe’s primary area of research interest was nineteenth-century German philosophy, principally Hegel, though he also had strong interests in other figures of this and later periods. These included Marx, Nietzsche, James, and Dewey. In addition, he published on other themes in American Pragmatism, dialectics, the New Left of the 1960s and 1970s, French post-modernism, and the Greek poet Nikos Kazantzakis. He is the author of, among other works, Hegel’s Quest for Certainty, published by SUNY Press (1984). He also continued to publish significant scholarly research after his retirement from teaching.
In 1974, he was awarded the Class of 1933 Award for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of the Humanities, and in 1981, he was awarded the Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching.
Joe was preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie Joanne Stout, whom he married in 1954. He is survived by his daughters, Sarah Derber of State College, and Christina Sullivan and husband, Arthur Sullivan, both of Harrisburg, and his son, Gregory Flay and wife, Jovita Flay, both of Austin, Texas. Joseph is also survived by six grandchildren, Rachel Wamp, Justin Derber, Patrick and Lauren Sullivan, and Janelle and Joseph Flay, and one great-granddaughter, Charlotte Wamp.
In addition to being an excellent scholar, teacher, and colleague, Joe is remembered for his solicitude and kindness, especially to students and younger faculty. He was a valued teacher, mentor, faculty colleague, and friend and will be sorely missed.
- Department of Philosophy, Penn State University
Newton Garver passed away at the age of eighty-five at his East Concord home in New York on February 8, 2014. He was SUNY distinguished service professor and professor emeritus of philosophy at the University at Buffalo. Best known as a world-renowned interpreter of Wittgenstein, he was also a peace activist and founder of an education fund for impoverished Bolivians.
Garver was born in Buffalo, New York, on April 24, 1928. He attended Deep Springs College, and received his A.B. in philosophy from Swarthmore College in 1951. It was Sydney Morgenbesser who most impressed him and nudged him toward graduate study in philosophy. A year after his graduation from Swarthmore, the Telluride Association awarded Garver a scholarship to Lincoln College, Oxford. At Oxford, he attended a historic seminar by Gilbert Ryle on Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus in 1953. The seminar members included Stephen Toulmin, David Pears, Brian McGuinness, and David Armstrong. Garver also attended G. E. M. Anscombe’s lectures on Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, which were delivered almost simultaneously with the first publication of the work, which she had edited and translated. In 1954, he received B. Phil. from Oxford with the thesis entitled "Persuading,” a version of which was later published in Mind. Henry Price was his advisor.
Between 1954–56, Garver served as the senior English master of the National College of Choueifat in Lebanon. He then went to Cornell University to work with Max Black, who guided his dissertation on Wittgenstein. Besides Black, Norman Malcolm, G. H. von Wright, and John Canfield, all of whom appreciated Wittgenstein in different ways, also influenced Garver at Cornell. From 1958 to 1961 he was an instructor in philosophy at the University of Minnesota before returning to Buffalo in 1961 to teach philosophy at the University at Buffalo. In 1965, Garver received a Ph.D. from Cornell with a dissertation entitled "Grammar and Criteria.” At the University at Buffalo, he rose through the ranks, eventually becoming distinguished service professor in 1991.
Europe was as significant as the United States in providing a forum for the work of Garver on Wittgenstein. He was frequently invited by the annual International Wittgenstein Symposium at Kirchberg am Wechsel in Austria, organized by the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society. He authored two books on two European intellectuals, Derrida and Wittgenstein (coauthored with Seung-Chong Lee), and This Complicated Form of Life: Essays on Wittgenstein, both published in 1994. Derrida and Wittgenstein was translated into Korean in 1998. The second printing with minor corrections followed the next year, and the revised and expanded edition appeared in 2010, both in Korea. Garver also edited two books, Naturalism and Rationality (co-edited with Peter Hare) in 1986, and Justice, Law, and Violence (co-edited with James Brady) in 1991.
Garver’s contribution to Wittgenstein scholarship is best found in his proposal of transcendental naturalism. Garver uses the term "naturalism” to refer to the metaphysical doctrine that nothing is ultimately real other than that which is found in the natural world. Since his naturalism derives from Wittgensteinian natural history rather than from natural science, there is immediately a sense in which naturalism contains a transcendental element: it transcends knowledge, or natural science. Transcendental naturalism is based on what Stefan Majetschak termed "the Garver interpretation” of the form of life in Wittgenstein, according to which singular and plural forms are used to distinguish human from non-human forms of life.
After he retired from the University at Buffalo in 1995, Garver continued to write and to give occasional lectures. He was also occupied with various Quaker activities.He gave a series of special lectures entitled "Clarity as an End in Itself: Wittgenstein’s Conception of Philosophy as Moral Act” at the University at Buffalo in the fall of 2002. His third Wittgenstein book, Wittgenstein and Approaches to Clarity, appeared in 2006. In the same year, he also published Limits to Politics: Some Friendly Reminders. The second, expanded edition appeared in 2007.
Garver’s academic achievements include six books, more than a hundred articles, and two dozen reviews. His writings focused on the work of Kant, Wittgenstein, and Derrida, and on problems about violence, philosophy of language, social and political philosophy, and ethics. In 1992 he and Claude Welch, Jr., developed and directed an NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers at the University at Buffalo on "Human Rights in Theory and Practice.”In addition, he helped organize a number of conferences.
Garver’s academic activities also included papers at more than fifty annual meetings of various professional societies, and invited lectures at more than sixty colleges and universities in the United States and a dozen other countries. He was parliamentarian of the American Philosophical Association Central Division several times, twice served on its program committee, and served as an occasional referee for the NSF, the NEH, and various journals and presses. At the University at Buffalo he served as chair of the faculty senate, on the President’s Review Board on Appointments and Promotions, on the President’s Academic Cabinet, and on search committees seeking chairs for the departments of art, English, and linguistics. Interdisciplinary activities included modern German studies, human rights law and policy, and cooperation and conflict studies, the last of which he founded.
Outside academia, Garver was most active with Quakers, went to prison for draft refusal in 1949, and was one of six petitioners to the U.S. Supreme Court who, in 1966, successfully challenged a requirement to sign an anti-communist certificate (the so-called Feinberg Certificate). He was active with the Buffalo Friends Meeting, Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP), Friends World Committee (FWCC), and was the president of the Bolivian Quaker Education Fund (www.bqef.org), which he founded in 2002.
Even though Garver could seem formidable to his students because of his extraordinary intellect, he was a warm, principled human being.
The world has lost a man of rare excellence. He will forever be missed because he can never be replaced.
- Seung-Chong Lee, Yonsei University
The APA announces that long-standing member James Adam Gould passed away on December 24, 2014, at the age of ninety-two. Gould was professor of philosophy at the University of South Florida for thirty-two years. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sptimes/obituary.aspx?pid=173656116
Ellen Stone Haring, a specialist in ancient philosophy and metaphysics, passed away on April 29, 2014, in Washington, D. C., at the age of ninety-two. She was a generous teacher who mentored many students in her career, both undergraduate and graduate, as well as serving as chair at two different departments. She was also among the women who were the earliest in this country to forge an academic career in philosophy.
Haring was born December 5, 1921, in Los Angeles, to her parents, Rear Admiral Earl E. Stone and Eleanor Newton Prichard Stone. She was educated at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in philosophy in 1942. She later received her Ph.D. from Radcliffe College of Harvard University in 1959, one of the first women to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard. Her first academic position was as an instructor at Wellesley College in Massachusetts in 1945, prior to completing the Ph.D. She became an assistant professor there in 1949, an associate in 1958, and professor in 1963. In 1961 she became the chair of the department of philosophy at Wellesley.
In 1972 Haring moved to the University of Florida and served there as chair of the philosophy department, thereby becoming the first female department chair in the history of the University of Florida, serving as chair until 1980. During part of that time (1972–1975) she also served on the executive committee of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association. She also did much in her time as chair to develop the department's fledgling graduate program. After her formal appointment ended, she continued to play a key role in managing the department and helping it get past some unfortunate turbulent years in the middle 1980s, laying the groundwork for rebuilding in subsequent years.
Haring formally retired in 1994 after nearly two decades at the University of Florida. She continued to teach courses for the department, however, on a volunteer basis, until the later 1990s when she moved to Washington, D. C. There she taught part-time at George Washington University until quite late in her life.
Haring's research focused on Platonic and Aristotelian metaphysics. Her first publication was a three-part article in the Review of Metaphysics on the notion of substantial form in Aristotle's Metaphysics Z. She also published on Whitehead's metaphysics and the work of Paul Weiss. She taught in many areas, but among her specialties were ancient Greek philosophy and the American philosophical traditions, including Dewey, Peirce, James, and Whitehead.
After Haring's departure from Gainesville, the department of philosophy at the University of Florida set up an annual award in her honor. The Ellen Haring Award is given each spring to a graduating philosophy major who has combined academic excellence with significant service to the broader community. This reflects the faculty's appreciation of her considerable generosity in her time at the department, both with teaching and administration.
At the time of her death, Haring was living with her former student and godson, Thomas J. Dawson III, and his wife, Natisha. She had no children of her own. She was good friends with Richard Rorty (whom she hired at Wellesley early in his career), as well as with Amelie Rorty, Hilary and Ruth Anna Putnam, and Wendy Donner.
- Department of Philosophy, University of Florida
Richard Pierce Haynes, whose work focused on the ethics of agriculture and the treatment of non-human animals, passed away at his home on April 22, 2014, in Gainesville, Florida, at the age of eighty-two. He had taught for forty years in the department of philosophy at the University of Florida, retiring in 2007. He was a kind and honest philosopher, a lover of nature, and a caretaker for many plants and animals.
Haynes was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on August 4, 1931, to his parents, Preston Pierce and Otelie Haynes. He was educated at Pennsylvania State University, earning a B.A. in 1956, and the University of Illinois, where he received his Ph.D. in philosophy in 1962. His first academic appointment was as a visiting lecturer at Indiana University. He subsequently worked as an assistant professor at the University of Nevada and the University of Hawaii. He came to the University of Florida in 1967 as an associate professor, retiring four decades later, in 2007.
Haynes’s philosophical interests spanned both ancient Greek philosophy and contemporary moral issues regarding animals and agriculture. He founded the journal Agricultural and Human Values, serving as editor for many years as well as being secretary of the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society. He also served as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics.
Soon after his retirement, Haynes published Animal Welfare: Competing Conceptions and Their Ethical Implications with Springer in 2008. In this work, he not only considers various attempts to think about what well-being consists in for non-human animals but provides a historical overview of conventional thinking about such welfare, arguing that such thinking has been driven by interests not appropriately sensitive to moral considerations. He ultimately argues for a conception of welfare according to which "an animal can be said to be happy to the extent that it is justifiably satisfied with its life” where a key factor in being justifiably satisfied is having a reasonable set of opportunities from which to choose. An animal might feel satisfied "because it has been trained to expect nothing more than what is available,” but this is not enough for this satisfaction to be justified (144). One reviewer (David Hoch) sums up his review by saying that "Richard Haynes has written a genuinely important book on the ethics of human/animal relations, which will likely not reach the size audience both the topic and Haynes’s profoundly original thinking and exhaustive research deserve” (Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 22 : 285–90).
During much of his life in Gainesville, Haynes had a property near Paynes Prairie Preserve, a State Park; he cultivated the plant life extensively on his own property, running the "Haynes Prairie Nursery” for many years and often keeping many animals there as well. In 2010, his house on that property burned down, a fire that took the life of his then wife Jenny Elliot. Two years later, he self-published (in digital form) an autobiography entitled My Journey to Agali Land: An Autobiography with My Poems and Short Stories (October 2012), available on Amazon Kindle. It seems apt to use his own words here in describing that book:
Agali in Cherokee means sunshine, and that was my former wife's Cherokee name. After she died, I renamed this place that I have lived in for 40 years Agali-land. It is my sunshine, and I will spend the rest of my time continuing to make it more beautiful. This account of my journey includes my journey to have a fulfilled love life, and also includes my life as a philosophy professor. The 78-page appendix contains my poems and short stories that I have written since the 1950s. As I write this I am an 81 year old widower.
About a year and a half later, Richard Haynes died peacefully at his home. He is survived by his brother, Robert James Haynes, of Cambridge, England, two sons, Tifton Pierce Haynes and Shepley Boulden Haynes, and two daughters, Erica Lynn Haynes and Angela Gaia Bootes, several grandchildren, and a trusted caregiver, John Wheeler.
- Department of Philosophy, University of Florida
George L. Kline, longtime Milton C. Nahm Professor of Philosophy at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, died on October 21, 2014, at the age of ninety-three in his retirement community of Anderson, South Carolina.
A decades-long member of the Eastern Division of the APA, Kline was an exceptional polymath, fluent in an impressive number of languages, as well as in the philosophical and literary achievements of several distinct cultural traditions. He is perhaps best known for his work on G. W. F. Hegel, Alfred North Whitehead, and for his extensive publications on Russian philosophy, although he was fluent in French and Spanish and classical Greek, as well as in German, and wrote numerous scholarly essays on modern Spanish philosophers (ranging from Ortega y Gasset and George Santyana, to the eminent Catalan philosopher, José Ferreter Mora). Kline was, during his career, elected president of both the Hegel Society of America and the Metaphysical Society of America, and at different periods served as chairman of both the Russian studies and the philosophy departments at Bryn Mawr College.
Born in Galesburg, Illinois, in 1921, Kline married the former Virginia Hardy, registrar at Haverford College, and the couple had three children who survive them: Jeffrey, Brenda, and Christina. ("Ginny” Kline died only months before her husband, in April 2014.)
Kline served as a navigator/bombardier in the Army Air Corps during World War II, where his linguistic skills were much utilized by the military intelligence community. He subsequently earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees at Columbia University in New York, and taught there from 1952 to 1959, while serving as one of the associate editors of the Journal of Philosophy. He then accepted a tenure-line appointment at Bryn Mawr College in 1959, where he taught for more than forty years until his retirement, after which he was appointed Adjunct Professor of the History of Ideas at Clemson University (located only a few miles from his retirement home in South Carolina, near his daughter, Chris, and her family).
Kline is perhaps most widely known in the broader academic community for having discovered, translated, and thereby introduced to the wider world the poetry of Joseph Brodsky who, as a result of this deserved recognition, subsequently won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1987, and was appointed Poet Laureate at the U.S. Library of Congress in 1991-1992. Brodsky and Kline remained lifelong friends until the poet’s untimely death in 1996. Kline’s erudition in Russian language is further illustrated by the entries one will find on the major figures and movements in Russian thought in the first edition of the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Paul Edwards in 1967. He is the unacknowledged editor-in-chief of the three-volume anthology Russian Philosophy (1965), which has been continuously in print and used in university courses for the ensuing fifty years.
He is best and most fondly remembered by his numerous graduate students, colleagues, and extensive network of friends, however, as a colleague of extraordinary erudition and exceptional graciousness, always willing to devote precious time to the careful reading of scholarly manuscripts, and to the encouragement of important academic initiatives. For many years, he was a final reader of Fulbright Fellowship applications in philosophy for the Council on the International Exchange of Scholars, as well as a perennial delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies. His patient and careful attention to accuracy and philosophical nuance are evident in over three hundred original publications, and numerous book reviews published in academic and scholarly journals. In his obituary for Kline in the Slavic Review, philosopher Philip Grier of Dickinson College writes: "George Kline was an exceptional exemplar of humanitas: kindness, culture, refinement. His personal presence in our midst was a gift, not to be replaced; his influence upon the field is by now indelible.” No more elegant tribute could be paid in any of the many fields to which Kline contributed, nor depth of our loss expressed at his passing.
- George R. Lucas, Jr., Reilly Center for Science, Technology & Values, Notre Dame University
David Shepherd Nivison, the Walter Y. Evans-Wentz Professor (emeritus) at Stanford, died in his Los Altos home on October 16, 2014. He was ninety-one years old.
Nivison came to Stanford in 1948 and taught there through his retirement in 1988. He was a man of immense learning and Catholic intellectual interests. In the philosophy department, he taught a wide range of subjects from logic through ethics and Chinese philosophy. But his capacious concerns could not be confined within philosophy alone, and he eventually joined both the department of religious studies and the department of East Asian languages and cultures, as well. He made major contributions to our understanding of classical Chinese thought and to difficult scholarly questions of dating and periodization in ancient Chinese history. In addition, he was a keen reader and subtle appreciator of poetry. He was always delighted to find new interlocutors about literary matters and new minds with whom to explore the contours of language.
Nivison’s degrees were from Harvard (A.B. 1946; Ph.D. 1953). His college years were interrupted by World War II, when he served in the Army Signal Corps as a translator of Japanese. The Harvard dissertation explored the thought of Zhang Xuecheng, and it was eventually developed into the groundbreaking book, The Life and Thought of Chang Hsueh-ch’eng (Stanford University Press, 1966), which was awarded the 1967 Prix Stanislas-Julien. He became one of the leading authorities on traditional Chinese thought seen from a modern philosophical point of view, and he arguably did more than anyone to train philosophically oriented scholars of Chinese thought and bring it into the mainstream of philosophical discussion in North America. Under his leadership, Stanford became a major center for that work. Nivison maintained a keen interest in scholarly questions throughout his retirement, and in later years was especially engaged by technical scholarly issues surrounding the correct chronology for Chinese history. Some of this work appeared in The Riddle of the Bamboo Annals (2009). He continued to work actively until shortly before his death.
In addition to his prodigious scholarship and keen, but playful, mind, David is remembered for his quiet ways, his magnificent intellectual generosity, and his caring friendship, which continued to support members of our department long after his retirement from active teaching.
Nivison was born January 17, 1923, in Farmingdale, Maine. In 1944 he married Cornelia (Green), who died in 2008. He was a longtime resident of Los Altos (since 1952), and is survived by four children (Louise McCoy of Pettigrew, AR; Helen T. Nivison, of Ithaca, NY; David G. Nivison of Soquel, CA; and James N. Nivison of Los Altos, CA), as well as six granddaughters and one great grandson.
David’s ashes will be interred at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA, next to those of his wife. A graveside ceremony will take place mid-summer, 2015.
- R. Lanier Anderson, Stanford University
It is with great sorrow that the McGill Department of Philosophy notes the death of an emeritus colleague, Professor David Fate Norton. David was born in southern Michigan, in a farming family, on February 7, 1937. He did graduate work at the University of California, San Diego, from which he received the Ph.D. degree in 1966. After teaching and receiving tenure at the same university, he was invited to join the McGill Department of Philosophy, which he did in 1971. At McGill, besides his teaching, he contributed to the academic life of the department of philosophy, faculty, and university, by occupying, and devotedly discharging, a number of major positions, including that of chair of the department (1996–1998). Among other achievements, he was responsible for reviving the McGill-Queen’s University Press at a time when it could have gone under.
But David’s academic activities extended far beyond the confines of McGill. Because of his widely recognized expertise in the philosophy of David Hume, he was a Charter Member of the Hume Society and was very active in its development, serving several terms on the executive committee. He also served as editor of the Journal of the History of Philosophy. Above all, he was charged by the Hume Society to produce an edition of Hume’s A Treatise of Human Nature, emended to represent the (now lost) original manuscript, and supported by a critical apparatus that would include the history of the work’s reception from its inception until Hume’s death. This project led to a number of major publications, and culminated in 2007 with a two-volume critical edition of Hume’s Treatise. In this editing work, as David never failed to mention, he was assiduously aided by the expertise of his wife Mary.
David was the recipient of several honors: Member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, NJ (1986); Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh (1987); Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1989); at McGill, the Macdonald Professor of Moral Philosophy (1990).
David’s many activities were affected, but by no means diminished, by multiple sclerosis (MS), a condition with which he was diagnosed not long after coming to McGill. He retired in 1999, and moved to Victoria, BC. He was named Professor Emeritus in 2000. In 2001, he and his wife Mary established the Norton Fellowship in Philosophy at McGill, and the Indigenous Governance Fellowship at the University of Victoria. He died at Victoria General Hospital on November 8, 2014, from complications of MS.
David Norton made significant and lasting contributions to McGill and to the study of the history of philosophy. He and his work will be remembered. His surviving colleagues will remember him as a loyal and caring friend.
Our condolences go to his widow, Mary Norton.
- Department of Philosophy, McGill University
Katrina Przyjemski—"Kat” to her friends and colleagues—passed away on December 6, 2014, at the age of thirty-two. She was in her final year of the Ph.D. in philosophy at New York University, where she was writing a dissertation on epistemic modality and evidentiality under the direction of Kit Fine. She wanted to argue that if a strong, non-compatibilist sense of the epistemic "might” and an objective sense of evidence were taken seriously, then many of the puzzles surrounding the use of the epistemic modalities could be solved.
Kat did her undergraduate degree in environmental studies at Vassar, where she graduated summa cum laude. She then completed a BPhil in philosophy with distinction at the University of Oxford, Corpus Christi College. And, remarkably, while working towards her Ph.D. at NYU, Kat also completed a DPhil in philosophy at the University of Oxford under the direction of Timothy Williamson. Her thesis concerned variable-based semantic theories of pronouns and proper names.
Throughout her academic career Kat received many honors and awards, including the MacCracken Fellowship at NYU, the Clarendon Award at Oxford, the United Kingdom Overseas Research Student Award, the Vassar Maguire Fellowship for Overseas Graduate Study, and the U.S. Congressional Morris K. Udall Foundation Scholar Excellence Award. She was also an Honorary Scholar at Corpus Christi College and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Kat was also a wonderful teacher, greatly admired and loved by her students.
In addition to her academic accomplishments, Kat was an impressive athlete with a fierce and fiery nature. She competed in a number of marathons, participated in the obstacle course "Tough Mudder,” and had been training for acceptance to the Marine Officer Candidate School with the goal of becoming a Marine Reservist.
Kat was a dear friend to many graduate students and faculty in the department. She will be remembered for her warmth and loving nature, her charisma and wit, and the passion and intensity with which she led her life.
- Kit Fine and Asya Passinsky, New York University
Rolf Edward Sartorius was born August 25, 1939, in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, and died January 15, 2014, at the age of seventy-four in Hilton Head, South Carolina. He attended Montclair High School and did his undergraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in philosophy and graduated with honors. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University in 1965. While in college, he met his wife, Kay, and they were happily married for fifty-three years. Beginning in 1964 he taught at Wayne State University for two years, at Case Western Reserve for three years, and at the University of Minnesota for fifteen years.
Rolf’s main teaching and research interests were in philosophy of law, ethics, and political philosophy. He also had an interest in applied ethics and taught courses in that area as well. He was the author of many articles and reviews but is perhaps best known for his book Individual Conduct and Social Norms: A Utilitarian Account of Social Union and the Rule of Law (1975). In it he offers a defense of act utilitarianism and its ability to justify acting in accordance with social norms that sometimes seem to require our acting in ways that do not lead to the best consequences. An important part of his argument is that these norms are reliable rules of thumb; that there are act-utilitarian grounds to morally educate people in a way that leads to the internalization of these norms; that this internalization carries with it guilt-feelings that can in some cases override the advantages of violating such a norm; and that people are often unreliable in their own judgment as to when violating such a norm would be justified on utilitarian grounds. As a result, it is questionable that it would lead to better consequences in the long run if people were to rid themselves of the internalization of these rules.
Later in his career Rolf started to take rights seriously—so much so that he gravitated towards libertarianism, something that is reflected in his later publications. The collection of essays Paternalism (1983), which he edited, explores these issues. Moreover, ethical and political theories were not just an academic matter for him: they influenced the way he lived.
Rolf was always eager to talk philosophy, especially on topics on which he was working. He also provided helpful comments on the work of his colleagues. He was an active member of his department, often hosting in his home parties for visiting philosophers. He surprised his colleagues by retiring early in 1984, soon after that moving to Hilton Head, South Carolina. He led a full life in retirement, serving as a ham radio operator, collecting stamps, and engaging in extensive travel, including an annual month-long summer trip to the north shore of Lake Superior.
A large part of Rolf’s attention and affection was devoted to his family—to his wife, Kay, his son, Rolf junior, and daughter, Barbara, and to their children and families. He will be missed.
- Norman Dahl, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Israel Scheffler died in February 2014 at the age of ninety. He is survived by his wife Rosalind, his daughter Laurie, his son Samuel and daughter-in-law Kathryn, and his grandchildren Adam and Gabriel.
Is was born in New York to Romanian Jewish immigrant parents. He earned his B.A. and M.A. from Brooklyn College and his M.H.L. at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was ordained as a rabbi. He subsequently earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied with Nelson Goodman and wrote his dissertation on indirect discourse. He was appointed assistant professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1952. He established close relations with members of the philosophy department upon arrival, and eventually held a joint appointment in the department and the School of Education. He remained at Harvard until he retired as the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Education and Philosophy in 1992. He earned many honors and awards, including two Guggenheim Fellowships, the Brooklyn College Alumni Award of Merit, the Teachers College Distinguished Service Medal, and an honorary degree of Doctor of Hebrew Letters from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a charter member of the National Academy of Education, and president of both the Philosophy of Science Association and the Charles S. Peirce Society.
Is was a distinguished philosopher with wide-ranging interests, who did important and influential work in a number of areas of the subject. Although he had never worked in the area prior to his Harvard appointment, he became the foremost American philosopher of education since John Dewey. In his classic book The Language of Education, and in subsequent books like Reason and Teaching, Of Human Potential, and In Praise of the Cognitive Emotions, he imported the methods, techniques, and standards of analytic philosophy to the philosophy of education, achieving a new level of rigor and clarity. He was committed to conceiving of education in fundamentally moral terms, so that the obligation to treat students with respect is paramount. He provided analyses of the concepts of teaching and of education, and developed substantive theories of the aims of education and the permissible methods for achieving those aims.
He was also a prominent philosopher of science, whose work addressed central topics including explanation, confirmation, and objectivity. His well-known books The Anatomy of Inquiry and Science and Subjectivity were among the most important books in the philosophy of science published in the 1960s. His earliest work was in the philosophy of language, and he wrote influential papers early in his career on synonymy, quotation, and indirect discourse. Later, in Beyond the Letter, he developed a unified account of ambiguity, vagueness, and metaphor. In Symbolic Worlds and Worlds of Truth, he focused on the functions of symbols in the arts and in ritual where ambiguity, vagueness, and equivocality are often virtues rather than vices. Conditions of Knowledge reflects his contributions to epistemology, making a strong case that epistemology and ethics cannot be disjoined. He was also the author of a book on American pragmatism, Four Pragmatists, which provides a critical but sympathetic account of the work of Peirce, James, Mead, and Dewey.His collection of papers, Inquiries, ranges widely over topics in the philosophy of science, the philosophy of language, epistemology, ethics, and the philosophy of education, and contains several early gems on indirect discourse, quotation, anti-naturalism, justification, and commitment.
Is was for forty years a cherished member of the Harvard faculty. He drew students from across the university and scholars from around the world. He was sincerely interested in everyone's opinion, and always took what his interlocutor said seriously, as worthy of consideration on its merits—not that he was a pushover, willing to blindly accept whatever anyone had to say. He was an acute critic, able to uncover subtle flaws in the most carefully constructed argument. But his goal was always to help his interlocutor to make the argument as strong as it could be. And he never intimated that a flaw in an argument was, or was evidence of, a flaw in the arguer. Many former students and colleagues have commented on his exceptional kindness. Is was a wonderful mentor, whose astute criticism was always accompanied by a palpable concern for both the quality of the work and the well-being of the student. He encouraged and helped students to find their own scholarly voices and was genuinely delighted by their successes. He insisted on careful, rigorous work but was always constructive and supportive. He had a quick wit, a lively sense of humor, and a ready smile. Whether one was his colleague or his student, it was always a treat to be around him.
Is was modest and unassuming. In his retirement he wrote two books that might best be described as memoirs. But characteristically, they are not about him. Teachers of My Youth provides portraits, as he says, of "unsung heroes of Jewish education on the American scene.” A Gallery of Scholars provides sketches of scholars he encountered during his career.
Israel Scheffler was a philosopher of great distinction, a scholar of enormous breadth, and a teacher and mentor of striking effectiveness. In addition to that, he was a mensch.
- Catherine Elgin, Harvard University
- Robert Schwartz, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
- Harvey Siegel, University of Miami
Frederick T. (Fred) Sommers passed away on October 2, 2014, in his 92nd year. He had held the Harry A. Wolfson Chair in Philosophy at Brandeis University, where he taught from 1963 to 1993.
Fred Sommers was a philosopher and logician. More importantly, he was a bold, brave, innovatively original philosopher and logician. With a deep, appreciative understanding of the twentieth-century Anglo-American analytic philosophy in which he was trained and which constituted the context of his professional life, he found inspiration from older, even ancient, traditions. He saw that the revolution Frege had initiated in formal logic at the end of the nineteenth century had excused logicians and philosophers of logic from their duty to provide an account of how ordinary people, unschooled in any system of formal logic, actually carry out so many tasks of logical reckoning. Indeed, they do so in the everyday medium of their natural language, with no regard for the complex principles inherent in the new mathematical logic. That new logic also relieved too many logicians and philosophers from their obligation to take sufficient care when attempting to jettison the old insights of more traditional logic. Eventually, Sommers discovered a way to formulate the "logic of natural language,” a system of formal logic ("term functor logic") that rivals today’s standard mathematical logic in terms of naturalness, simplicity, and power.
Sommers was equally innovative and diligent in his work on the interface between language and ontology. Starting in the 1950s, he gave a detailed account of the rules that govern how ordinary language protects itself from the kind of nonsense sentences Ryle called "category mistakes." In doing this, he showed how the senses of terms in a language form a tree structure, the "ordinary language tree," and that the ontology (categories of things and the relations among those categories) shares that very same structure. This was an unexpected, major result.
This work in logic and ontology constituted a big, bold, rich research project, one that can be exploited to shed light on a wide range of philosophical problems. Sommers did just that, for example, in arguing for a revitalized theory of truth as correspondence to fact. P. F. Strawson had shown that, whatever they are, facts are not things in the world (so he dismissed them altogether). On Sommers’s version of truth by correspondence, facts are indeed not things inthe world—they are properties of the world. Late in his life, Strawson wrote to Sommers to say he had come to agree with this view. The theory can also provide a clear account of how one can avoid semantic paradoxes such as the Liar. Making a fundamental distinction between statements and the propositions they are used to express and claim truth for, his "propositional depth requirement” interdicts the use of any statement used to say something about the very proposition it is meant to express.
I’ve mentioned here just three areas in which Fred Sommers made important, original contributions (there are others), any one of which would be enough to secure one’s place as a major philosophical innovator. Over a long career, he was never one to shy away from a contest when he felt that was required. Those who admired him, whether or not they always agreed with him, included many major philosophers, linguists, psychologists, etc., such as Bertrand Russell, Gilbert Ryle, Imre Lakatos, W. V. Quine, Patrick Suppes, Johan van Benthem, Steven Pinker, and Ian Hacking. P. F. Strawson put it best when he wrote, "It is refreshing to meet Fred Sommers, and equally refreshing to read him. He stands out among the philosophers of our time in virtue of his originality, his power and ingenuity, and his courage. I stress this last quality because it is required if one is to swim, as strenuously as he has done, against the tide of contemporary opinion or assumption” (The Old New Logic, D. Oderberg, ed., Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005).
- George Englebretsen, Bishop’s University
Patrick Suppes, Lucie Stern Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Stanford, died peacefully at his home on November 17, 2014, at the age of ninety-two. Suppes also held appointments in statistics, psychology, and the school of education.
In 1990 Suppes was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Bush in recognition of "his broad efforts to deepen the theoretical and empirical understanding of four major areas: the measurement of subjective probability and utility in uncertain situations; the development and testing of general learning theory; the semantics and syntax of natural language; and the use of interactive computer programs for instruction.” This award statement captures Suppes’s uniquely multi-faceted career as a philosopher, scientist, and entrepreneur.
Suppes joined Stanford in 1950 and played a leading role, building its philosophy department into a world-class center with close ties to mathematics, engineering, and the sciences. He published extensively on logic and the axiomatic foundations of probability, physics, and psychology, with special attention to empirical measurement in psychology—work that issued ultimately in the now classic three-volume Foundations of Measurement, co-authored with David Krantz, Duncan Luce, and Amos Tversky.
Suppes was not only a leading twentieth-century philosopher of science, he also worked on the cutting edge of scientific inquiry, and he made this vibrant interaction between scientific and philosophical work central to his intellectual identity: "I think the influence of [my] scientific work on my philosophy has been of immeasurable value. I sometimes like to describe this influence in a self-praising way by claiming that I am the only genuinely empirical philosopher I know.” Like his older Harvard contemporary W. V. Quine, Suppes drew on traditions of American pragmatism and empiricism, but he combined his logico-mathematical efforts with detailed attention to the empirical sciences in a way that was both entirely novel and extremely fruitful.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1922, Suppes attended the Universities of Tulsa and Oklahoma, and later the University of Chicago. In 1943 he was graduated and called to active duty in the Army Reserve as a 2nd Lieutenant. From 1943 to 1946 he served as an army meteorologist in the Pacific theater, eventually attaining the rank of Captain. After the war he pursued a Ph.D. at Columbia, completing his dissertation under Ernest Nagel in 1950.
Suppes’s early work in meteorology contributed to his anti-foundational, open-ended conception of the physical sciences, a key element in his brand of pragmatism and empiricism: "Knowledge of meteorology has stood me in good stead throughout the years in refuting arguments that attempt to draw a sharp distinction between the precision and perfection of the physical sciences and the vagueness and imprecision of the social sciences. Meteorology is in theory a part of physics, but in practice more like economics, especially in the handling of a vast flow of non-experimental data.” In a more general vein: "It is my conviction that an important function of contemporary philosophy is to understand and to formulate as a coherent world view the highly schematic character of modern science and the highly tentative character of the knowledge that is its aim. The tension created by a pluralistic attitude toward knowledge and skepticism about achieving certainty is not, in my judgment, removable.” These words exemplify Suppes’s combination of great philosophical sophistication with detailed and varied hands-on experience in the empirical sciences.
In sixty-four years at Stanford, Suppes published thirty-four books and hundreds of articles, many co-authored, in good scientific style, with a wide range of collaborators. In addition, his contributions included both important administrative roles and the creation of new institutions for research and education, such as Stanford’s Institute for Mathematical Research in the Social Sciences, which he directed from 1959 to 1990, and Stanford’s Education Program for Gifted Youth, which he directed from 1990 to 2010.
These Stanford activities were continuous with Suppes’s career as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. In 1967 he founded the Computer Curriculum Corporation, the first company focused on interactive computer-assisted learning. The programs he developed were largely based on his highly successful elementary mathematical textbook series Sets and Numbers. Suppes applied the profits from this enterprise as a leading donor to educational activities at Stanford, including the Patrick Suppes Family Professorship in the School of Humanities and Sciences (endowed in 1990), the Patrick Suppes Center for the History and Philosophy of Science (2004), and the building of Nora Suppes Hall at the Center for the Study of Language and Information (2005).
After retiring in 1992, Suppes maintained an incredible range of activities with undiminished energy and enthusiasm. Beginning in the late 1990s he founded the Suppes Brain Lab to pursue a new research program in neuroscience, studying brain waves with EEGs and modeling associative learning by resonances between harmonic oscillators. This work obtained significant empirical results on linguistic learning in accordance with these models that were published in leading journals, including one of his last papers (together with co-workers) in 2014. That year also saw publication of an axiomatic treatment of probability theory (in the Journal of Mathematical Psychology) based on the qualitative concepts of comparative probability, independence, and comparative uncertainty—the fruit of many years’ labor.
In 2002 Suppes published a major book, Representation and Invariance in Scientific Structures, representing the culmination of all his work to date. In March 2012 a conference honoring his ninetieth birthday featured a large number of leading workers across many scientific and philosophical fields, who contributed cutting-edge papers that made manifest the depth and breadth of Suppes’s contributions across those fields. The proceedings appear in the forthcomingFoundations and Methods from Mathematics to Neuroscience: Essays Inspired by Patrick Suppes (Colleen Crangle, Adolfo García de la Sienra, and Helen Longino, eds.), an advance copy of which was laid in his casket.
Patrick Suppes is survived by his wife, Michelle Nguyen, his five children, Patricia, Deborah, John, Alexandra, and Michael, three stepchildren, and five grandchildren.
- Michael Friedman, Founding Director, Suppes Center for the History and Philosophy of Science
James Edward Tiles, the husband of Dr. Mary Tiles for forty-five years, died unexpectedly on the evening of January 13, 2014, apparently of an aneurysm, while bicycling near his home in Winchester, England.
An American citizen, Jim first went to the UK as a Marshal Scholar to study mathematics and philosophy at the University of Bristol in 1966. His doctorate in philosophy was earned at the University of Oxford (Balliol). From 1974 until 1989, Jim taught at the University of Reading. In 1989, both he and his wife Mary were hired at the University of Hawaii–Manoa, where they taught until their retirement in 2009. Among many other things, Jim was the author of Moral Measures: An Introduction to Ethics East and West (Routledge, 2000), the Dewey volume in the Arguments of the Philosophers series (Routledge, 1988), Things that Happen (Aberdeen University Press, 1981), and he was co-author, along with his wife, Mary, of An Introduction to Historical Epistemology (Blackwell, 1993).
During their time in Hawaii, both Jim and Mary were influential and outspoken leaders in the faculty senate and the faculty union. Their seemingly abrupt decision to retire and return to England caught many of us by surprise, and Jim’s death, just a couple of days before his seventieth birthday, came as a shock. He was highly regarded by his students and colleagues alike as a generous mentor as well as a dedicated, conscientious, and patient teacher.
- Ron Bontekoe, University of Hawaii–Manoa
Forrest Williams, long-time member of the APA and professor of philosophy emeritus in the department of philosophy at the University of Colorado, died on April 1, 2014. Born in Paris where his father was employed by an international corporation, Forrest spent his young years in France and Belgium; French was thus virtually a native language which in its philosophical and literary works was later central to his thought and writing. Early in World War II, Forrest volunteered for the American Field Service and was attached to British army units as an ambulance driver in Italy and Libya; at the war’s end he was stationed in India during preparations for the invasion of Japan. He received a B.Sc. from Northwestern in 1949 and his Ph.D. in 1957, also from Northwestern, with a dissertation on Art and Knowledge of Nature. In 1952, he joined the philosophy department at the University of Colorado, which because of a quirk in graduation requirements became for a time the largest department of philosophy in the United States and of which he was an important member until his retirement in 1993.
Cosmopolitan in his intellectual interests, travels, and ease with languages, Forrest was among the earliest and most authoritative American commentators and teachers on phenomenology and existentialism. He translated and published Sartre’s Imagination, A Psychological Critique, and, together with Robert Kirkpatrick, Sartre’s The Transcendence of the Ego, to which they contributed an influential Introduction; he also contributed to the revised translation of Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception. Still earlier, in 1949, when few American philosophers were aware that existentialism had a history, he translated, together with Stanley Mason, Jean Wahl’s A Short History of Existentialism. He co-edited with Berel Lang the anthology Marxism and Art: Writings in Aesthetics and Criticism. His wide personal acquaintanceship in France included Merleau-Ponty and Gabriel Marcel, and he was the author himself of more than fifty essays and reviews on a broad range of topics in film aesthetics, ethics, phenomenology, and social analysis. In the history of philosophy, he published valuable essays on both Kant and Spinoza, figures whom he least and most admired respectively in that history.
An early member of SPEP and the American Society for Aesthetics, Forrest was the key figure in the Colorado philosophy department for undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in what would become known as "continental philosophy”—a phrase he found misleadingly provincial. His intense intellectual curiosity and interests carried over into his personal relations that were world-wide, varied, and engaged; he had a large and warm capacity—and constancy—in friendship, and he remains a memorable companion for many colleagues and former students as well as for other acquaintances. He is survived by his wife, Kay Moller, and from an earlier marriage, a son, Dylan Williams, and a daughter, Sukey Williams, all of Boulder.
- Berel Lang, Professor Emeritus, State University of New York at Albany