Robert “Bob” Arrington, professor and chair emeritus of the department of philosophy at Georgia State University, passed away on June 20, 2015. Born in Bainbridge, Georgia, and raised in Havana, Florida, he earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Vanderbilt University in 1960. Although he won a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to do graduate work at Harvard University, Bob decided to pursue Ph.D. at Tulane University with the support of a National Defense Education Act Fellowship. Bob married Señorita Margarita Elena Barahona in 1961. They had two children, Karen Belinda Arrington in 1962 and Lisa Rae-Marie Arrington in 1964. Bob became an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1963. In 1966 he earned his Ph.D. from Tulane and became an assistant professor of philosophy at Georgia State College (which later became Georgia State University). In 1969, he was promoted to associate professor. In 1978 he became chair of the department, and in 1979 he was promoted to professor. From 1986 to 1995, Bob was associate dean of humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgia State University and was interim dean of the College in 1991-1992. In 1995 he returned to the role of chair of the department of philosophy, a position he held until his retirement in 2000.
Bob was the author of Realism, Rationalism, and Relativism (Cornell University Press, 1989) and Western Ethics (Blackwell Publishers, 1994). He was the editor or co-editor of five collections of essays. He wrote more than 50 articles, many of them focused on the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein. Bob won an American Council of Learned Societies research grant that supported a trip to University of Oxford, England, where he studied Wittgenstein with P. M. S. Hacker and the philosophy of law with H. L. A. Hart. Bob’s work earned him an international reputation as a scholar of Wittgenstein and ethics. In 2012 he held the Wittgenstein Professorship at the University of Vera Cruz, Mexico.
In addition to being an outstanding scholar, Bob was a profoundly good person who mentored many younger scholars and was instrumental in the transformation of Georgia State University from an evening business school to a major research university.
Bob is survived by his wife, his daughters, and three grandchildren: Chelsea Palmer, Ashley Edwards, and Lee Evans. He was profoundly grateful to his mother, who raised him after the early death of his father, and to the small town of Havana, Florida, where he grow up in a nurturing environment.
- George Rainbolt, Georgia State University
Andrew (“Sandy”) Askland died in a car accident on May 22, 2015. He was 63 years old.
Dr. Askland received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Holy Cross College in 1973 and his law degree from the University of Maryland in 1978. After a career as a lawyer and foreign service officer, he went to graduate school in philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder and received his Ph.D. in 1995.
Dr. Askland was a longstanding member of the APA and at one point served on the Pacific Division’s program committee. His interests in philosophy included applied ethics, environmental ethics, ethical theory, philosophy of law, privacy, and philosophy of technology. He published more than two dozen articles in these areas.
At the time of his death, Dr. Askland was a senior lecturer at the Arizona State University College of Law. He had previously served for a decade as director of ASU’s Center for Law, Science, and Innovation.
Dr. Askland was an avid traveler, hiker, and outdoorsman. According to the Utah Highway Patrol, he died in a rollover accident late at night. He was headed north towards Moab on route 261 near Blanding, Utah, when his car clipped a cow and ran off the side of the road and rolled. He was partially ejected from the car and died instantly.
- James W. Nickel, University of Miami
Garry M. Brodsky, emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, died after a brief illness in Providence, RI, on July 2, 2015. Born in Brooklyn, NY, he studied in local schools and received his B.A. from Brooklyn College in 1954. After two years in the U.S. Army (partly spent in Korea), he entered graduate school in philosophy at Yale, receiving his Ph.D. there in 1961. After appointments at William and Mary and at Hobart College, he joined the philosophy department at the University of Connecticut in 1963 and, rising through the ranks, taught there until his retirement in 1997. During his tenure at Connecticut, he also held visiting appointments in philosophy at the University of Colorado and Wesleyan University.
Garry’s writings, teaching, and philosophical commitments focused principally on pragmatism and on twentieth-century continental philosophy—reaching back to Nietzsche—in relation to Anglo-American analytic thought. Unlike philosophers who took sides among the different lines of thought in these areas, Garry, much in the spirit of pragmatism itself, found fruitful affinities among them and emphasized this in his work and the professional discussions he often sought out. In addition to the volume Contemporary Readings in Social and Political Ethics that he co-edited with J. G. Troyer and D. R. Vance, he was the author of numerous articles on the topics mentioned in such journals as the Review of Metaphysics, The Monist, the Journal of Philosophy, and Transactions of the C. S. Peirce Society.
Garry was a staunch friend and a valued colleague; he took philosophy seriously as he did the importance of contributing to it. He is survived by his wife, Sara Lee Silberman of Providence, his daughter by an earlier marriage, Shara Carder (Michael Carder), and his grandson, Zeke.
- Berel Lang, State University of New York at Albany
Renowned philosopher Claudia Card, Emma Goldman Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, passed away due to cancer on September 12, 2015, in the presence of family and loved ones. Born to Achsah (Falconer) and Walter Card on September 30, 1940, in Madison and raised in the village of Pardeeville, Wisconsin, she was a leading feminist theorist and an extraordinarily original and relevant moral philosopher. Claudia first became interested in philosophy by listening to her father and uncle share delighted stories of their classes at UW–Madison, where she also attended college and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1962. She majored in philosophy and studied under ethicist Marcus George Singer, who would later become her colleague and lifelong friend. Claudia then went on to Harvard University, where she worked with John Rawls and received her Ph.D. in 1969. Her dissertation was a liberal interrogation of punishment in which she defended a retributive view and explored the significance of mercy. She received several job offers but accepted a position at her alma mater, where she began teaching 1966 and remained active through 2014, holding visiting positions at the University of Pittsburgh (1980), Dartmouth College (1978-1979), and Goethe University (1999).
As Claudia had been greatly inspired by her teachers, so she, too, became a phenomenal teacher and beloved mentor. Honest, dedicated, present, and kind, she was a master of the art of constructive and effective feedback, nurturing students’ philosophical interests as well as their unique perspectives and approaches, and engaging junior scholars as valued equals. An innovative student-centered teacher and captivating lecturer, she received the University of Wisconsin Instructor Awards for three consecutive years, from 2010 to 2012. Her many honors and awards also include recognition as Distinguished Woman Philosopher of the Year (1996), a Senior Fellowship in the UW Institute for Research in the Humanities (2002–2007), an ACLS Senior Fellowship (1999-2000), and an NEH Fellowship for Younger Humanists (1974-1975). In spring 2015, the UW–Madison department dedicated a seminar room in her honor.
In contrast with her later prolificacy, Claudia earned tenure in 1972 with few publications but plenty of what her colleagues considered promise. Around the same time, she joined a weekly feminist consciousness-raising group organized by María Lugones, then a graduate student at Wisconsin. Although the emergence of her radical feminism was a definitive awakening, Claudia often remarked on the fortuitousness of its timing, for she believed that if she had been regarded as a feminist when going up for tenure, she may not have received the benefit of any doubts about her slim dossier. Nonetheless, it was feminism which provided the transformative knowledge and support that allowed Claudia to claim her own voice and explore her passions, philosophical and otherwise, with such integrity and panache.
In the mid-1970s Claudia was invited to a meeting of the Midwest Division of the Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP), where she met Joyce Trebilcot, Sandra Bartky, Alison Jaggar, Christine Pierce, and Marilyn Frye, whose work ignited her desire to “wield the techniques of analytic philosophy with a feminist pen,” and to investigate questions that grew out of her own experiences and concerns. Fueled by friendships and the support of her newfound intellectual community, Claudia's writing took off, and in a few years that thin dossier had swelled into a nice, fat one. From the early eighties onward she presented and published influential essays that helped introduce a range of new issues to academic discourse, including lesbian ethics, separatism, domestic violence, rape as terrorism, white privilege, the pitfalls of mothering, homophobic military codes, and the evils of closeting. Her timely and incisive work elicited interest and invitations from feminist scholars from across the U.S. and abroad, and her warmth, openness, and humility made her brilliant and disarming work all the more admired. In 1984 she became romantically involved with Vicky Davion, who she lived with in Madison for four years and with whom she remained the closest of friends through the end.
With her first monograph, Lesbian Choices (1995), Claudia's unique approach crystallized. She interpreted “the personal is political” as a starting point and drew on a wealth of historical, sociological, literary, and philosophical material (including Aristotle, Kant, and Rawls) to illuminate the complicated relationships between moral agency, legacies of oppression, and everyday harms. She engaged “lesbian” in its adjectival sense, recognizing the inherent power of affirmative choices that can be made by any female, but refusing to underestimate the ability of oppressive institutions and horizontal violence to discourage and undermine such choices. In The Unnatural Lottery: Character and Moral Luck (1996) Claudia broadened the philosophical conversation on moral luck, considering the luck of inheriting oppressive histories as well as the impact of luck on character, and showing why it is crucial to lift rather than propagate veils of ignorance when defining and administering justice.
To say that Claudia's work was fundamentally feminist is not to imply that women and sexism were her sole concerns. She was a deeply interdisciplinary scholar, with affiliate appointments in women's studies, environmental studies, Jewish studies, and LGBT studies. She was greatly influenced by the writings of survivors of racist violence, the Holocaust, and other atrocities, and especially by Primo Levi's work on “gray zones.” These interests led her to focus on the nature of evils and the possibility of responding to them without perpetrating abuse. In The Atrocity Paradigm (2002) she presented a secular conception of evil focused on the nature of categorically severe harms, rather than on the quality of intentions or degree of suffering caused, defining evils as “reasonably foreseeable intolerable harms produced by culpable wrongdoing.” Confronting Evils: Terrorism, Torture, Genocide (2010), the second volume in what was to be a trilogy on evils, interrogates specific collective atrocities and illustrates the importance of that work for understanding and dismantling the evils of everyday life.
The generosity of Claudia's philosophical vision was mirrored by her generous spirit, evident in her service to the profession. A longstanding and active member of the APA, she served as president of the Central Division in 2010-2011 and was co-founder of the Committee on the Status of LGBT People in the Profession. She presented more than thirty papers and commentaries at APA meetings, including the John Dewey lecture in 2008—where she discussed positive changes she'd seen in philosophy over the course of her career—and many others in sessions organized by SWIP, the Society for Lesbian and Gay Philosophy (SLAGP, which she co-founded in 1988), and the International Society for Environmental Ethics. She was recently invited to give the prestigious Carus Lectures, which will be read in absentia at the 2016 Central Division meeting in Chicago.
Claudia responded to her cancer diagnosis with characteristic grace and fortitude, and a remarkable lack of self-pity. A faithful and loving friend to so many, to the end she inspired us with her embrace of the best of what life had to offer, and her desire to remain as active as possible. Until her last days she enjoyed visitors, including her cherished kitties, who her devoted brothers Bruce and John Card transported every day to Agrace Hospice, where she spent her final months. Vicky Davion, her niece Melissa Card, and sister-in-law Suzanne Card were also constant companions as Claudia enjoyed watching favorite movies, relishing treats sent by friends near and far, and keeping in touch through her social media site, where she shared everyday news and simple, profound reflections on her unavoidable journey. Claudia's death is a tragic loss. We are immeasurably lucky to be left with her memory and the ongoing presence of her precious life's work.
- Chris Cuomo, University of Georgia
Leigh S. Cauman, widely known to philosophers through her long service as managing editor of the Journal of Philosophy, died at her home in New York on March 23, 2015, aged ninety-seven.
She was born Leigh Davis Steinhardt in New York on April 8, 1917, into a prosperous Jewish family. She grew up in New York and entered Bryn Mawr College at the age of sixteen. There she studied mathematics and philosophy, graduating summa cum laude in philosophy in 1937. She entered graduate school at Harvard (officially, since she was a woman, Radcliffe College) and studied logic and philosophy, chiefly with the young W. V. Quine, of whom she was the first Ph.D. student. They remained in touch for the rest of Quine's life. She completed the Ph.D. in three years, submitting her dissertation, The Variable and Its Relation to Semantic Problems, on April 1, 1940, a week before she turned twenty-three.
As a student she was active in left-wing causes. In that context she met Samuel Cauman, an art history student, whom she married in the fall of 1940. War work diverted them from academic careers. In the early years afterward they had two sons, Thomas, born in 1945, and John, born in 1948. The severe mental illness of Tommy and their efforts to keep him at home prevented Leigh from pursuing an academic career. They moved from the Boston area to Brooklyn, where Tommy could attend the League School, which Leigh Cauman supported for many years. However, Tommy's institutionalization became inevitable and took place in 1957. (He died in 1977.)
Leigh Cauman began doing freelance editing and teaching at various institutions, including Columbia University. In late 1961 she became managing editor of the Journal of Philosophy. At about the same time she assumed a steady appointment as lecturer in philosophy at Columbia, taking responsibility for logic courses in the School of General Studies. Later she became adjunct professor. She retired in 1987.
Cauman was an outstanding editor, with rigorous standards and careful attention to detail, in English style, instruction to the printer, and correctness of references. She was also a teacher of exemplary patience, who spent much time explaining logic exercises to students. In retirement she published a textbook, First-Order Logic (New York: de Gruyter, 1998). She also edited, with Isaac Levi, Charles Parsons, and Robert Schwartz, How Many Questions: Essays in Honor of Sidney Morgenbesser (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1983).
Cauman combined a warm, maternal side with intellectual ability and force. This may be what enabled her to carve out a role in the department and university that was larger than her official position would have provided for. Her sociability, in particular the events she hosted in her wonderful apartment on Riverside Drive, helped to make the department a community. She was a natural advocate for women and the underdog. In the university at large, she found an outlet in the University Senate, in which she served from 1972 until her retirement as a representative of non-tenured faculty of the School of General Studies. In the words of her senate colleague Professor Joan Ferrante, she "compelled respect by her integrity and courage" and spoke up "for those who had no voice, often against rather formidable opponents."
Samuel Cauman died in 1971. Leigh Cauman is survived by her son John.
[Thanks to John Cauman for information concerning his mother's earlier life.]
- Charles Parsons, Harvard University
Roger F. Gibson, professor and chair emeritus of the philosophy department at Washington University in St. Louis, passed away after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. Roger received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in 1977 and began teaching at Washington University in 1985. He served as chair from 1989 to 1999. Regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on the philosophy of W. V. Quine, Roger published two books, The Philosophy of W. V. Quine: An Expository Essay (1982) and Enlightened Empiricism: An Examination of W. V. Quine’s Theory of Knowledge (1988), co-edited Perspectives on Quine (1990) and The Cambridge Companion to Quine (2004), and edited Quintessence: Basic Readings from the Philosophy of W. V. Quine (2008). A festschrift was published in his honor, Naturalism, Reference and Ontology: Essays in Honor of Roger F. Gibson, edited by Chase B. Wrenn (2008).
Before taking up the study of philosophy as an undergraduate at Truman State University in 1971, Roger served in the U.S. Marines from 1962 to 1966 during the Vietnam War, attached for a time as aide to General Westmoreland. After completing his Ph.D. and beginning his career, he received grants from the NEH, was elected president of the Central States Philosophical Association in 1983-1984, co-organized an international conference on Quine (which brought twenty-four of the world’s leading scholars to campus, in addition to Quine himself), and, in an important moment in the history of the department, received a large grant from the James S. McDonnell Foundation that led to the creation of the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology program.
Roger was one of the university’s and the discipline’s great leaders. A person of courage and compassion, he combined vision with wisdom, humility with tenacity and strength. To all who knew him, he was a friend in the best sense of the word.
- Mark Rollins, Washington University in St. Louis
Robinson Allen Grover, 79, of West Hartford, CT, husband of Nancy Dow Grover, passed away peacefully on March 28, 2015, surrounded by his family, comforted by classical music and the reminiscences of friends and family that he so cherished. During a long and spirited battle with MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome), Rob never complained about his fate, calmly showing us all how to go forward with honesty, dignity, and grace. A philosopher, scholar, and patron of the arts, Rob will be remembered for his wit, insights, and effortless ability to converse on a range of topics including history, philosophy, ethics, mathematical theory, politics, travel, and art. He lived the life of the mind. A man of deep intellect and curiosity, Rob found his greatest joy when engaged in conversations with family, friends, and colleagues near and far.
Born on February 15, 1936, in New York, NY, Rob spent his early years attending Buckley School in New York and enjoying time at his family's "Clover Farm" in Kent, CT. His father, Allen Grover, was a journalist who wrote business for Time, was an editor of Fortune, and became vice president of Time Inc. Rob's mother, Beatrice Beard Grover, was an accomplished artist, who painted oil and pastel portraits, made lithographs, and drew medical illustrations of the eye. His parents' interests and vocations had a significant impact on Rob's appreciation for the arts, literature, and scholarly thought. Rob attended Deerfield Academy in 1954 and Yale University in 1958, where he received a B.A. in philosophy. He continued his studies at Universität München, Munich, Germany, in 1958-1959, and received an MA and Ph.D. in philosophy in 1968 from Brown University. He also attended Yale Law School, receiving a master of studies in law, in 1976.
In 1964 he began teaching philosophy at the University of Connecticut, retiring in 1999. A dedicated professor, he taught ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of law, and philosophy of religion. Rob always looked for ways to challenge and encourage his students to examine, share, and develop their own beliefs and ideas. He served as director of the UConn Torrington Regional Campus from 1980 to 1986. During this time he was the principle NEH grant holder for an exhibition and symposium on John Brown, the 19th century abolitionist. A specialist on the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, Rob conducted extensive research and published on Hobbes's political and legal philosophy.
Rob served on the University of Connecticut Chapter of the American Association of University Professors including time as faculty representative on the executive committee (1989-1999), vice president (1996-1997), and president (1997-1998). An ardent supporter of the visual and performing arts, Rob shared his time and talent with many cultural organizations. Most notably, he served as a trustee on the boards of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and Real Art Ways. He was a member of the Dean's Council at the School of Art, Yale University. Rob also served on the board of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. For more than 25 years, Rob and Nancy collected innovative contemporary photography. They enjoyed extensive time at their home in East Hampton, NY, where they attended and supported the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival (Bridgehampton, NY). Over the years, they have relished intellectual and aesthetic exploration, sharing their passion for the arts in the company of artists, dealers, curators, and musicians.
In addition to his wife of 35 years, Nancy Dow Grover, Rob is survived by his two daughters and their spouses: Robert and Anne Percy Sargent (West Hartford, CT), and John Peters and Dana Percy Plunkett (Sudbury, MA). He leaves behind three grandchildren: John Enders Sargent (Jack), Emmalene Robinson Plunkett, and Rebecca Farrington Sargent. He also leaves his sister, Loraine Grover (Tucson, AZ).
- Department of Philosophy, University of Connecticut
Patrick Aidan Heelan, S.J., William A. Gaston Professor in Philosophy at Georgetown University, passed away on February 1, 2015, in his beloved home country of Ireland. Patrick Heelan was born in Dublin, Ireland, on March 17, 1926. He entered the Jesuit order in 1942 and was ordained priest in 1958. He acquired many degrees, including a BA (1947) and an MA (1948) in math and math-physics from University College Dublin, Ireland, and a Ph.D. in geophysics from St. Louis University, MO, in 1952. Heelan also obtained a licentiate in philosophy (1954) and in theology (1958) for sacred ministry. He did post-doc work in high energy physics at the Fordham and Princeton Universities (1960-1962), and obtained a Ph.D. in philosophy of science with félicitations du jury at the University of Louvain/Leuven, Belgium (1964).
Patrick Heelan is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the East, Outstanding Scholars of the 21st Century, and Encyclopédie philosophique universelle.
Heelan started his long, rich, and multidisciplinary academic career as a research associate in theoretical physics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (1953-1954). He returned there again as a research associate in cosmic physics (1964-1965). He was a visiting fellow in high energy physics at Fordham University and at the Palmer Laboratory, Princeton University (1960-1962). He then obtained summer fellowships at Stanford University and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He was assistant and associate professor of philosophy at Fordham University (1965-1970), and he was visiting professor of physics at Boston University (1968-1969). He then was professor of philosophy at Stony Brook University (1970-1974), where he was also joint professor of humanities and social sciences at the Health Sciences Center (1972-1975), vice president for liberal studies and dean of arts and sciences (1975-1979), dean of humanities and fine arts (1990-1992), a member of the Center for Religious Studies (1980-1992), and acting chair of the Department of Religious Studies (1985-1986). He was a National Science Foundation senior fellow and senior visiting fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh (spring 1983). Later, he was executive vice president for the main campus and professor of philosophy at Georgetown University (1992-1995) and William A. Gaston Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University from 1995 until his retirement in 2013. He then returned to his native Ireland and the local Jesuit community.
Patrick Heelan’s reputation as a scholar was recognized by a Festschrift in his honor: Babette E. Babich (ed.), Hermeneutic Philosophy of Science. Van Gogh’s Eyes and God: Essays in Honor of Patrick A. Heelan, S.J. (Boston & Dordtrecht: Kluwer Publishers, 2002). His specialty in understanding the world of science was recognized when he was asked to write the essay on “Werner Heisenberg” for the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 14th ed. (Chicago, 1974, vol. 8, pp. 745-46). Patrick Heelan wrote a dozen book reviews on books about philosophy of science, hermeneutics and science, and the relationship between science and religion. He also wrote close to 150 articles. The titles of some of these articles give us an idea of the breath of Heelan’s publications: "Paradoxes of Measurement," in Chemical Explanation: Development, Application, Autonomy. Vol. 988 of the Annals of the New York Academy of Science, J. Early (ed), pp. 114–27 (New York: New York Academy of Science, 2003); "Phenomenology and the Philosophy of the Natural Sciences," in Phenomenology World-Wide, A. T. Tymieniecka (ed), pp. 631–40 (Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer, 2003); "Afterword," in Hermeneutic Philosophy of Science, Van Gogh’s Eyes, and God: Essays in Honor of Patrick A. Heelan, S.J., pp. 445–49, mentioned above; "Foreword," in Meditations Through the Rg Veda, by Antonio de Nicolás, pp. xii-xiv (York Beach, ME: Nicolas-Hays, Inc., 1976). Patrick Heelan also wrote two books: Quantum Mechanics and Objectivity: The Physical Philosophy of Werner Heisenberg (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1965); and Space-Perception and the Philosophy of Science (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1983). A third book, The Observable, is scheduled to come out posthumously in 2015.
Professor Ronald Murphy, S.J., from Georgetown University’s German Department, is quoted as describing the very attractive personality of Heelan as follows:
Can you imagine a guy, vice president of the university, who does not at all become hostile when contradicted, smiles, and then settles down to an extremely pleasant discussion of the question? […] To me that just showed you how deeply gracious he was—deeply gracious. It overcame hostility and fostered friendship in the midst of disagreement. (Andrew Wallender, "Heelan, 88, Strengthened Community," Hoya, February 20, 2015)
One of the difficult but important bureaucratic changes that Patrick Heelan brought about at Georgetown was the merging of the School of Language and Linguistics into the college, which encountered significant resistance by some faculty and students. It ultimately proved successful.
With reference to Patrick Heelan’s academic achievements, we can grasp his contribution when we understand the connection between his interest in science (particularly quantum physics), van Gogh's paintings, and Christian theology.
Professor Heelan agrees with Bohr-Heisenberg that science involves—in an essential way—measurement. But measuring something is an intentional project in which a human being decides what to measure. And what we measure is part of a social, technological, and cultural context. It is also done from a particular historical perspective. It is a hermeneutical activity.
Professor Heelan points out that the realism of van Gogh's paintings is connected with his intention of representing the things of everyday life as we actually experience them. To achieve this goal, van Gogh was willing to give up the familiar Euclidean space and replace it with a Riemann space. What van Gogh painted was the experience of the "things-in-themselves." Hence, van Gogh was deeply aware that he painted one view of the world.
With reference to theology, Heelan agrees, like Lonergan, that God is academically the object described and speculated about by academic theologians. But, Heelan adds, such a God is not a real God. A real God is someone who comes alive in the charitable actions of believers who decide to act in one way rather than another because of their attempt to live in communion with such a God.
By describing science, van Gogh’s act of painting, and religious living in this way, Heelan succeeds in pointing to a hermeneutical dimension in each of these three practices. Crucial in all three examples is a conversion to a new attitude. It is taking a new perspective.
- Wilfried ver Eecke, Georgetown University
Jaakko Hintikka, one of the most celebrated and original philosophers of his generation, died August 12, 2015, in Porvoo, Finland, at the age of eighty-six. A pioneer in game-theoretical and possible world semantics, his contributions to philosophy and mathematics stretched across numerous fields, from logic and linguistics to metaphysics, philosophy of science, aesthetics, and the history of philosophy. He may certainly be called one of the most influential philosophers of logic of the latter half of the twentieth century, receiving among many other awards the prestigious Rolf Schock Prize from the Swedish Academy of Sciences and a volume of the renowned Library of Living Philosophers series dedicated to his work. He also gave the 1964 John Locke lectures at Oxford. Large contemporary research programs remain indebted to his work on modal and epistemic logic, especially his Knowledge and Belief: An Introduction to the Logic of the Two Notions (Cornell University Press, 1962). In his last two decades he developed both the "interrogative model" of scientific inquiry and what he called (as he came to see it, mistakenly) "independence friendly" logic, revisiting issues in nearly every area of philosophy through its lens. The mathematical rigorization of his initial ideas awaits completion, though it has been recently deepened and developed under the better name “dependence logic” by Jouko Väänänen.
Sami Pihlström, writing to the Helsinki Collegium, called Jaakko "by any imaginable criteria" the most influential Finnish academic of all time. Serving as vice president of the APA Pacific Division (1974-1975) and then president of the division (1975-1976), he was greatly dedicated to practicing logic and philosophy in a global context. This gained him wide influence and world-wide reputation. He worked hard, in particular, to shape an entire generation of philosophers in the Nordic countries, especially in Helsinki. He played a significant role in global federations such as the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science (vice president of the Division of Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science (LMPS) 1971–1975; president, 1975; chairman of the program committee for the Fifth International Congress of LMPS 1975; chairman of the Joint Commission 1975–1979), the Association of Symbolic Logic (vice president 1968–1971), and the Philosophy of Science Association (member of the Governing Board, 1970–1974). He was member of the Institut International de Philosophie, 1968–present (vice president 1993–1996, president 1999–2002) as well as the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés de Philosophie (member of the Comité Directeur, 1978–1988, 1993–1998; member of the finance committee of the same, 1979–1988, chair of the committee, 1983–1988, vice president 1993–1998) and president of the Charles Peirce Society. He became a foreign member of both the Hungarian and the Russian Academies of Science. In 1998 he chaired the organizing committee of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy in Boston. As editor-in-chief of the journal Synthese (1965–2002), he became one of the world’s most influential editors of philosophy in English. He regarded himself as a feminist and supported feminist philosophy as a field, praising the writings and activities of his second wife Merrill Hintikka (1939–1987), with whom he authored Investigating Wittgenstein (Blackwell, 1986). Merrill Hintikka forms the subject of his final publication, a passionate memoir of her life that has appeared in Finnish.
After a junior fellowship at Harvard (1956–1959) and professorships at Helsinki (1959–1970, Stanford University (visiting 1965–1982), and Florida State University (1978–1990), Jaakko joined the faculty at Boston University (1990–2015). His work on epistemic logic, game-theoretic semantics, and modality stimulated members of the philosophy, mathematics, and computer science departments, as well as linguists. While in Boston, Jaakko’s knowledge and experience drew all of us into enjoyable and challenging conversation about fundamental notions and presuppositions, even as he dedicated himself to mentoring faculty and developing and applying new approaches to the teaching and application of logic. His thirst for new philosophical ideas was unquenchable, and his appetite for solving open problems never left him: he had an ability and a drive to see new puzzles and problems, and advise students on workman-like solutions. With his help and industry, BU attracted and educated four generations of Ph.D. students—somewhere between thirty-five and forty-five BU Ph.D.’s were directed by him—and they now teach around the world, each one understanding the importance of pluralism, reasoning, and creativity in philosophy.
As a person Jaakko worked to overcome a certain natural shyness, lack of confidence, and Finnish reticence. In the end, he became a passionate, opinionated, and outspoken thinker, relishing controversy as he strove for the boldest of breakthroughs in the most difficult areas of logic, set theory, and physics, and was not inclined to shift his views. He remained a warm friend to those who worked with him, evincing a remarkably wide range of interests. An avid amateur historian of the Second World War, he loved symphony and wrote about everything from the history of Bloomsbury to modern painting and detective stories.
In working with students and colleagues here in Boston, Jaakko’s aim was always to get us to be more outspoken and less muffled. Stressing the importance of courage in philosophy, he believed even half-worked through ideas should be published, for the sake of progress: he was explicitly against the influence of what he called, pejoratively, perfectionism about publication. He was inclined to hear new suggestions as possible breakthroughs, and routinely got very excited about solving fundamental problems over lunch. Idées fixes were not uncommon with him. At the same time, he was a keen listener, ever watchful for a new idea and supportive of its elaboration. At his best, he preferred to work cooperatively and diplomatically, by means of Socratic questioning and argumentation, his eye on development of the subject.
Jaakko Hintikka leaves behind his third wife Ghita Holstrom-Hintikka, also a feminist philosopher of law, logic, and ethics, now at the University of Helsinki.
- Juliet Floyd, Boston University
Michael Lou Martin, whom the magazine Free Inquiry recently called “one of the most formidable academic champions of atheism,” died suddenly on May 27, 2015, after a nearly two-decade battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was born in Cincinnati in 1932 and was the first in his family to graduate from high school. After a stint in the U.S. Marine Corp, Martin attended Arizona State University for his bachelor’s degree, later receiving his MA from University of Arizona and Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University in 1962, all on the G.I. Bill. That same year, he married fellow philosopher Jane Roland Martin, with whom he had a loving fifty-three-year marriage that produced two sons and five grandchildren. After a brief stint teaching at the University of Colorado (1962–1965), he joined the philosophy department at Boston University, where he remained until his retirement in 1996.
Throughout his career, Mike Martin published an astonishing number of works on a wide variety of subjects. Best known for his writings on the philosophy of religion, Martin made significant contributions also to the philosophy of social science and the philosophy of law, applying his fiercely skeptical mindset to the service of science and reason wherever they were challenged by ideology or wishful thinking. His best known works include Atheism: A Philosophical Justification (Temple, 1990), The Case Against Christianity (Temple, 1991), Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science (MIT Press, 1996) with Lee McIntyre, Atheism, Morality and Meaning (Prometheus, 2002), The Impossibility of God (Prometheus, 2003) with Ricki Monnier, The Improbability of God (Prometheus, 2006) with Ricki Monnier, The Cambridge Companion to Atheism (Cambridge, 2006), and his most recent work, The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case Against Life After Death (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015) with Keith Augustine. In total he published sixteen books and one hundred thiry-one articles over a fifty-year career.
To anyone who knew him, however, Mike’s academic work tells only part of the story about what made him such an extraordinary human being. Embracing the stoicism of his philosophical forebears, Mike exhibited a deep courage, generosity of spirit, sense of humor, and determination never to let his disability get the best of him, as he spent his last twenty years embarking on a voyage of discovery to get the most out of what life could still offer him. From a young age, Mike Martin pursued a regimen of physical fitness long before its benefits had broken through to popular consciousness. He worked out nearly every day in a home gym and achieved a level of physical prowess that is rare for anyone and virtually unheard of for philosophers: he achieved a black belt in judo, won the prestigious Golden Gloves boxing championship in Arizona, and could tear a telephone book in half with his bare hands well into his sixties. After Parkinson’s limited his movement, Mike continued to work out, taking great pride in being deemed “the strongest man at Brookhaven,” where he spent his retirement. In addition to his physical pursuits, during these years Mike also took up singing, drawing, improvisational acting, and fiction writing, so that he might fully stretch his capacities as a human being.
Never bitter or angry over the curve life had thrown him, Mike served as an inspiration to all who knew him. Upon learning that he was singing the demanding Schubert lieder, his former philosophical colleague Jay Hullett remarked, “Mike’s singing Schubert was a dimension of his mind and spirit that I’d not known in all of those years in which we’d been colleagues, and it made me aware of a spiritual/artistic/poetic depth of his that, alongside his intellectual and physical power, his deep decency and generosity of spirit, made me see him as somehow an almost uniquely ‘complete’ man.”
Determined to live a life that was consonant with his deeply held skeptical and humanistic beliefs, Mike harbored no illusions about the transitory nature of human existence or the possibility of an afterlife. He nonetheless lived a life of great meaning, fulfillment, and love, providing a model that hearkens back to the earliest days of Greek philosophy for how philosophy should matter not just to our beliefs but to the kind of person we become as well.
Mike Martin spent the majority of his academic career arguing that belief in God was irrational and that we need not believe in an afterlife in order to experience meaning or even joy. Yet perhaps it was in his later years that he best demonstrated the soundness of this approach, not just through logic but by his example. He drew in charcoal—rather than ink—knowing that his artwork would eventually smudge. When he sang, he made no recordings (though one surreptitious video suggests an exceptional talent). When he became an actor, he chose the demanding field of improv, in which there is no script, no rehearsal, and thus no two performances are ever exactly the same. Maybe in this way he demonstrated to us in human terms what all those academic arguments had really been about: that human life is no less beautiful for the fact that it is temporary.
Few who knew him could do anything but marvel at the good spirit with which Mike lived his final days, smiling and singing to the crowd at his book signing, surrounded by the friends and family who loved him.
- Lee McIntyre, Boston University
William L. Rowe died at Creasy Springs Health Campus in Lafayette, Indiana on August 22, 2015. Bill was born in Detroit, Michigan, to parents from Cornwall (England), on July 26, 1931. He did his undergraduate work at Wayne State University and reported that after taking one philosophy course with George Nakhnikian, he abandoned his plan to major in history and turned to philosophy. He and George became lifelong friends.
After graduating from Wayne State in 1954, Bill went on to earn a BD from the Chicago Theological Seminary in 1957 and—at George’s suggestion—went to the University of Michigan where he earned an MA and Ph.D. His major professor at Michigan was William P. Alston. In 1962, the year in which he was awarded his doctorate, Bill accepted an assistant professorship at Purdue University, where he remained, except for a visiting position at Wayne State in 1963-1964, until his retirement as full professor in 2005. He served as department head from 1981 to 1991.
Bill was elected president of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association for 1986-1987. His major grants included two summer grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities along with a Summer Seminar for College Teachers also funded by the NEH, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Humanities Center Fellowship, and an appointment to the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh.
Starting with three journal articles that appeared in 1962, Bill published over seventy articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia and dictionary entries. His five published books are Religious Symbols and God: A Philosophical Study of Tillich’s Theology (University of Chicago Press, 1968), The Cosmological Argument (Princeton University Press, 1975, reprinted with a new forward by Fordham University Press, 1998), Philosophy of Religion (Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1978, second edition 1993, third edition 2001), Thomas Reid on Freedom and Morality (Cornell University Press, 1991), and Can God Be Free? (Oxford University Press, 2004). Bill co-edited Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings with William W. Wainwright (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1973, second edition 1989, third edition 1998, and now published by Oxford University Press), and edited God and the Problem of Evil: Selected Readings (Blackwell Publishers, 2001).
Among Bill’s most influential papers is his 1979 "The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism," widely anthologized after its publication in American Philosophical Quarterly. This piece developed a version of the evidential problem of evil that continues to influence discussions of the problem of evil. In it, Bill also articulated and adopted what he called friendly atheism, the view that while he and others were rationally justified in adopting atheism, others differently situated—if, for instance, they had had religious experiences—might be rationally justified in accepting theism. Bill returned to this issue in 2010, in "Friendly Atheism Revisited," invited for the fortieth-anniversary issue of the International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion (68: 7-12). This article includes details about his own history with religious belief.
Bill’s prowess at teaching matched his scholarship. He was a gifted and engaging lecturer, introducing a hall with over a hundred students to the philosophy of religion, as well as excellent in leading discussions in small graduate seminars. In the large lecture course, the example he would use as a case of apparently gratuitous evil was a fawn dying a horrible death in a forest fire—his TAs generally reported that there was hardly a dry eye in the room after his dramatic presentation. Yet his atheism was friendly in the more ordinary sense of the term as well, and the graduate students who differed with him about theism spoke warmly of his respect for them and their views alongside his firm commitment to and defense of his own views. Comments from some of them, as well as from other colleagues and friends, can be found at the Prosblogion philosophy of religion blog.
Bill was indeed a warm and friendly man, kind and generous to all. He also had a rich life outside the academy. His fondness for hockey and the Red Wings began when he was a boy in Detroit, playing in school and in spirited neighborhood games; he didn’t continue playing but remained a lifelong fan. He loved the outdoors, whether canoeing in the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota with family or friends or walking his dog in an open field in Indiana. While he lost his religion along the way, he retained his love for singing gospel hymns, and Bill Alston on piano with Bill Rowe and George Nakhnikian, among others, singing along was a treat some of us once got to enjoy.
Bill was originally married to Betty Barnwell, and they had three children together. He married Margaret Moan in 1975. Both women survive him, as do his children, Susan, John (Carla), and Norman (Monica), and three grandchildren, Ellen, Lucas, and Zoey. He is also survived by his brother, John (Margaret), and nieces and nephews. Bill was a dear friend and mentor to the three of us, a few among the many who will miss him. His favorite toast has been repeated often and fondly in his memory: "To sunny days and starry nights."
- Rod Bertolet, Purdue University
- Jan A. Cover, Purdue University
- Martin V. Curd, Purdue University
Abner Shimony, professor emeritus of philosophy and of physics at Boston University, died on August 8, 2015. His research transcended disciplinary boundaries and even literary genres. He made lasting contributions to inductive logic, the philosophy of C.S. Peirce, a naturalistic "integral" epistemology, the quantum measurement problem, and the first experimental test of Bell’s theorem, to name just a few. He was an activist who campaigned for peace and was an inspiration to his students and colleagues.
Shimony was born March 10, 1928, in Columbus, Ohio, and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. He began his undergraduate studies at Yale at age sixteen and obtained a joint degree in philosophy and mathematics in 1948. He went to the University of Chicago to study with Rudolf Carnap and completed a master’s in philosophy on Whitehead’s Theory of Linguistic Symbolism. He returned to Yale to pursue a Ph.D. in philosophy. There he met Annemarie Anrod, a graduate student in anthropology, and they were married in 1951. He completed his Ph.D. in philosophy in 1953 with a dissertation titled A Theory of Confirmation, directed by John Myhill.
After two years in the army at Fort Monmouth, he returned to school for a second doctorate, this time in physics from Princeton University. His dissertation advisor was the soon-to-be Nobel Prize winner Eugene Wigner. While Shimony was there, Wigner drafted his famous philosophical essay "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics," with Shimony commenting and encouraging Wigner to read Peirce.
Before completing his dissertation, Shimony left Princeton to take up his first teaching position in the Humanities Department at MIT in 1959 (with Annemarie's position at Mount Holyoke College they had the infamous "two-body problem"). Shimony completed his Ph.D. in physics in 1962 with a dissertation on Regression and Response in Thermodynamic Systems. He taught philosophy at MIT until 1968, influencing many students, such as Paul Teller. Boston University was able to attract Shimony largely through the efforts of Bob Cohen, who co-founded the BU Center for Philosophy and History of Science less than a decade before and offered Shimony a joint appointment in the physics and philosophy departments. Shimony actively participated in the Boston Colloquium for Philosophy of Science and edited volumes of Boston Studies, such as Naturalistic Epistemology: A Symposium of Two Decades (co-edited with Debra Nails), which contains an extended defense of Shimony’s own "integral epistemology."
One year after arriving at BU, Shimony published arguably the most important physics article of his career. With his BU graduate student, Michael Horne, and two other graduate students (John Clauser at Columbia and Michael Horne at Harvard) he derived a new form of Bell's inequality, now known as the CHSH inequality, amenable to experimental test. The question was whether there could be a theory that reproduces the predictions of quantum mechanics but without the "spooky action-at-a-distance" that Einstein despised. Along with subsequent experiments, this paper shows the answer appears to be no. Thanks to this early work of Shimony's, mainstream physics came to appreciate nonlocality and entanglement as genuine physical effects with practical importance.
Some of Shimony’s most important contributions involved coming up with an appropriate conceptual language for clarifying a confused issue. For example, following the work of Bell and Jon Jarrett, Shimony introduced the terms "parameter independence" and "outcome independence" to distinguish two different senses of (non)locality that had been conflated. He showed that while a violation of parameter independence is controllable, and hence leads to a conflict with special relativity, a violation of outcome independence is uncontrollable, and hence allows what Shimony termed a "peaceful coexistence" between the theories. He concluded that quantum nonlocality (resulting from violations of outcome independence) is best described not as action-at-a-distance, but rather as "passion at-a-distance."
Another important expression of Shimony’s was "experimental metaphysics," meaning the use of scientific experiments to investigate metaphysical questions. Shimony saw no sharp divide between physics and metaphysics. Like most of the great philosophers (such as Aristotle, Avicenna, Descartes, Hume, and Kant), Shimony was deeply engaged in the science of his day, contributing both to its content and to a deeper understanding of its methodology. Also, like many of the greatest physicists (such as Galileo, Maxwell, Heisenberg, and Einstein), he was well-versed in philosophy and deeply philosophical in his scientific reasoning. As Shimony’s life work reminds us, both fields benefit from a close connection.
Upon Shimony’s retirement from BU in 1994, a session of the Boston Colloquium was organized in his honor, which resulted in two impressive volumes: Experimental Metaphysics and Potentiality, Entanglement, and Passion-at-a-Distance. Shimony supervised many Ph.D. students during his time at BU, including Don Howard, the late Fr. Ron Anderson, and Wayne Myrvold (in philosophy), and Mike Horne, Andre Mirabelli, Joy Christian, Sandu Popescu (as a postdoc), Penha Dias, and Gregg Jaeger (in physics).
It was a tremendous loss when Shimony’s first wife, Annemarie, died in 1995, but he reunited with a high-school companion, Helen-Claire (Pierce) Walker, to whom he was married from 1997 until her death in 2001. In 2005, he married his last love, Manana Sikic, who brought him great joy and contentment in the final decade of his life. Shimony had two wonderful sons, Jonathan and Ethan, who inspired his forays into writing children’s literature, such as his enchanting Tibaldo and the Hole in the Calendar, illustrated by Jonathan, and his poem "Babar et les Variables Cachées."
Shimony was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Physical Society. He served as president of the Philosophy of Science Association in 1995-1996. His two-volume collection of essays, Search for a Naturalistic World View, received the prestigious Lakatos Prize in 1996. But for all his achievements and honors, Shimony was never self-aggrandizing. When praised, he was apt to respond in his humble and humorous way with a saying such as, "Even the blind chicken finds a kernel of corn." His profound mind and generous spirit will be greatly missed.
Additional remembrances and photos can be found here.
- Alisa Bokulich, Boston University
- Don Howard, University of Notre Dame
The APA announces that long-standing member Irving Singer passed away on February 1, 2015, at the age of eighty-nine. Singer served on the MIT faculty in the Department of Philosophy and Linguistics since 1958. http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/irving-singer-obituary-0208
Dr. Peter Spader, American Max Scheler scholar and professor of philosophy at Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania, died January 4, 2015, of heart failure. Born in 1938 in Kingston, New York, Spader graduated from Alfred University and earned his doctorate in philosophy at Columbia University. Thereafter he taught at a number of other colleges and universities before settling down at Marywood University, where he spent the rest of his teaching career. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, who is well-known to those present at Scheler philosophy conferences, for Peter and Nancy always attended together.
Spader was in some ways, like Scheler, a free spirit. He was a member of the Amateur Radio Relay League for many years, as well as an enthusiastic and accomplished photographer who enjoyed sharing his best pictures in a variety of settings. Until the end, he excelled and thrived at doing what he loved best: teaching students philosophy and provoking them to think. None who knew him can possibly forget his humor, his jocular smile, his laughter—or his thoughtfulness and personal solicitude.
Academically, Spader was more than anything else a Scheler scholar, and perhaps the doyen of native English-language scholars who wrote on him. He devoted his entire career as well as many philosophical articles analyzing and explicating the philosophy of Max Scheler, who was one of phenomenology’s seminal figures and a major contributor to the development of a phenomenological theory of values and ethics. Spader was an active participant and presenter at conferences on the philosophy of Scheler both in the United States and in Germany. In 1999 Fordham University Press published his book, Scheler’s Ethical Personalism: Its Logic, Development, and Promise, which served to help establish a working foundation for English-language students of Scheler. Although Spader left behind an unpublished major work awaiting a final edit, his 1999 work represents in many ways his magnum opus, the culmination of a lifetime of study. Like all of Spader’s work, it is clearly written, and represents a badly needed addition to the growing English-language scholarship on Max Scheler.
- Adapted by Phil Jenkins, Marywood University, from https://mssna.wordpress.com/in-memoriam-peter-spader/