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Memorial Minutes, 2020
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James Creighton Edwards (1943–2020)

This obituary originally appeared in the Greenville News and is reprinted here with permission.

James Creighton Edwards (Jim) died Thursday, February 13, at his home in Greenville, South Carolina. Jim was diagnosed with renal cell cancer in 2006, but he was able to live virtually symptom free until this last year, thanks to dedicated medical care and great good fortune.

Jim was born October 25, 1943, in Columbia, SC, the son of Creighton Guilder and Emily Aull Edwards, but he grew up in Woodruff, SC, and despite an extraordinary career as an academic philosopher, he remained at his core a child of Woodruff, with instinctive southern courtesy, abiding good humor, and a great good will toward everyone, great and small.

Jim graduated from Furman University in 1965, majoring in English and religion, and he continued his academic work at the University of Chicago Divinity School as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, where he earned a master’s degree. There, it became clear to him that philosophy was his true vocation. He completed his PhD in philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1970, he returned to his alma mater, Furman University, as an assistant professor of philosophy, retiring as professor emeritus in 2011 after forty-one years. Jim was an important and valued faculty member, serving as department chair in philosophy, as faculty chair, and as chair of the curriculum reform committee, among many other official and unofficial duties. Jim published a number of books during his career, including Ethics without Philosophy: Wittgenstein and the Moral Life (1982), The Authority of Language: Heidegger, Wittgenstein, and the Threat of Philosophical Nihilism (1990), and The Plain Sense of Things: The Fate of Religion in an Age of Normal Nihilism (1997). But it is as an inspiring, even thrilling, teacher that scores of students remember him. They trusted him even when he challenged their most cherished beliefs, and they revered him for it. In his retirement, he organized the Philosophy Reading Group for current and retired faculty, a group dear to his heart where he did perhaps some of his best work.

Rather late in life, he became deeply interested in birds, and he amassed a life list of more than 650 North American birds, traveling to the far ends of the continent, but his favorite spots were the Ace Basin and Townville, SC. He regretted not starting earlier when he had young eyes and ears.

Jim is survived by his wife of thirty-six years, Jane Scofield Chew. His earlier marriage to Martha Crocker Dolge ended in divorce. He is also survived by his sister, Anita Edwards Ward, his niece, Noelle Waddell, and her son, Caleb Waddell. There will be a memorial service at the Daniel Chapel at Furman University on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at 3:00 pm. No flowers, please. Gifts can be made to the Furman University Faculty Scholarship Fund, or to the Nature Conservancy of South Carolina.

Nicholas G. Fotion (1927–2020)

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Nicholas Fotion, Professor Emeritus at Emory University. Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1927, he died in Atlanta in December 2019.

Nick was the son of Greek immigrants. He received his BS from Northwestern University in 1950 with honors in clinical psychology. In 1953, he earned an MA at the State University of Iowa with a thesis on the Würzburg School of Psychology. Then he turned fully to philosophy and earned a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1957 with a dissertation on “Objectivism in Ethics.”

From 1957 to 1963, Nick was an assistant professor in the Philosophy Department at Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Then he helped form the Philosophy Department of the State University College at Buffalo, New York, where he served as chair for seven years.

Nick came to Emory University in 1970, retiring in 2017. Having given Emory forty-seven years of devoted service, he will be greatly missed. His teaching and writing touched the lives of many students and colleagues, both at Emory and abroad, where he and his work were widely known and discussed. He was twice a Fulbright lecturer at Yonsei University, in Seoul, Korea. In 1992-1993, Nick was a visiting professor at the United States Airforce Academy. At Emory, he was appreciated as a superb and popular teacher, where he was given the Williams Distinguished Teaching Award for the Humanities in 1989. His dedication to the discipline of philosophy was also manifest in his starting and shepherding the Analytical Study Group, which focused on reading and discussing current work by authors of that school. Comprising members from Emory University, Georgia State University, Agnes Scott College, Morris Brown College, Emory-at-Oxford College, and other schools in the area, it continued for three decades, until the year of Nick’s death. Those who participated in its sessions saw the mind of a real philosopher who, with his characteristic fair-mindedness, always relished exploring the problems of philosophy. Since the Emory department concentrated on the history of philosophy and on Continental thought, the Analytic Study Group afforded him a larger group of colleagues who shared his approach to the discipline—a role it also fulfilled for many others in the area, thanks to his efforts. It should be added that his warm and outgoing nature made Nick happy to engage with colleagues of all persuasions and to discuss their work as well. His special interest in the writings of R. M. Hare, whose meta-ethics aimed to find middle ground between utilitarianism and Kantian moral thought, is indicative of that openness. Nick had an unusually wide range of interests beyond his own areas of concentration in analytical philosophy that also broached such general topics as tolerance and interpretation theory.

Nick was a specialist in speech act theory and analytical ethics. Concerning the former, he made significant contributions with his essays “Master Speech Acts,” in The Philosophical Quarterly 21, no. 84 (July 1971) and “From Speech Acts to Speech Activity,” in John Searle, edited by Barry Smith (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003). But most of his teaching and writing was about medical and military ethics. Some of his books include the following:

  • Moral Constraints on War, co-edited and co-authored with Bruno Coppieters (Lexington, third revised edition, 2020)
  • Theory vs. Anti-Theory in Ethics: A Misconceived Conflict (Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • War and Ethics: A New Just War Theory (Continuum, 2007-2008)
  • John Searle: Philosophy Now (Princeton University Press, 2001)
  • Contingent Future Persons, edited with Jan Heller (Kluwer, 1997)
  • Introduction to Medical Ethics (Hyon-Am, 1993)
  • Toleration, co-authored with Gerard Elfstrom (University of Alabama Press, 1992)
  • Hare and Critics: Essays on “Moral Thinking,” edited with Douglas Seanor (Oxford University Press, 1988)

A consummate good citizen, Nick Fotion served on many interdisciplinary committees concerned with moral issues; he was a continuing member of the University Human Investigations Committee. He helped found the Emory Ethics Center, for whose Steering Committee he was chair in 1990-1991. He also served the wider university community in many capacities, including as chair of the Emory University Senate, 1979-1980. His academic activities in the Atlanta-Athens area included chairing the Faculty Council of the University Center in Georgia, 1986–1988, as well as twice serving as president of the Georgia Philosophical Society, 1987-1988, 1997-1998. In 1979 and 1980, the National Endowment for the Humanities, through the Georgia Council on the Humanities, sponsored two Conferences on Aging, of which Nick was the director.

Nick and his late wife, Janice, who taught history at Morris Brown College for many years, were both philanthropists, animal lovers, sports enthusiasts, and devoted subscribers to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. They are survived by their son, Reid Fotion, and his wife, Bobbi.

- Rudolf A. Makkreel, Emory University and Richard D. Parry, Agnes Scott College

Nancy Holland, 1947–2020

Dr. Nancy Holland, Professor of Philosophy Emerita at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, was born on September 3, 1947, and died peacefully January 25, 2020, two years after her cancer diagnosis. Nancy is survived by her husband, Jeffery Koon, daughter, Gwendolyn Koon, and son, Justus Koon.

She earned her BA from Stanford and PhD from UC Berkeley, and was a professor in the Philosophy Department at Hamline University for thirty-six years.

Nancy brought a presumption that every academic anywhere must do serious scholarship, that is, present work at professional conferences, publish in refereed journals, work on books, all while teaching, advising, serving on committees, and, oh yes, raising a family. Her expectation of serious scholarship—for herself and every colleague on campus—may have been her greatest gift to the institution. She set the bar high. Her modeling of professional work beyond the campus supported, encouraged, and inspired so many that conference presentations, research, and published material of the college faculty grew quickly in quality and quantity.

Professor Holland’s major works include Heidegger and the Problem of Consciousness (2018), Ontological Humility: Lord Voldemort and the Philosophers (2013), Feminist Interpretations of Martin Heidegger (2001), The Madwoman’s Reason: The Concept of the Appropriate in Ethical Thought (1998), and Is Women’s Philosophy Possible (1990).

Nancy was a superb colleague. She did whatever was needed in the department, and she did so at high quality, on time, and without complaint.

Nancy was a good friend. She was always frank and had principles by which she lived and worked, a trait seldom encountered.

- Duane L. Cady, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Hamline University

Joel J. Kupperman, 1936–2020

It is with deep sadness that I report the death of Joel Kupperman, University of Connecticut Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Emeritus. He died in Brooklyn, New York, on April 8, 2020.

Joel received both his AB and MA from the University of Chicago and his PhD from Cambridge University. He joined the Philosophy Department at the University of Connecticut in 1960. Except for visiting Trinity College as a lecturer in 1970, two years supported by NEH fellowships, and fellowships at Clare Hall, Cambridge, and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, he remained at UConn until his retirement from teaching in 2013. In addition to these major national and international awards, Joel received the Faculty Excellence in Research award from the UConn Foundation in 2004.

A widely recognized and influential scholar, Joel specialized in ethics, aesthetics, and Asian philosophy. He published numerous journal articles and chapters in all three fields. Two early books resist subjectivism in ethics (Ethical Knowledge [London: Geo. Allen & Unwin, 1970, reprint Routledge, 2002] and The Foundations of Morality [London and Boston: Geo. Allen & Unwin, 1983, reissue from Routledge, forthcoming, 2022]). In his monographs, Joel’s longstanding interest in Chinese philosophy first became prominent in Character (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991) and Value… And What Follows (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999).

Joel’s scholarship in Asian philosophy long predated the recent professional awakening to non-Western philosophical traditions. Initially, he studied Chinese philosophy with H. G. Creel at the University of Chicago; in 1967, he traveled to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan to continue his studies; no later than 1985 (an exact date is unavailable during the pandemic closures), Joel was offering an introductory course on Asian philosophy; and sometime thereafter, he originated an upper-level undergraduate course on Chinese philosophy and a graduate seminar that covered Indian, Chinese, and Japanese philosophy. His scholarship and pedagogical initiatives were visionary. Before long, universities everywhere were scrambling to develop “multicultural” courses, and comparative philosophy conferences grew in frequency.

Regarded as a classic by many in the field, Learning from Asian Philosophy nimbly integrates insights from classical Chinese and Indian philosophy as well as Western philosophy into nuanced accounts of the self, choice, moral psychology, moral requirements, and interpersonal communication (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999; Chinese translation, Renmin Press, Beijing, 2009). That Joel was invited to give the keynote lecture at a conference honoring the ninetieth anniversary of the Peking University Philosophy Department is but one measure of the importance of this book.

In addition, Joel published books that not only would be valuable to professional philosophers, but that also would reach college students and the larger educated public. Notable among these are Theories of Human Nature (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2010), Ethics and Qualities of Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), Six Myths about the Good Life: Thinking about What Has Value (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2006), and Classic Asian Philosophy: A Guide to the Essential Texts (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001; second edition, 2006).

Joel had a droll sense of humor that came out in department gatherings and sometimes in article titles, such as "How Values Congeal into Facts" and "Ethics for Extraterrestrials." Combined with Joel’s erudition, his talent for listening, and his measured style of speech, his sense of humor must have endeared him to students. Professor Asha Bhandary tells this story:

I had my first child, Alma, while I was writing my dissertation, and when she was about 2 years old, she had a dollhouse in which she had two characters, [another professor] and “Joel Kupperman.” She frequently said their names in her 2-year-old voice, which I can still evoke in my memory.

That one of Alma’s dolls was called Joel Kupperman surely mirrored her mother’s great esteem for him.

When it became possible for Chinese students to come to the US to study, Joel attracted some of them to the UConn Philosophy Department. Like all the graduate students, they studied Western philosophy. But thanks to Joel, they were also able to study Chinese philosophy. Remembering Joel, Professor Ni Peimin cites works from this tradition:

I still want to use the current tense “is,” because I feel that he is still with us. As Lao Zi says, “he who dies but is not forgotten, has longevity.” The Confucian notion of “three immortalities” applies here as well: People can become immortal by establishing virtue for other people to emulate, achievements for other people to benefit from, and words for other people to follow.

Joel received the Faculty Excellence in Teaching award from the UConn Foundation in 1973. Upon his retirement, two of his PhD students, Li Chenyang and Ni Peimin, celebrated his career by publishing a festschrift containing chapters by leading scholars ( Moral Cultivation and Confucian Character: Engaging Joel J. Kupperman [Albany NY: State University of New York Press, 2014]).

A remembrance of Joel’s life would not be complete without mention of the salutary ways in which he shaped the UConn Philosophy Department over more than fifty years. As long as I was there, our department had an exceptional ethos. Department meetings were convened on an irregular basis and only when absolutely necessary—for example, to decide on a short list of job candidates or to vote on making an offer. Nevertheless, we met every week during the semester (graduate students included) to discuss philosophy. We called these lunchtime meetings our Brown Bag series. Each meeting consisted of a twenty-minute talk on work in progress followed by a forty-minute discussion. Joel founded this tradition, and the department held its jubilee semester in fall 2019.

Another of Joel’s distinctive contributions to the department stemmed from his early and steadfast commitment to gender equity and diversity in general. For quite a while late in the twentieth century, our faculty included an unusually high percentage of women. I count myself among the beneficiaries of Joel’s openness to and support of women in professional philosophy.

Joel is survived by his wife, Karen Ordahl Kupperman, his two children, Michael Kupperman and Charlie Kupperman, and a grandchild, Ulysses Kupperman Dougherty. His colleagues and many students join me in sympathy for their loss. His singular voice and distinctive presence are irreplaceable.

- Diana Tietjens Meyers, Professor Emerita, University of Connecticut, Storrs

Eugene “Gene” Thomas Long (1935–2020)

Eugene “Gene” Thomas Long III, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus of the University of South Carolina, died at home on Friday, March 13, 2020. Gene, the eldest son of Eugene Thomas Long Jr. and Emily Barker Long, was born in 1935, in Richmond, Virginia.

Gene’s life in philosophical study and teaching was bookended by an early and late devotion to music. Gene was a member of the award-winning John Marshall High School Cadet Band, playing baritone horn and trombone and serving as lieutenant drum major. He also played trombone in the popular Tommy Hall Dance Band. Later, in 2004, on his retirement from the Philosophy Department, University of South Carolina, Columbia, he once again took up his musical interests. For more than fifteen years, he played in the Columbia Concert Band, the Gene Dykes Jazz Orchestra, the Blythewood Jazz Orchestra, and the Carl Payne Big Band.

Gene studied economics and philosophy at Randolph Macon College in Virginia in the 1950s, and came under the influence of Burnell Pannill, who introduced him to the history of philosophy, American philosophy, and philosophy of religion.

Following his marriage to Ms. Carolyn MacLeod, June 25, 1960, the couple moved to Glasgow. They remained in Scotland for four years and fell in love with it. Over the years, they made many visits to Scotland and particularly liked the Western Isles. Gene spoke glowingly about the ancient sacred site of Iona.

Gene began his doctoral work under the noted theologian Professor John McQuarrie, the translator (with James Robinson) of Martin Heidegger’s influential philosophical work Sein und Zeit (Being and Time). Later, Gene remarked: “We were reading Heidegger and Gadamer before it was cool.” With McQuarrie’s move in the early 1960s to New York, Ronald Gregor Smith, a student of the Enlightenment, who had written a book on J. G. Hamann, became director of Gene’s PhD work. Still, at Glasgow, there was a lingering influence of the “Absolute Idealism” of Charles Arthur Campbell. The title of Gene’s dissertation was “Jaspers and Bultmann: A Dialogue between Philosophy and Theology in the Existentialist Tradition.” Dealing as it did with the problem of de-mythologization in modern theology, and with the relation of myth to reason in philosophy, it is still deserving of study.

Gene’s dissertation was revised and was published in book form in 1968 by Duke University Press. This book was followed by a series of edited books in the philosophy of religion and by his own magisterial history of twentieth-century philosophy of religion: God, Secularization and History: Essays in Memory of Ronald Gregor Smith (University of South Carolina Press, 1974); Experience, Reason and God (editor and contributor, Catholic University of America Press, 1980); God and Temporality (co-edited with Bowman Clarke, Paragon Press, 1984); Existence, Being and God: An Introduction to the Philosophical Theology of John McQuarrie (Paragon Press, 1985); Being and Truth: Essays in Honor of John McQuarrie (co-edited with Alistair Kee, SCM Press, 1986); Prospects for Natural Theology (editor and contributor, The Catholic University of America Press, 1992); God, Reason and Religions (editor and contributor, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1995); Twentieth Century Western Philosophy of Religion: 1900-2000 (author, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000); Issues in Contemporary Philosophy of Religion (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001).

Beginning in 1990, Gene served as editor-in-chief of The International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion and as editor of the Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy of Religion. He was also a member of the editorial boards of The Works of William James, The Correspondence of William James, and the Southern Journal of Philosophy. Gene also served as secretary-treasurer of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, a member of the program committee of the World Congress of Philosophy, and a member of the South Carolina Humanities Council. He was also a member of the advisory council of the Franklin J. Matchette Foundation and an advisor to Kluwer Academic Publishers. Gene was elected by his colleagues to the presidencies of the Society for the Philosophy of Religion and the Metaphysical Society of America. He lectured at many universities in Europe, Russia, and the United States.

Gene Long began his teaching profession in 1964 at his old college, Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, Virginia. In 1970, Gene accepted an appointment as professor at the relatively new Philosophy Department at the University of South Carolina, then under the able leadership of Professor James Willard Oliver. In 1972 he became chair of the department, a position he held until 1987.

On his retirement in 2004, his colleagues in Philosophy of Religion presented Gene with a Festschrift bearing the title Philosophy of Religion for a New Century: Essays in Honor of Eugene Thomas Long (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004; Studies in Philosophy and Religion Volume 25). It is a true appreciation by colleagues of the breadth of Gene’s interests in philosophy of religion. After retiring, Gene spent more time away from the University in Chapin, SC, and in Cashiers, North Carolina. He came to be more involved in both communities and even became a historian of rural life in North Carolina. And yet, he continued to show an interest in the development of the Department of Philosophy and to send his best wishes. Indeed, right up to end he retained his great interest in the Society for the Philosophy of Religion.

- Jeremiah Hackett, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, and Affiliate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of South Carolina

Charles McCracken (1933–2020)

Charles J. McCracken, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Michigan State University, died on May 4, 2020, in Santa Barbara, California. He was born in Los Angeles on April 17, 1933. After his father died while he was still a boy, Charles was raised by his mother and older sister. He attended public schools in LA and did his undergraduate studies at UCLA.

By way of the Christian temperance movement, he developed an early interest in socialism and pacifism, and he continued to protest America’s injustices and militarist adventures throughout his life. While in college, he converted briefly to Catholicism, even considering the priesthood. After what he later described as a reverse conversion experience in a French cathedral, he renounced belief in all religious doctrine, though in retirement he became active in the cultural and political activities of his local Unitarian community.

After UCLA, he studied in Paris with, among others, Paul Ricoeur and Emmanuel Levinas. While in France he met his future wife, Katherine Polutanowitsch. They married in 1956 and had two children, Theresa and Peter. Returning from France, he earned an MA at Fordham University, and then did his PhD work in philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley.

Charles accepted a position at Michigan State University in 1965 and taught there his whole career. Well versed in many areas of philosophy, he was particularly accomplished as a historian who specialized in the early modern period. In 1983 he published the book for which he is best known, Malebranche and British Philosophy (Oxford University Press). His interest in Berkeley resulted in many articles and invited talks and in a volume (edited with I. C. Tipton), Berkeley’s Principles and Dialogues: Background Source Materials (Cambridge University Press, 2000). Among his professional associations was membership in the International Berkeley Society, and this led him to accept the position of docent one summer at Berkeley’s house in Rhode Island.

Charles was a gifted teacher, popular with both graduate and undergraduate students, and was characterized by an extraordinary breadth of knowledge, a precision of expression, and a sharpness of humor. He was much esteemed by his colleagues, being the only departmental member (in these writers’ knowledge) to be unanimously supported for department chair, a position he characteristically refused. In 1998 he received the university’s highest honor for senior faculty, the Distinguished Faculty Award. After retirement in 1999, he was further honored with an endowed annual philosophy lectureship in his name. Having had their fill of Michigan winters, he and Katherine moved to Santa Barbara, CA, where he was on occasion invited to teach courses at the Claremont Graduate University and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The McCrackens loved France and maintained an apartment in Paris, where they spent their summers, often hosting friends and colleagues as well as family. They both loved the arts, especially music, and Charles enjoyed playing the piano.

Not a disciple of any philosopher or school of philosophy, his wide knowledge of philosophy and his clear-headed and commonsense approach to philosophical problems will be missed by those of us who knew and discussed philosophy with him. We will also miss his deep humanity, his wonderful sense of humor, and his generous friendship.

- Richard Hall and Richard Peterson, Michigan State University

Harold Morick (1933–2020)

It is with great sadness and deep love that Harold Morick’s family announces that he died in the Berkshires on Friday, March 27, 2020, at the age of eighty-six. The only child of Ana Kathe and Heinrich Morick, he will forever be lovingly remembered by his wife of twenty-seven years, Jeanette, and their two daughters, Kathe and Madeleine. He will also be lovingly remembered by Dorian and Emily, his daughters from a prior marriage, and Eva, his granddaughter.

Hal received his baccalaureate degree from Brown University and his doctoral degree from Columbia University. He was a professor of philosophy at the State University of New York at Albany from 1967 to 2000, specializing in analytic philosophy, Wittgenstein, and Freud, and having published three books of philosophy. At the time of his death, he was editing a selection of essays by Sigmund Freud for a volume about Freud as a philosopher.

He loved the Berkshires, swimming, The Simpsons, and eating. He was known as “Hal” to all who loved him and hated it when his wife called him “Harold.” He accepted, without judgment, all the highs and lows life had to offer, from the movies (Late Night to Ingmar Bergman) to food (his last meal—a pulled pork sandwich with Prosecco). And no matter one’s background, age, or ethnicity, he was a great listener. He was a gentle person and therefore a steady comfort to all, especially his children. He will be profoundly missed.

A private memorial will be held. Donations in his name may be made to Austin Riggs at

John Gordon Troyer (1943–2020)

John Troyer

Photo by Scott Lehmann: John in his office, dressed as usual in a white shirt (and blue jeans), October 20, 1999.

The Philosophy Department at the University of Connecticut reports with great sadness the loss of Emeritus Professor John Troyer, who died at home in Mansfield, Connecticut, from congestive heart failure on August 11, 2020.

Born on February 11, 1943, in Aruba, John grew up there and in New Mexico. He studied at Swarthmore College (BA with High Honors, 1965; Phi Beta Kappa) when Monroe Beardsley, Richard Brandt, Jaegwon Kim, Jerome Shaffer, and Lawrence Sklar taught there, going on to graduate study in philosophy at Harvard University (MA 1967; PhD, 1971). A Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship enabled him to spend his last year as a graduate student (1969–70) at Wolfson College, Oxford University. He wrote his Harvard doctoral dissertation, Color: A Philosophical Study, under the direction of Roderick Firth.

In the fall of 1970, John joined the Philosophy Department at the University of Connecticut, where he remained for forty years, retiring in 2009. His teaching centered on “modern,” moral, and political philosophy, but extended to courses on Wittgenstein and philosophy and economics, among others. Because he was willing to step up and do what needed to be done—and was good at it—John did more than his share of administrative chores. Among other responsibilities of this kind, he served on the dissertation committees of numerous PhD candidates, was twice Acting Department Head, and for over thirty years advised all the department’s majors as its Undergraduate Director.

John was also generous in his willingness to read carefully, and comment helpfully on, work-in-progress by others. He was a valuable resource for students and faculty: he read widely in philosophy and other fields and remembered what he’d read. He regularly prepared fine talks, often leavened with wry humor, for the department’s weekly one-hour “Brown Bag Seminars” attended by faculty and graduate students. His last one, on free will in September 2019, inaugurated the fiftieth year of these informal presentations with discussion. It was also the last John would attend, as a deteriorating sense of balance, ascribed to Parkinson’s disease, severely limited his mobility.

To the philosophical literature, John contributed book reviews, encyclopedia articles, original papers, and carefully edited collections of works by others. Prominent in the last category are Intentionality, Language, and Translation (1974), co-edited with Samuel Wheeler, a special issue of Synthese containing papers and discussion from a 1973 conference at the University of Connecticut, and In Defense of Radical Empiricism: Essays and Lectures by Roderick Firth (1997).

Always touching on important philosophical issues, John’s papers are short and pithy (those published in the Proceedings of annual International Wittgenstein Symposia (IWS) appear to have been written—or condensed—under severe constraints on length). A sample will suggest their range: “Locke on the Names of Substances” (The Locke Newsletter, 1975; reprinted in Chappell, ed., John Locke: Theory of Knowledge, 1992); “Truth and Beauty: The Aesthetics of Chess Problems” (8th IWS, 1983; John was at one time New Mexico’s State Chess Champion); “A Pragmatic Defense of Phenomenalism” (20th IWS, 1997); and “Human and Other Natures: A Comment on Flack and de Waal” (Katz, ed., Evolutionary Origins of Morality: Cross Disciplinary Perspectives, 2000).

Like his mentor, Roderick Firth, John left an unfinished book. A critique of standard accounts of practical reason, Reason and the Good Life develops a line of thought John put forward in “Rationality and Maximization” (5th IWS, 1981). He argues that there is no reasonable candidate for an end—happiness, preference satisfaction, excellence in mathematics, or whatever—that a good life should maximize, and that, even if there were, reason would not direct one always to act so as to maximize it.

- Scott Lehmann and Samuel C. Wheeler III, The University of Connecticut

Andrea Tschemplik (1961–2020)

We write with sad news of the sudden passing of Professor Andrea Tschemplik on August 21. Professor Tschemplik completed her MA at Bryn Mawr College and PhD at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Before joining the faculty of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at American University in 2001, Professor Tschemplik began her career teaching at Upsala College, where she attended as an undergraduate one year after arriving in the US as an exchange student from Brensbach, Germany. In addition, Professor Tschemplik served on the faculty of Hunter College CUNY, Drew University, and the George Washington University.

Professor Tschemplik was a specialist in ancient Greek philosophy who worked as much with primary texts in ancient Greek and Latin as those in German and English. She introduced generations of students to the history of Western philosophy. Professor Tschemplik published books on Plato’s Republic and Theaetetus, and a translation of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit.

Her monograph, Knowledge and Self-Knowledge in Plato’s Theaetetus, demonstrates remarkable familiarity with texts across the entire Platonic corpus. She explores the reasons why Socrates and his mathematician-interlocutors in the Theaetetus conclude their lengthy conversation about knowledge at an impasse. She argues that one possible explanation for the aporia is that mathematics cannot be the paradigm for philosophical knowledge because it does not allow for the examination of its own starting points and, by implication, excludes the role of the knower in the process of coming to know. Rather than siding with those contemporary scholars who read the dialogue as evidence of Plato’s development into a skeptic, she offers an innovative reading that challenges the usual acceptance of mathematics as the paradigm for knowledge. With the help of Socrates’s discussion on knowledge in the Republic, she demonstrates that Socrates understands his own undertaking in the Theaetetus as leading a mathematician toward self-knowledge.

Another significant contribution may be found in fundamentally pedagogical projects that drew on her deep knowledge of texts and her gift for translation. Her edition of the Republic includes her own translation, which remains faithful to the original text, while being considerably easier to read and appreciate. Each of the ten books of the Republic in Professor Tschemplik’s edition begins with a very helpful outline of the argument. This year, she published a new and much lauded translation of Immanuel Kant's Groundwork in The Annotated Kant: Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals in collaboration with Steven M. Cahn, Krista K. Thomason, and Mary Ann McHugh. Professor Tschemplik was also at work on a project on the aesthetic dimensions of philosophy titled Plato and Kant: The True, the Good, and the Beautiful.

A committed departmental and university citizen, Professor Tschemplik served as director of the General Education program, chair of the Committee on Faculty Grievances, director of Undergraduate Studies in Philosophy, and as a member of a senate subcommittee on Ethical Reasoning, for which she also led a faculty learning community to support development of new courses. She led several groups of incoming first-year students to Thessaloniki, Greece, for intensive summer study that continued at AU for their first semester.

Andrea will be remembered especially for her exemplary teaching and for her abundant, mostly gentle, and always disarming humor. She is survived by her husband, Dr. James H. Stam, who taught philosophy as a Scholar-in-Residence at AU, her brother and sister-in-law, and a niece.

The Department of Philosophy and Religion has opened a fund in Professor Tschemplik’s honor. With sufficient monies, this fund will support a first-generation college student.

- Ellen K. Feder and Amy A. Oliver, American University

Karen Joyce Warren (1947–2020)

This obituary originally appeared in Psychology Today.

Dr. Karen Joyce Warren, a pioneer in the field of Ecofeminist Philosophy, died last week at her home in Minneapolis, MN.

Karen was born on Long Island, NY, and raised by her parents, “Jooj” and Marge Warren, in Ridgefield, CT. She is the third of four siblings. In her youth, Karen loved activities with her Girl Scouts troop, playing sports, and caring for her many pets. She received her BA from the University of Minnesota (1970) and her PhD in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (1978).

Karen called herself a “public philosopher”—one who believes that philosophical thinking is appropriate for all age groups, used in all cultural contexts, and relevant to both theoretical and applied issues. In that vein, she presented her work travelling around the world to diverse audiences, giving keynote lectures to academic professional organizations and lay audiences alike (e.g., The Wilderness Society, school districts, prison systems).

Karen’s expertise was in the areas of environmental ethics, critical thinking, and feminist philosophy. She published and co-authored 8 books, including her most well-known book, Ecofeminist Philosophy: A Western Perspective on What It Is and Why It Matters (2000), and the anthology An Unconventional History of Western Philosophy: Conversations Between Men and Women Philosophers, which was lauded as the first book to include female philosophers alongside their contemporary male counterparts. She also wrote over forty articles and won numerous professional awards, including the INTERCOME Gold Hugo Award (1994) for a film demonstrating how to teach critical thinking to first- through fourth-grade children; the American Education Studies Association Critic’s Choice Award (1996) for her book Ecofeminism: Women, Culture, Nature; a Teaching Excellence Honor from the American Philosophical Association (1997); and, Educator of the Year Award from Macalester College (2000).

Karen spent the majority of her career as a professor in the Philosophy Department at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. In addition, she was the Ecofeminist-Scholar-in-Residence at Murdoch University in Australia (1995); an Oxford University Round Table Scholar (2003); and the Women's Chair in Humanistic Studies at Marquette University (2004). Her biography was featured in the book Feminists Who Changed America, 1963–1975.

In 2016, Karen was diagnosed with Multiple Systems Atrophy (MSA). Since that time, she worked diligently to promote end of life options for individuals with terminal illnesses. Using ethics as a philosophical framework, she argued that humans should have the right to choose when it is time to die when faced with an untreatable fatal illness. Karen articulated her arguments in public forums, including speaking in front of the Minnesota State Senate and writing articles for Compassion & Choices, as well as Psychology Today.

Karen loved gardening, painting, being in nature, and attending MN Vikings games (she was a true football fan!). She loved animals—particularly her most recent cats, Hypatia and Colfax. She is survived by a daughter (Cortney), son-in-law (Cal), two grandchildren (Isabella and Kane), two sisters (Janice and Barbara), a brother (Roger), and their respective families.

There will be no formal funeral services for Karen. Instead, her family invites you to celebrate her life as you see fit. As was her way, Karen generously donated her body to the University of Minnesota Anatomy Bequest Program for medical education and research. She was also a supporter of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Research and their work to understand Parkinson’s disease and MSA.

Karen fought many important battles in her life, often centered around injustice and giving voice to those who did not have one. She will be missed tremendously by family, friends, colleagues, and students. She was dearly loved.

- Cortney S. Warren, PhD, ABPP, daughter of Karen Warren

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