Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

David Efird (1974-2020)

David Efird, senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of York, died unexpectedly last Thursday. Dr. Efird worked in philosophy of religion, analytic theology, metaphysics, and epistemology. He had taught philosophy at York since 2002, and at the time of his death was the principal of one of the university’s colleges. He earned his D.Phil at Oxford University and his undergraduate degree at Duke University. He also studied at Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Edinburgh. He became a priest in 2011. You can learn more about his work here and here. The post David Efird (1974-2020) appeared first on Daily [More]

Roger Scruton (1944-2020)

Roger Scruton, a philosopher who for many years taught at Birkbeck College, London, held various other academic appointments, wrote extensively for the public, and who was knighted in 2016 for “services to philosophy, teaching and public education”, has died. Scruton received his undergraduate and graduate education at Cambridge University. He taught at Birkbeck from 1971 to 1992. He also held appointments at other schools, including Boston University, Buckingham University, and Oxford University, as well as think tanks, such as the American Enterprise Institute. Scruton was known largely for his work in aesthetics and for his advocacy of traditional conservatism. Much of his writing was aimed at the broader public. He founded the conservative periodical The Salisbury Review, produced a wine column for The New Statesman for nine years, authored non-fiction books as well as novels, and even wrote libretti for opera. In 2018 he was appointed to the British government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, to advise on housing design. He died after a six-month battle with cancer. [This post will be updated with links to obituaries elsewhere.] The post Roger Scruton (1944-2020) appeared first on Daily [More]

Ken Taylor (1954-2019) (updated)

Kenneth Taylor, the Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University, has died. Professor Taylor was known for his work in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind, as well as serving as one of the co-hosts of the long-running radio show and podcast, Philosophy Talk. Professor Taylor taught at Stanford since 1995. Prior to that, he worked at Rutgers University, the University of Maryland, Wesleyan University, the University of North Carolina, and Middlebury College. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, and his bachelor’s at the University of Notre Dame. Professor Taylor’s death, announced earlier today, was unexpected. Just yesterday he shared with friends on social media that he had nearly completed his next book, Referring to the World. You can read a detailed interview with Professor Taylor here. UPDATE (12/3/19): Krista Lawlor, chair of the Department of Philosophy at Stanford, shares the following: We are profoundly sad to announce that our colleague Ken Taylor died suddenly at his home yesterday evening. Ken was a beloved and important presence in the Stanford Philosophy Department for many years. Plans for a memorial will be announced on the department website. The post Ken Taylor (1954-2019) (updated) appeared first on Daily [More]

Ken Taylor (1954-2019)

Kenneth Taylor, the Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University, has died. Professor Taylor was known for his work in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind, as well as serving as one of the co-hosts of the long-running radio show and podcast, Philosophy Talk. Professor Taylor taught at Stanford since 1995. Prior to that, he worked at Rutgers University, the University of Maryland, Wesleyan University, the University of North Carolina, and Middlebury College. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, and his bachelor’s at the University of Notre Dame. Professor Taylor’s death, announced earlier today, was unexpected. Just yesterday he shared with friends on social media that he had nearly completed his next book, Referring to the World. You can read a detailed interview with Professor Taylor here. The post Ken Taylor (1954-2019) appeared first on Daily [More]

Jaegwon Kim (1934-2019)

Jaegwon Kim, professor emeritus of philosophy at Brown University, has died. Professor Kim was known for his writings in philosophy of mind and metaphysics, as well as action theory, epistemology, and philosophy of science. You can view a list of some of his research here. He worked at Brown in the 1960s and then from 1987 on. He also taught at the University of Michigan, Swarthmore College, Cornell University, the University of Notre Dame, and Johns Hopkins University. Born in Korea, he received his Bachelor’s degree in philosophy, French, and mathematics from Dartmouth and his Ph.D. from Princeton. In his last book, Mind in a Physical World: An Essay on the Mind-body Problem and Mental Causation, he critiqued attempts to downplay the significance of certain philosophical problems with views regarding the mind or to believe they “can be solved in a simple and easy way, without having to pay a heavy metaphysical price”: There are no free lunches in philosophy any more than in real life, and I believe the cheap ones aren’t worth the money. We might as well go for the real stuff and pay the price. Professor Kim died on Wednesday, November 27th. (via Robert J. Howell) The post Jaegwon Kim (1934-2019) appeared first on Daily [More]

James Griffin (1933-2019)

James Griffin, a philosopher who spent much of his career at Oxford University, died last Thursday. Professor Griffin began lecturing at Oxford University in 1960. He was appointed as the White’s Professor in Moral Philosophy in 1996. He retired from that position in 2000 and then served as a distinguished visiting professor of philosophy at Rutgers University, an adjunct professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics in Australia, and as a distinguished research fellow at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. He received his doctorate at Oxford and his bachelor’s degree at Yale. Professor Griffin was known for his work in ethics and political philosophy. His last book was What Can Philosophy Contribute to Ethics?. You can learn more about his research here. There is a brief memorial notice posted by Keble College, his academic home for 30 of his years at Oxford. (via Matthew Liao) The post James Griffin (1933-2019) appeared first on Daily [More]

Michael Detlefsen (1948-2019)

Michael (“Mic”) Detlefsen, the McMahon-Hank Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, has died. Professor Detlefsen was known for his work in the philosophy and history of mathematics and philosophical logic. You can browse some of his writing here. He attended Wheaton College as an undergraduate and earned his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. His first professorship was at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, beginning in 1975. He moved to Notre Dame in 1983. A memorial notice at Notre Dame says Professor Detlefsen is remembered as “a kind and gentle man, a generous colleague, and an inspirational mentor.” The post Michael Detlefsen (1948-2019) appeared first on Daily [More]

Rom Harré (1927-2019)

Rom Harré, a wide-ranging thinker whose academic career included over 30 years as part of the philosophy faculty at Oxford University, followed by over 20 as part of the psychology faculty at Georgetown University, and a great many visiting appointments around the world, has died. Professor Harré was born in New Zealand, and received undergraduate degrees in mathematics and philosophy at what was then the University of New Zealand. After teaching math for several years, he went to Oxford for his B.Phil. In 1957 he began a lectureship at University of Leicester, and in 1960 he joined the philosophy faculty at Oxford. After retiring from Oxford in 1995, he took up a distinguished research professorship in psychology at Georgetown. Throughout his career, he visited and taught at many other institutions, including American University (DC), SUNY Binghamton, Aoyama University (Tokyo), Universidad Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (Peru); Free University at Brussels; Aarhus University (Denmark) and others. Professor Harré worked in philosophy of science, including philosophy of social science, philosophy of psychology, and philosophy chemistry, and philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of language, Wittgenstein, and a variety of other subjects. You can learn about some of his works here. In the highly informative introduction to a detailed interview with Professor Harré conducted in 2014, interviewers Simone Belli and Juan Aceros describe his [More]

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