In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Jerry Fodor

Jerry FodorJerry Fodor (April 22, 1935 – November 29, 2017)

Our department is very sad to report that our colleague University Professor Jerry Fodor died on November 29, 2017 after a long illness. He was a friend and mentor to many at Rutgers. Jerry’s arrival at Rutgers catapulted our department to the top ranks and he was instrumental to bringing other outstanding philosophers and cognitive scientists to Rutgers.

Jerry was indisputably the most important philosopher of psychology of his generation. He played a crucial role in reversing the Rylean and Wittgensteinian tide that engulfed philosophy of mind in the 1960s and in his seminal 1975 book, The Language of Thought, developed an alternative - the computational representation theory of mind (CRTM) - that took intentional mental processes seriously. The CRTM provided a framework both for the resolution of many traditional problems in the philosophy of mind, and for actual psychological research and experimentation, some of which Fodor himself pursued in the areas of modularity and natural language processing. In subsequent work he put the problem of naturalizing mental content in the forefront of research in philosophy of mind.

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In Memoriam: Peter Kivy

Emeritus faculty. Peter KivyPeter Kivy (October 22, 1934 – May 6, 2017)

As some of you already know, our dear friend, and former Board of Governors Professor of Philosophy, Peter Kivy passed away last Saturday night. Peter had been very ill for some time, but even so, this news is a great blow to all who knew him.

After earning a BA and MA in Philosophy from Michigan in Philosophy, an MA from Yale in the History of Music, and a PhD in Philosophy from Columbia, Peter taught briefly at Brooklyn College, before moving to the Rutgers Newark campus in 1967. In 1978 Peter moved to the Rutgers New Brunswick campus where he remained until his retirement in 2015.

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