Friday, July 16, 2010

In those days there were giants in the land...

I am grieved to report that Professor James Ross of the University of Pennsylvania passed away July 12. Readers of FCA will most likely know how much Ross's work has influenced and instructed me, in particular his work on the immateriality of the intellect and cognitive voluntarism (e.g., in this post, this post and this post, among others).

This is UPenn's notice about Ross's demise and this is an obituary for him in the Philadelphia Inquirer. It was not until reading his obituary that I realized how rich his personal life was. It is also interesting, but not terribly surprising, that Ross was training to enter the priesthood in his youth, but ended up being married over half a century to his wife. His love for home repair and sailing fits perfectly with his style as a writer though I would like to know more about his obvious love for and adroitness in music.

I was fortunate enough to receive an email response from Prof. Ross after having written to him a while ago about my online work on his argument for the immateriality of the intellect. I seem to have an uncanny ability to get in contact with intellectual mentors only to see them pass away a few months later. First it was my meeting Fr. Jaki in January 2009 before he passed away in April and now Ross has gone a few months after replying to me. And let's not forget the coincidence of my entering the Catholic Church only to see John Paul II pass away about a month later. If you have any old intellectuals you'd like to world to be rid of, pass along an email or land adrdress and I'll try to buddy up with them.

1 comment:

John PA said...

I am tempted to suggest that you befriend a certain liberal heterodox priest in academia, but I will refrain.

Anyway, my prayers for the soul of Prof. Ross and for strength and comfort for his family.