Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rest in Peace - Peter Goldie

Today I received sad news about the passing of Peter Goldie, a philosopher who specialised in the emotions, personality and aesthetics. I quote the short announcement by some of his colleagues that they sent out:

Peter Goldie 1946-2011

We are very sad to report that Peter Goldie died of cancer last night after a brief illness.

Philosophy was Peter Goldie’s second career. Before training as a philosopher he had a twenty-five year career in the City of London, culminating as the Chief Executive Officer of a public company listed in the FTSE 100. In 1990 he switched direction, studying for a BA at University College London, and then a BPhil and DPhil in Oxford. After that he was a Lecturer and then Reader at King’s College London, before moving to Manchester in 2005 to take up the Samuel Hall Chair in Philosophy.

He first became well-known for his monograph The Emotions 2000. On Personality followed in 2004, as well as a number of edited works in ethics, aesthetics and the philosophy of mind. Shortly before he died he sent his publishers the final typescript of his book The Mess Inside: Narrative, Emotion and the Mind. He was also pleased last week to see an advance copy of a collection he edited with Elisabeth Schellekens, The Aesthetic Mind.

Peter had a distinctive philosophical voice and range of interests. His death is a great loss to philosophy and his friends.

Matthew Kieran
David Papineau
Elisabeth Schellekens
Goildie's book on the emotions  (The Emotions: A Philosophical Exploration) is my favourite on that topic - with its precision and clarity mixed with a broad scope and sensitive eye to the issues, I believe it is the best book on the subject by an embarrasing margin. I had the good fortune to meet with Goldie a number of times when he was an academic visitor to the University of Auckland. He was gracious and tremendously pleasant in conversation, drawing on a fine wit and a deep appreciation of literature. He took great care to spend a lot of time with the graduate community here, offering us lots of feedback and encouragement. Here is a video of the public lecture he gave for the occasion, and here is a radio interview he gave, for those of you unfamiliar with his work. This is a large loss to the philosophy community, and I offer my sincere condolences to his friends and family.