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CHARLES B. SCHMITT, 1933-1986 It is with great regret that the Journal notes the untimely passing of one of its finest contributors and advisors, Dr. Charles Schmitt, of the Warburg Institute of the University of London. Dr. Schmitt was born in Louisville, Kentucky on April 4, 1933- He was first trained as a chemical engineer at the University of Louisville. He then decided to do graduate work in Renaissance philosophy at Columbia University. He approached Paul O. Kristeller about his interest, telling him that he wanted to do a dissertation on Giovanni Pico. However, Kristeller advised him that Pico had been abundantly studied, but his nephew, Gianfrancesco Pico had not. While Schmitt was working on the younger Pico, Kristeller introduced Popkin to Schmitt, as someone who was also interested in Renaissance scepticism. Schmitt's dissertation, Gianfrancesco Pico della Mirandola (x469-z533) and His Critique ofAristotle, completed in 1963, was published in 1967 in the International Archives of the History of Ideas, as was his subsequent study on the role of Cicero's scepticism in the Renaissance, Cicero Scepticu~:A Study of the Influence of theAcademica in theRenaissance (1972). Schmitt quickly became a leading authority on the development of modern scepticism. He also began widening his concern with Renaissance and modern thought, publishing on "perennial philosophy" and on Renaissance and seventeenth-century Aristotelianism. This led to his interest in the history of science in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and in the history of university curricula. In 198o he founded a journal, the History of Universities to encourage research in this area. Later he became the editor of the volume on Renaissance Philosophy that appeared in 1987 in the Cambridge series on the history of philosophy. Among his many other books are: Cesare Cremoni (198o), Pseudo-Aristotle (1982), John Case and Aristotelianism in Renaissance Eng /and (1983), and Aristotle among thePhysicians (1985). In 1984 he and R. H. Popkin organized a symposium on the history of scepticism, which was held at the Herzog August Bibliothek at Wolfenbiittel. It is hoped that this will be the beginning of a series of symposia, bringing together scholars working on various aspects of the subject. The next symposium is to be held at the Institute Italiana per gli Studi Filosofici in Naples, and a later symposium is being planned to be held in Israel. Charles was associated with the Journal from its early days. Some of his first [347] 348 studies were published in the Journal (in 1966 and 1967), and he reviewed many works for us. He was also a referee and advisor during most of our history, doing much to shape the standards of our periodical. Several memorial meetings have been held in his honor, one at the annual meeting of the History of Science Society in Pittsburgh in October 1986, a twoday colloquium at the Warburg Institute in February of 1987 sponsored by the British Society for the History of Philosophy and the Instituto Italiana per gli Studi Filosofici in Naples with several other groups, a memorial meeting at Wolfenbfittel on Aristotelianism 1500- 1700, directed by several of Schmitt's co-workers in this area, among others. A conference is being planned for the near future on one of Charles Scbmitt's great interests and concerns: the development of the classifications of knowledge from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. Charles Schmitt died suddenly on April 15, 1986 while lecturing at Padua. His loss was and is keenly felt by young researchers in the United States, Europe, and Israel, and by a variety of scholars whom he had brought together . He had taught and lectured at many institutions in the United States and Europe. Many of his former students on both sides of the Atlantic are now becoming important scholars. At the time of his death, his office had become one of the crossroads of the Republic of Letters. There he gave generously of his time, his learning and his wit (often quite sardonic) to those who passed through. Charles Schmitt was a scholar of remarkable stature who came to enjoy an international reputation and authority in several fields. He combined all the rare gifts that make the true scholar, great knowledge...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 347-348
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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