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  • Craig Walton 1934-2007
  • Rudolf A. Makkreel and Gerald A. Press

The Journal of the History of Philosophy is saddened to report that Craig Walton died on October 11th, 2007. Professor Walton served the Journal for many years. He was involved with it from its inception in 1963 and knew personally many of the founding philosophers, who had been at the Claremont Graduate Center. He was the Book Review Editor from 1975 until 1981 and was a member of the Board of Directors from 1978 until 2004, where he promoted the study of the history of philosophy in many ways and maintained our institutional memory. For instance, it was Craig who remembered the important roles Salih Alich and Oskar Piest played in our early history. From 2001–03, he was the Treasurer of the Board. He believed strongly in the cosmopolitan nature of scholarship, and, as Book Review Editor, he was tireless in his efforts to review books on the history of philosophy written in languages other than English.

Craig was born on December 6, 1934, in Los Angeles and earned his doctorate in philosophy at Claremont Graduate University in 1965. His dissertation, De la recherche du bien: A Study of Malebranche's Science of Ethics, was approved in 1964 by a doctoral committee that included Theodore Waldman, Herbert Schneider, and Philip Merlan, though he also worked with Richard Popkin, the founder of the Journal. He taught at the University of Southern California, Northern Illinois University and Emory University before moving to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1972. Craig was Chair of the Philosophy Department there from 1986 to 1989 and became the Director of the Institute for Ethics and Policy at UNLV in 1987. He held this post until his retirement in 2004. After his early work on Malebranche, for much of his career he was a scholar of David Hume and Thomas Hobbes; but he spent the last decade of his life urging that ethical issues be studied across the curriculum. Upon retiring from teaching, Craig extended his work in ethics by founding the Nevada Center for Public Ethics. The Chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education praised Craig as the voice of ethics in Nevada.

As members of the Board of Directors of the Journal of the History of Philosophy, we remember Craig Walton for his enthusiasm for the history of philosophy and his warmth as a human being.



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