Announcing the death of a great philosopher, friend of the Centre, and friend to many: E J Lowe (Update)

A message from Dr Conor Cunningham:

The COTP is sad to announce the death of E J Lowe, Professor of Metaphysics at the University of Durham.  We here, at Nottingham, had a very fruitful relationship with his unbelievable analytical skills; indeed his generosity and patience, especially with our ignorance, was nearly unsurpassed. Speaking personally, for me (Conor Cunningham) he changed my intellectual life. Jonathan’s brilliance was only matched by his grace. Sometimes we fear to cross disciplinary boundaries, but not E J Lowe, as his love of the mind, his love of metaphysics, and his love of truth trumped any ego, and any departmental, ideological, or political axe that may well grind. His mind was a soul that pursued, fearlessly, wherever the skirts of the truth led him, to which he clung with the faith of the true intellectual – he was, in short, in the world of analytical philosophy, incomparable.

We here will forever miss his brilliance, as will the world of learning, but more, his bravery. But I do have to say one negative: he was supposed to write a book for me on dualism, and he has gone and left us too early, and for that, well, I’m annoyed beyond belief, as are so many, and so many to come yet, who will read, study and expound his work.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Susan, and his two children – Rebecca and Tim.

E J Lowe (24th March, 1950 – 5th January 2014), superb mind and beautiful man – so many thanks for all you gave to so many of us.

“…while we may well believe that we have good scientific grounds for believing that the functioning of the brain is causally necessary for the continued existence of the self, none the less, in the nature of the case, such evidence as we possess for this is bound to be inconclusive (and not just for the reason that all empirical evidence is defeasible), since we lack any proper grasp of what would constitute the ceasing-to-be of a self. Lacking that grasp, we cannot really say what empirical evidence would or would not support a claim that a self had ceased to be. This is why the prospects for life after bodily death must inevitably remain imponderable and unamenable to empirical determination” (EJ Lowe, Subjects of Experience [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996], 43).

Update: A funeral service for Jonathan Lowe will be held at Durham Cathedral on Monday 20th January at 1.30pm. All are welcome. [Source]



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(Sculpture by Sara Cunningham-Bell)

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