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Faculty of Philosophy



The Faculty of Philosophy was saddened to hear of the death of Jonathan Bennett 

(1930–2024), who was lecturer in the Faculty from 1956 to 1968.  Simon Blackburn has provided this appreciation of Jonathan and his work:


As a Trinity student in the 1960s I was supervised by Casimir Lewy, for whom I had unbounded respect. But his emphasis was on logic and language, and I did not take any historical papers in Tripos. It was only during doctoral work, which brought me further into the history of philosophy, that I read and admired Jonathan Bennett’s work on Locke, Berkeley and Hume. So then I started talking to him, and soon recognized the formidable abilities concealed under his somewhat polemical and sharp exterior. When I went to Oxford we kept in touch, and he invited me to UBC for half of my first sabbatical year, in 1976, where he and his wife Gillian showed me great kindness. This included introducing me to David Lewis when he visited Vancouver. As the years went by Jonathan’s prodigious energy and engagement with anything and everything philosophical led to books on Kant, on rationality, linguistic behaviour, conditionals, actions and events, moral philosophy and more besides. All remain well worth reading; indeed Linguistic Behaviour still strikes me as one of the best books on the philosophy of language ever written. Even in retirement he continued to care about philosophy and its dissemination, and dedicated himself to making early modern texts more accessible to new readers. He was a model for all of us. 

Simon Blackburn