Richard Watson (philosopher)

Last updated
Richard A. Watson
Born (1931-02-23) 23 February 1931 (age 87) [1]
Era Contemporary philosophy
Region Western philosophy
Main interests
History of philosophy

Richard A. Watson (born 1931) is an American philosopher, speleologist and author.

Philosopher person with an extensive knowledge of philosophy

A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy, which involves rational inquiry into areas that are outside either theology or science. The term "philosopher" comes from the Ancient Greek, φιλόσοφος (philosophos), meaning "lover of wisdom". The coining of the term has been attributed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras.


Watson taught philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis for forty years. He is considered one of the foremost living authorities on Descartes. [2] [3] He is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy for Washington University in St. Louis. [4]

St. Louis Independent city in the United States

St. Louis is an independent city and a major U.S. port in the state of Missouri, built along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which marks Missouri's border with Illinois. The city had an estimated 2017 population of 308,626 and is the cultural and economic center of the St. Louis metropolitan area, which is the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, the second-largest in Illinois, and the 22nd-largest in the United States.

Washington University in St. Louis university in St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university located in the St. Louis metropolitan area and elsewhere in Missouri. Founded in 1853, and named after George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all 50 U.S. states and more than 120 countries. As of 2017, 24 Nobel laureates in economics, physiology and medicine, chemistry, and physics have been affiliated with Washington University, nine having done the major part of their pioneering research at the university. Washington University's undergraduate program is ranked 19th by U.S. News & World Report in 2018 and 11th by The Wall Street Journal in their 2018 rankings. The university is ranked 20th in the world in 2018 by the Academic Ranking of World Universities. The acceptance rate for the class of 2022 was 15%, with students selected from more than 31,000 applications. Of students admitted 81 percent were in the top 10 percent of their class.

He has a degree in geology specializing in "paleoclimatology of 10,000 years ago." This involved the development of agrarian societies in the Fertile Crescent. [5] From July 1965 to July 1967, he was president of the Cave Research Foundation. [6]

Fertile Crescent crescent-shaped region containing the moist and fertile land of Western Asia, and the Nile Valley and Nile Delta of northeast Africa

The Fertile Crescent is a crescent-shaped region in the Middle East where agriculture and early human civilizations such as Sumer flourished. Technological advances in the region include the development of writing, glass, the wheel, agriculture, and the use of irrigation. It has been called the "cradle of civilization".

The Cave Research Foundation (CRF) is an American private, non-profit group dedicated to the exploration, research, and conservation of caves. The group arose in the early 1950s from the exploration efforts at Floyd Collins Crystal Cave, now within Mammoth Cave National Park. Its stated goals were: to promote exploration and documentation of caves and karst areas, initiate and support cave and karst research, aid in cave conservation and protection, and to assist with the interpretation of caves and karst to the public.

His book, Cogito, Ergo Sum: a life of René Descartes was a travelogue in the form of following Descartes's travels around Europe. It was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of its "25 Books to Remember from 2002." [5]

New York Public Library library system in New York City

The New York Public Library (NYPL) is a public library system in New York City. With nearly 53 million items and 92 locations, the New York Public Library is the second largest public library in the United States and the third largest in the world. It is a private, non-governmental, independently managed, nonprofit corporation operating with both private and public financing.


Richard A. Watson's publications include the following books and articles:

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.


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  1. Richard A. Watson's Biography at the website.
  2. Brothers Judd reviews.
  3. 1 2 Watson, Richard A. (31 March 2012). "René Descartes". Encyclopædia Britannica . Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  4. "Richard Watson Emeritus Professor of Philosophy". Washington University in St. Louis. Archived from the original on 2011-08-11. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
  5. 1 2 Watson, Richard (March 31, 2012). "Autobiography". Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
  6. Brucker, Roger W.; Watson, Richard A. (1987) [1st pub. 1976 New York: Knopf]. The Longest Cave. Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press. p. 198. ISBN   0809313219.
  7. Cogito, Ergo, Sum at Google Books . Retrieved 27 July 2010. See book back cover.
  8. For reviews, see:
  9. A reissue of the Humanities Press Edition of 1987.
  10. A section on Berkeley in R.A.Watson's book "The breakdown of Cartesian metaphysics" constitutes a revised and completed variant of this paper.