Robert Merrihew Adams

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Robert Merrihew Adams

FBA
RobertMerrihewAdams20060625.jpg
Born (1937-09-08) September 8, 1937 (age 82)
Alma mater
Spouse(s)
Marilyn McCord Adams
(m. 1966;died 2017)
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Analytic
Main interests
Notable ideas
Divine command theory

Robert Merrihew Adams FBA (born 1937) is an American analytic philosopher, specializing in metaphysics, philosophy of religion, ethics, and the history of early modern philosophy.

Fellow of the British Academy award granted by the British Academy to leading academics for their distinction in the humanities and social sciences

Fellowship of the British Academy (FBA) is an award granted by the British Academy to leading academics for their distinction in the humanities and social sciences. There are three kinds of fellowship:

  1. Fellows, for scholars resident in the United Kingdom
  2. Corresponding Fellows, for scholars not resident in the UK
  3. Honorary Fellows, an honorary academic title
American philosophy

American philosophy is the activity, corpus, and tradition of philosophers affiliated with the United States. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy notes that while it lacks a "core of defining features, American Philosophy can nevertheless be seen as both reflecting and shaping collective American identity over the history of the nation."

Analytic philosophy style of philosophy

Analytic philosophy is a style of philosophy that became dominant in the Western world at the beginning of the 20th century. The term can refer to one of several things:

Contents

Life and career

Adams was born on September 8, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He taught for many years at the University of California, Los Angeles, before moving to Yale University in the early 1990s as the Clark Professor of Moral Philosophy and Metaphysics. As chairman, he helped revive the philosophy department [1] after its near-collapse due to personal and scholarly conflicts between analytical and Continental philosophers. [2] Adams retired from Yale in 2004 and taught part-time at the University of Oxford in England, where he was a senior research fellow of Mansfield College. In 2009 he became a Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2018 census-estimated population of 1,584,138. Since 1854, the city has had the same geographic boundaries as Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

Pennsylvania U.S. state in the United States

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the Northeastern, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.

University of California, Los Angeles Public research university in Los Angeles, California

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is a public research university in Los Angeles. It became the Southern Branch of the University of California in 1919, making it the fourth-oldest of the 10-campus University of California system. It offers 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. UCLA enrolls about 31,000 undergraduate and 13,000 graduate students and had 119,000 applicants for Fall 2016, including transfer applicants, making the school the most applied-to of any American university.

Adams's late wife, Marilyn McCord Adams, was also a philosopher, working on medieval philosophy and the philosophy of religion and was the Regius Professor of Divinity at Christ Church, Oxford. In 2013 both became visiting research professors at Rutgers University, in conjunction with the founding of the Rutgers Center for the Philosophy of Religion. [3]

Marilyn McCord Adams American philosopher

Marilyn McCord Adams (1943–2017) was an American philosopher and Episcopal priest. She specialized in the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, and medieval philosophy. She was Horace Tracy Pitkin Professor of Historical Theology at Yale Divinity School from 1998 to 2003 and Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford from 2004 to 2009.

The Regius Professorships of Divinity are amongst the oldest professorships at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. A third chair existed for a period at Trinity College, Dublin.

Christ Church, Oxford Constituent college of the University of Oxford in England

Christ Church is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. Christ Church is a joint foundation of the college and the cathedral of the Oxford diocese, which serves as the college chapel and whose dean is ex officio the college head.

He is a past president of the Society of Christian Philosophers. In 1999, he delivered the Gifford Lectures on "God and Being". He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2006 [4] and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991. [5]

Society of Christian Philosophers

The Society of Christian Philosophers (SCP) was founded in 1978. Past Presidents include William Alston, Robert Merrihew Adams, Alvin Plantinga, Marilyn McCord Adams, George I. Mavrodes, Peter van Inwagen, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Eleonore Stump, C. Stephen Evans, Robert Audi, Linda Zagzebski, and Michael C. Rea. Michael Bergmann of Purdue University is currently President of SCP, Justin McBrayer of Fort Lewis College is Executive Director, and Kevin Timpe of Calvin College is Treasurer.

British Academy National academy of humanities and social sciences

The British Academy is the United Kingdom's national academy for the humanities and the social sciences. It was established in 1902 and received its royal charter in the same year. It is now a fellowship of more than 1,000 leading scholars spanning all disciplines across the humanities and social sciences and a funding body for research projects across the United Kingdom. The academy is a self-governing and independent registered charity, based at 10–11 Carlton House Terrace in London.

American Academy of Arts and Sciences United States honorary society and center for independent policy research

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the oldest learned societies in the United States. Founded in 1780, the Academy is dedicated to honoring excellence and leadership, working across disciplines and divides, and advancing the common good.

Philosophical work

As a historical scholar, Adams has published on the work of the philosophers Søren Kierkegaard and G.W. Leibniz. His work in the philosophy of religion includes influential essays on the problem of evil and the relation between theism and ethics. In metaphysics, Adams defends actualism in metaphysics of modality and Platonism about nature of so-called possible worlds.

Søren Kierkegaard Danish philosopher and theologian, precursor of Existentialism

Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. He wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christendom, morality, ethics, psychology, and the philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and parables. Much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a "single individual", giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment. He was against literary critics who defined idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, and thought that Swedenborg, Hegel, Fichte, Schelling, Schlegel and Hans Christian Andersen were all "understood" far too quickly by "scholars".

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz German mathematician and philosopher

Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz was a prominent German polymath and one of the most important logicians, mathematicians and natural philosophers of the Enlightenment. As a representative of the seventeenth-century tradition of rationalism, Leibniz's most prominent accomplishment was conceiving the ideas of differential and integral calculus, independently of Isaac Newton's contemporaneous developments. Mathematical works have consistently favored Leibniz's notation as the conventional expression of calculus. It was only in the 20th century that Leibniz's law of continuity and transcendental law of homogeneity found mathematical implementation. He became one of the most prolific inventors in the field of mechanical calculators. While working on adding automatic multiplication and division to Pascal's calculator, he was the first to describe a pinwheel calculator in 1685 and invented the Leibniz wheel, used in the arithmometer, the first mass-produced mechanical calculator. He also refined the binary number system, which is the foundation of all digital computers.

The problem of evil is the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient God. An argument from evil claims that because evil exists, either God does not exist or does not have all three of those properties. Attempts to show the contrary have traditionally been discussed under the heading of theodicy. Besides philosophy of religion, the problem of evil is also important to the field of theology and ethics.

Selected works

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References

  1. "Philosophy takes steps to rebuild".
  2. "Lingua Franca - As Bad As It Gets". linguafranca.mirror.theinfo.org.
  3. "Home". rcpr.rutgers.edu.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-08. Retrieved 2015-07-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter A" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 6 April 2011.