Wednesday, December 9, 2009

John E. Smith, RIP

I just heard the very sad news that John E. Smith, a past president of the Charles S. Peirce Society, died last night.  The few times I corresponded with him, he was remarkably generous with his time.  As a graduate student I spoke with him about Peirce and about the philosophy of religion.  Rather than speaking down to me as was his right, he spoke to me as a fellow inquirer, and his words were both words of wisdom and words of welcome.  Later, as a young professor, I corresponded with him about one of his books when I was teaching my first seminar in American philosophy.  He wrote back quickly and offered me both help and encouragement.  The world was better for having him in it, and I am deeply saddened by his passing.  I hope one day to meet him again, if only to thank him once again for all he did for me.  May he rest in peace, enfolded to the Bosom of Abraham.

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