[lit-ideas] Stuart Hampshire

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 13:30:02 EDT

From: The New York Times. June 27, 2004 Sunday. Late Edition - Final.  
SECTION: Section 1; Column 4; Metropolitan Desk; Pg. 32
Stuart Hampshire, 89, Moral Philosopher, Dies


Stuart Hampshire, an influential philosopher at Oxford and Princeton  
universities, died June 13 at his home in Oxford, England. He was  89.

His death was confirmed by his wife, Nancy Cartwright. Professor  
Hampshire, who headed the philosophy department at Princeton from 
1963  to 1970, was especially influential in the field of moral  

Among his interests was the relevance of moral philosophy  to 
politics. In his view aesthetics, ethics and political philosophy  
were all part of the same intellectual quest, which he described as 
the  philosophy of mind.

Writing or lecturing, he reflected on how morality  and law fare when 
confronting the reality of, say, a war like the one in  Vietnam. He 
weighed the benefits against the social costs of momentous  events, 
like the industrial revolution or the sudden discovery of petroleum  
wealth under the North Sea.

His first published work, ''Spinoza''  (1951), examined the 
17th-century Dutch philosopher Benedict Spinoza, whose  thinking left 
an imprint on the author's own world view.

He wrote  ''Thought and Action'' (Viking, 1960); ''Freedom of the 
Individual'' (1965),  an expanded edition of which was published by 
Princeton in 1975;  ''Philosophy of Mind'' (Harper, 1966); ''Modern 
Writers and Other Essays''  (Knopf, 1970); ''Knowledge and the 
Future'' (University of Southampton,  1976); and ''Two Theories of 
Morality'' (Oxford, 1977).

His books  currently in print in the United States include ''Morality 
and Conflict''  (Harvard, 1983); ''Innocence and Experience'' 
(Harvard, 1989); and ''Justice  Is Conflict'' (Princeton, 1999).

Stuart Newton Hampshire was born in  Healing, Lincolnshire, England, 
and studied at Oxford's Balliol College,  where he befriended Isaiah 
Berlin and earned his first degree in 1936.  Having won a fellowship 
to All Souls College at Oxford, he lectured in  philosophy there until 
he entered military service in 1940.

He  eventually landed in army intelligence and a position of 
interrogator of  enemy prisoners, among them war criminals. The 
experience left him acutely  aware of questions of morality in the 
realm of philosophy.

He  returned to teaching at University College London and New College 
Oxford,  and went back to All Souls in 1955. His Spinoza biography 
having buttressed  his academic standing, he was appointed Grote 
Professor of Mind and Logic at  University College London in 1960.

Princeton claimed him as a professor  and department chairman in 
1963. He returned to Oxford as Warden, or head,  of Wadham College, a 
post he filled from 1970 to 1984. From then until 1991,  he was a 
professor of philosophy at Stanford University.

Professor Hampshire is survived by his second wife, Ms. Cartwright, 
a  professor of philosophy, whom he married in 1985; their two 
daughters, Emily  and Sophie Cartwright, both of Oxford; a son and a 
daughter by a previous  marriage, Julian Ayer and Belinda Low, both of 
London; and three  grandchildren. He was previously married to Renee 
Orde-Lees Ayer, former  wife of the philosopher A.J. Ayer, from 1961 
until her death in  1980.

Professor Hampshire was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 
1960  and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1968. While 
at  Princeton, he served as president of the American Philosophical 
Association.  Queen Elizabeth knighted him in 1979.


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