BLC Newsletter November 2002

Registered Charity No 275541

President           Professor J B Paris FBA [Manchester]
Vice-President      Dr J M E Hyland [Cambridge]
Secretary           Dr M Dzamonja [East Anglia]
Treasurer           Dr R Dyckhoff [St Andrews]

Committee members   Professor H D Macpherson [Leeds]
                    Dr E Ritter [Birmingham]
                    Professor T Williamson FBA FRSE [Oxford]

Dear members,

The eminent logician Richard Jeffrey died on November 9th.
David Miller was kind enough to write the enclosed obituary, 
which shows some of the numerous contributions Prof. Jeffrey
made. The world of logic will miss him.
Richard Carl Jeffrey (1926-2002), Emeritus Professor of Philosophy
at Princeton University, died on Saturday November 9 2002 from
complications due to lung cancer.  

After service in the US Navy from 1944 to 1946, he studied with
Rudolf Carnap at the University of Chicago and then, after a spell
at the MIT Digital Computer Laboratory and Lincoln Laboratory, at
Princeton with Peter Hempel, where he received his PhD in Philosophy
in 1957.  He was a Fulbright Scholar at Oxford in 1957-1958,
Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT in 1958-1959,
and Associate Professor of Philosophy at Stanford from 1959 to 1963,
and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton in 1963-1964. 
Thereafter he held appointments at City College, New York
(1964-1967), the University of Pennsylvania (1967-1974), and
Princeton (1974-1999).

Jeffrey's first major success was The Logic of Decision (1965), a
refreshingly written text-cum-monograph in which for the first time
the Bayesian framework for decision making was adapted to take
account of the phenomenon of uncertain evidence.  Jeffrey
conditionalization, as it is called, became an important
generalization of standard Bayesian conditionalization.  He was a
close associate of Rudolf Carnap, and together they initiated the
series Studies in Inductive Logic & Probability, largely as a
vehicle for Carnap's later work in the subject.  Most of Jeffrey's
published work was in this area, yet he will be known to many
logicians for two works in the area of logic proper: Formal Logic:
Its Scope & Limits (1967), and especially Computability & Logic
(1974), which was written jointly with the late George Boolos.  The
4th edition of this hugely successful text recently appeared,
revised and supplemented by John Burgess.  Jeffrey was also the
editor of two volumes of papers by close friends: Logic, Logic, &
Logic, a volume of Boolos's papers that was published in 1999, and
Selected Philosophical Essays by Hempel, published in 2000. 

Somewhat like Danny Kaye in appearance and demeanour, Dick Jeffrey 
was an amusing and witty companion, who brightened every room he 
entered.  He  was intellectually active to the end, and completed 
his last book the day before he died.  He is survived by his wife 
Edith, his son Daniel, his daughter Pamela, and grand-daughters 
Sophie and Juliet.  His curriculum vitae is available at
Minutes of the AGM September 2002

Home Index


Page maintained by

Last modified: Tue Mar 4 13:38:42 GMT 2003