EDWARD F. MCCLENNEN

Obituary
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McCLENNEN--Edward Francis II, 77. Died November 2, 2013. Professor of Philosophy, Edward F. McClennen was a passionate thinker and an unrepentant liberal. He contributed foundational work to the field of decision and game theory with over fifty articles and the highly influential book Rationality and Dynamic Choice: Foundational Explorations (Cambridge University Press, 1990). He was truly an original philosopher who defended an unorthodox conception of rationality in the face of traditional theories of decision and game theory. He was a 'maverick' in his field, as he would say. Ned believed that people could achieve extraordinary things by cooperating and devoted his later years to integrating economics and political philosophy in the service of a theory of a just civil society and government-- a Rational Society, the title of his book manuscript. Born in Cambridge MA, August 16, 1936, Ned received a BA in philosophy from The University of Michigan in 1959 and a PhD from The Johns Hopkins University in 1968. He taught at Purdue University, Lehman College CUNY, Washington University, Bowling Green State University, The London School of Economics, and Syracuse University and was a visiting professor at Harvard University, The University of Pittsburgh, Rutgers University, The University of Rochester, The University of Western Ontario, and The University of Amsterdam. At Bowling Green as the Ohio Board of Regents Eminent Scholar in Moral and Social Philosophy, he was co-developer of a program funded by UNESCO, the Kennan Institute and others that brought young Central and Eastern European scholars to the US after the collapse of the Soviet Union as a means helping them understand the relevance of new institutional economic theory for their reemerging nations. As Centennial Professor of Philosophy at The London School of Economics, he designed and administered a highly successful interdisciplinary Masters Program in Philosophy, Policy and Social Values. From 2005-2007 he participated in a group of international scholars who were brought to Libya by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi to help in the writing of a new Constitution, for which Ned drafted the Bill of Rights. As many would attest, Ned was a gracious host who loved company. He enjoyed cooking fine food to share with others over long evenings of spirited conversation. He also loved art, a legacy from the George De Forest Brush side of the family, and he treasured the view of Pleasant Bay from the McClennen family home on Cape Cod. He is survived by his wife Ellen Esrock and his children, Nathaniel Esrock McClennen and Sarah Pearmain McClennen.

Published in The New York Times on Nov. 10, 2013
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