1932 - 2015
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MARTIN, Michael L. Of Lexington, formerly of Newton and Cambridge, died May 27, 2015. Born in Cincinnati, OH February 3, 1932. Devoted husband of Jane Roland Martin. Proud father of Timothy David Martin and his wife Beatrice of Los Angeles, CA and Thomas Peter Martin and his wife Nina of Guilford, CT. Loving grandfather to 5 grandchildren: Maxwell, Gabriel, Zachary, Jordan and Maribelle. U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, Korea; Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Boston University. Professor Martin is the author or editor of a number of books, including Atheism: A Philosophical Justification (1989), The Case Against Christianity (1991), Atheism, Morality, and Meaning (2002), The Impossibility of God (2003), The Improbability of God (2006), The Cambridge Companion to Atheism (2006) and the recently published The Myth of an Afterlife (2015). Private interment Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA.

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Published in Boston Globe from May 30 to May 31, 2015.
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Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
January 1, 2016
I knew Mike since graduate school at BU in the late 1960s. Mike was the first reader for my dissertation. He was the very best in that role, always offering prompt, clear, detailed comments. I was fortunate to work for both Mike and Jane Martin in my later years graduate school, and both of them were very helpful as I moved into a career in teaching philosophy.

I have good memories of meeting Mike at book signings and other occasions.

Mike's writing was thought provoking for me, and I learned from his clear reasoning.

I am glad to know Jane and am glad to have known Mike.
Theodore Klein
June 6, 2015
Mike will be missed for his kindness and intelligence.
Walter Feinberg
June 6, 2015
Mike was my mentor and dissertation supervisor at Boston University. In fact, I had gone to Boston University (from Canada) to work with Mike specifically, having been attracted by his Atheism (1990) and The Case Against Christianity (1991). I was never disappointed with my choice. Academically-speaking, Mike was superb: he was brilliant, knowledgeable, and generous with his time; he taught a course on religious epistemology that seemed deliberately aimed at my research interests; he stayed on as my advisor even into his retirement. But Mike was more than just my advisor. He frequently took me to lunch, always making sure that I had a cookie or some other dessert at the end of it. He would sometimes sprinkle the Canadian "eh" into his lectures, explaining with a grin that this should make me feel more at home (I think he could tell I was a little homesick). He invited me to his house in Cambridge where I met his wife Jane, saw his extensive setup of exercise equipment in the basement and Jane's impressive piano on the main floor, and sat and chatted with Mike in his study on the top floor. When I returned to Boston to defend my dissertation proposal, Mike and Jane put me up for the night. While his student I had always diligently called him "Professor Martin", but immediately after my dissertation defense Mike took me to lunch (again) and insisted, with mock firmness, something like "No more of this 'Professor Martin' crap!". We remained friends thereafter. The news of his passing tore me deeply and I am afraid I will always be wounded by his loss. I miss him terribly.
Tyler Wunder
June 5, 2015
Michael Martin was one of my first philosophical mentors and debate coaches. He was a wonderful man. He represented the highest ideal of a person with enormous intellectual abilities and personal kindness.

Eddie Tabash
June 4, 2015
You shall be missed, wise philosopher.
Donald Dummett
June 4, 2015
Generous with his time, support and criticism, Mike guided me through my dissertation at Boston University. He was an ideal mentor to whom I will be forever grateful. My deepest sympathy and condolences to Jane and his family. David Mowry, Ph.D., SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor
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