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  • "Allan was a generous presence in so many ways: friend,..."
    - István Bodnár
  • "I am recalling the intellectual contribution given to me by..."
    - John Paschalus
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    - Janet Wilberg
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    - Thomas da Silva
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GOTTHELF--Philosopher Allan Stanley, died of cancer at age 70 on Friday, August 30th, at his home in Philadelphia, in the company of his dear friend Cassandra Love. A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 7, at 10am at the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan; burial will be at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, N.Y., at 3pm. Gotthelf is best known for his scholarship on Aristotle and on Ayn Rand, with whom Gotthelf was friends. At the time of his death he was Anthem Foundation Distinguished Fellow in the Rutgers University philosophy department. He is also an emeritus professor of philosophy at The College of New Jersey and a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University, and between 2003 and 2012 was a visiting professor of the history and philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh, where he held an Anthem Fellowship for the Study of Objectivism. David Charles (Oxford University) speaks of Gotthelf's "decisive role in the renaissance of scholarly and philosophical interest in Aristotle's biological writings," and Alan Code (Stanford University) comments that "no scholar has had a deeper and more lasting impact on the scholarly understanding of Aristotle's biological corpus than Allan Gotthelf." Gotthelf made this impact through a series of path-breaking essays now collected in Teleology, First Principles, and Scientific Method in Aristotle's Biology (Oxford University Press, 2012) and through the conferences and workshops he organized. These events formed the basis for two books: Philosophical Issues In Aristotle's Biology (Cambridge University Press, 1987), which Gotthelf co-edited with James G. Lennox (The University of Pittsburgh), and Aristotle on Nature and Living Things (Mathesis, 1985). The latter book, which Gotthelf edited, was in honor of his friend and mentor David Balme (University of London), and after Balme's death in 1989, Gotthelf shepherded several of his projects to publication. In 2004, Gotthelf's "contributions to the study of classical philosophy and science" were celebrated at a conference at the University of Pittsburgh, which led to the volume: Being, Nature, and Life in Aristotle: Essays in Honor of Allan Gotthelf (Cambridge University Press, 2010), edited by Lennox and Robert Bolton (Rutgers University). Gotthelf met Ayn Rand in 1962, in connection with lectures on her philosophy that he attended. Rand took an active interest in philosophy students, and over the next 15 years, he had the opportunity for long philosophical discussions with her. Gotthelf is one of two friends whose expressions of interest Rand said prompted her to write Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, which has become one of history's best-selling works on epistemology. Gotthelf was an active participant in Rand's famous 1969-71 Workshops on that book, an edited transcript of which now appears as an appendix to the book's second edition (Plume, 1990). Gotthelf was a founding member of the Ayn Rand Society, a group affiliated with the American Philosophical Association, and he held the Society's highest office from 1990 until his death. Since April of 2013, he has shared that office with Gregory Salmieri (Boston University), his former student and frequent collaborator. Gotthelf co-edited (with Lennox), and contributed essays to, the first two volumes of the Society's ongoing Philosophical Studies series, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. He is the author of On Ayn Rand (Wadsworth, 2000), and is co-editor (with Salmieri) of Ayn Rand: A Companion to Her Works and Thought (Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming). He is survived by Ronald and Cassandra Love and their sons Zach and Ian Barber--whom Allan regarded as his family--by his many friends and students, and by his sister, Joan Gotthelf Price.

Published in The New York Times on Sept. 5, 2013
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