Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Philosophy Family Tree: who is in your family?

Josh Dever's wonderful "The Philosophy Family Tree" is something else. You can look up your supervisor and see who supervised them and so on. Like a family tree, the philosophy family tree lists a name (as if one's parent) and then lists their students (as if their children), their students' students (as if their grandchildren), etc.

And so what did I find out? Several terrific facts. I had two Ph.D. supervisors: Robert Stern and Leif Wenar at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield, UK. Here are my family trees:

(Stern line)
Thom Brooks
-Robert Stern
--Edward Craig
---Jonathan Bennett
----Arthur Prior
-----John Findlay
------Ernst Mally
-------Alexius Meinong
--------Franz Brentano
---------Friedrich Adolf Trendelenburg
----------Karl Reinhold
-----------Immanuel Kant
------------Martin Knutzen
-------------Christian Wolff
--------------Gottfried Leibniz

Not a bad tree, huh? Cousins and great-cousins include Alfred Tarski, Kit Fine, Alastair Norcross, and Mark Sacks.

Now onto my tree with Leif. Leif was supervised by both Robert Nozick (family line A) and T.M. Scanlon (family line B). My trees here:

(Wenar line A)
Thom Brooks
-Leif Wenar
--Robert Nozick
---Carl Hempel
----Hans Reichenbach
-----Emmy Noether
------Paul Gordon
-------Karl Jacobi
--------Enno Dirksen
---------Johann Meyer
----------Abraham Kaestner
-----------Christian Hauser
------------Johann Wichmannhausen
-------------Otto Menche
--------------Gottfried Leibniz (again!)
(Distinguished cousins and great-cousins include Elijah Millgram, Matthias Risse, and Tamar Gendler.)

Now onto (Leif line B)
Thom Brooks
-Leif Wenar
--T.M. Scanlon
---Burton Dreben
----W.V.O. Quine
-----Alfred Whitehead
------John McTaggart
-------James Ward
--------Hermann Lotze
---------Christian Hermann Weisse
(Here distinguished cousins include Charles Beitz, Gary Kemp, and Stephen Yablo.)

Simply amazing stuff. Key figures come to life as never before!

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