Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Obituary: G. A. Cohen (1941-2009)





















(Photo by Chris Bertram)

I am very sorry to announce the death of G. A. Cohen, who died about 5am this morning. Of course, Jerry Cohen was the Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at All Souls College, Oxford and one of the leading political philosophers today. I will post obituaries as soon as they appear.



I first met Jerry while a graduate student in philosophy at University College Dublin. He had come to UCD to give a lecture and for a seminar on his work the following day. I was immediately struck by what a wonderful person he was: while we had never met before, we spoke at length about Hegel's political philosophy -- the topic of my proposed doctoral research -- and we remained in contact ever since. I would send offprints on anything about Hegel I published and always received a warm response. While his criticisms could be very sharp(!), I was highly impressed at how generous he was with his time and advice for so many. He will be sorely missed.

UPDATE: Wonderful tributes are begin to appear, such as those by Chris Bertram and Colin Farrelly.

UPDATE 2: Cohen's funeral will take place at All Souls College, Oxford at 4pm on 11th August in the chapel. I understand that the event is open to all. A memorial service will be held later in the year.

UPDATE 3: See this from Jo Wolff.

UPDATE 4: See this from The Guardian.

UPDATE 5: See this outstanding comment by Michael Rosen.

UPDATE 6: See this from The Times.

UPDATE 7: See also this (at about 8 mins in) by the BBC.

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