Louis H. Mackey

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Louis H. Mackey
Born September 24, 1926
Sidney, Ohio USA
Died March 25, 2004(2004-03-25) (aged 77)
Occupation Professor and scholar of philosophy

Louis H. Mackey (September 24, 1926 – March 25, 2004) was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin.


Early life

Louis H. Mackey was born in Sidney, Ohio, USA in 1926. After earning a B.A. at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio he pursued graduate studies in philosophy, first at Duke University, and then Yale, from which he received his Ph.D. in 1954. His dissertation was titled "The Nature and the End of the Ethical Life according to Kierkegaard."

Teaching and research

Mackey was an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at Yale before moving to Rice University in 1959. He then moved to the University of Texas at Austin in 1967 where he remained for 35 years until his retirement for health reasons. He had a reputation at each institution as an engaging teacher. In 1987 he won the Harry Ransom Award for Teaching Excellence at the University of Texas at Austin

As a scholar, Mackey was known for his works on Kierkegaard including Kierkegaard: A Kind of Poet (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1972) and Points of View: Readings of Kierkegaard (Florida State University Press, 1986). He also wrote and lectured on Saint Augustine[1] and Medieval Philosophy.[2] His published work also included literary criticism, literary theory, and inquiries into the relationship of philosophy to literature,[3] and in particular applying the tools of literary criticism to philosophical texts (early in his career using the tools of the New Critics, and then later with an emphasis on Jacques Derrida and Deconstruction[4]). He was especially interested in the fictional works of Gilbert Sorrentino[5] and Thomas Pynchon.

Other activities

Mackey was known as an ardent lover of music and accomplished amateur singer of madrigal, oratorio, cantata, and liturgical chant. However, he was also on record as a defender of popular music claiming that The Beatles and The Rolling Stones "display a phenomenal melodic inventiveness and a harmonic and contrapuntal imagination that even us squares can dig."[6] He was also an occasional actor and appeared in two Richard Linklater films, Slacker (1991) and Waking Life (2001).

See also


  1. Mackey, Louis, Faith Order Understanding: Natural Theology in the Augustinian Tradition, PIMS (2011)
  2. Mackey, Louis, Peregrinations of the Word: Essays in Medieval Philosophy, University of Michigan Press (1997)
  3. Mackey, Louis, An Ancient Quarrel Continued: The Troubled Marriage of Philosophy and Literature, University Press of America (2002)
  4. Mackey, Louis, "Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Deconstructive Strategies in Theology," Anglican Theological Review, Vol LXV, No. 3 (July, 1983) pp. 255-72.
  5. Mackey, Louis, Fact, Fiction, and Representation: Four Novels by Gilbert Sorrentino, Camden House (1997)
  6. Time Magazine, 15 June 1966

External links