Richard Taylor (philosopher)

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Richard Taylor (November 5, 1919 – October 30, 2003),[1] born in Charlotte, Michigan,[2] was an American philosopher renowned for his dry wit and his contributions to metaphysics. He was also an internationally known beekeeper. Taylor took his PhD at Brown University, where his supervisor was Roderick Chisholm. He taught at Brown University, Columbia and the University of Rochester, and had visiting appointments at about a dozen other institutions. His best-known book was Metaphysics (1963). Other works included Action and Purpose (1966), Good and Evil (1970) and Virtue Ethics (1991). Professor Taylor was also the editor of The Will to Live: Selected Writings of Arthur Schopenhauer.[3] He was an enthusiastic advocate of virtue ethics. He also wrote influential papers on the meaning of life, which, like Albert Camus, he explored through an examination of the myth of Sisyphus.

Taylor's 1962 essay "Fatalism"[4] was the subject of David Foster Wallace's undergraduate thesis at Amherst College, published in 2011 together with Taylor's essay and contemporary responses under the title Fate, Time, and Language: An Essay on Free Will.[5]

Taylor made significant contributions to beekeeping. He owned three hundred hives of bees and, from 1970, produced mostly comb honey. He explained his management techniques in several books, including The Comb Honey Book and The Joys of Beekeeping.

In 1993, he debated William Lane Craig over the subject 'Is The Basis For Morality Natural or Supernatural?'.[6]

See also


  1. Philosophy Now (issue 44), Richard Taylor Remembered. One writer stated that Taylor was 83 years old at his death.
  2. Bee Culture Magazine, "Richard Taylor (1919-2003)", January 2004, Vol 132, No 1, p 64.
  3. Anchor Books A266: 1962.
  4. Philosophical Review, Vol. 71, No. 1 (1962).
  5. New York: Columbia University Press (ISBN 978-0-231-15156-6)

Further reading

  • Donnelly, John (2007), Reflective Wisdom, Prometheus Books, ISBN 0-87975-522-9<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • LaScola, Russell (1992), "A Common Sense Approach to the Mind-body Problem: A Critique of Richard Taylor", Journal of Philosophical Research, 17: 279–286, doi:10.5840/jpr_1992_24<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links