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Phone: 646-660-6500

Fax: 646-660-6501

 

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provost.office@baruch.cuny.edu

 

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Office of the Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Baruch College/CUNY

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New York, NY 10010-5585

 

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Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Message Archive



Wednesday, January 6, 2016

 

This email is being sent to all members of the Baruch College faculty.

For an archive of announcements sent from the Associate Provost beginning June 2011, click here.

 

Michael Wyschogrod

(The following has been excerpted and adapted from “A Memorial Note for Michael Wyschogrod” by Douglas Lackey, Chair of Baruch College’s Department of Philosophy. For Prof. Lackey’s complete text, see http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/wsas/academics/philosophy/index.htm )

Michael J. Wyschogrod died on December 17, 2015 in New York City at the age of 87. He was the first chair of the Department of Philosophy at Baruch College, and built the department from a single professor in 1968 to nine in 1985. He left Baruch in 1992 to become professor of religious studies at the University of Houston.

Michael was a renowned scholar of Jewish studies and very active in Jewish affairs in New York City and internationally. He worked tirelessly on interfaith matters, and played a role in convincing the Vatican to abandon the project of converting Jews to Christianity. He rejected modern "analytic" philosophy, and once described John Rawls's famous analytical theory of justice as "a brick wall with twenty holes large enough to drive a truck through." Despite his distrust of analytical philosophy, he had no dislike of logic or argument. He was always ready to engage any colleague or any student in philosophical discussion, and to seek some form of clarity no matter how long it took.

Perhaps Michael's doggedness in argument was inherited from his father, a famous chess player who used his reputation in chess as a ploy for extracting his family from Nazi Germany and bringing them to America in August of 1939, when Michael was ten. That ten-year-old speaker of Hungarian and German obtained a Columbia Ph.D. at twenty-four and was full professor at forty. Baruch should remember him as one of the Founding Fathers of this college.

Douglas Lackey, Chair
Department of Philosophy 

    

Another note on Michael Wyschogrod appears in Tablet Magazine at:

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/196026/michael-wyschogrod-obit?utm_source=tabletmagazinelist&utm_campaign=65a90587f5-Monday_December_21_201512_21_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c308bf8edb-65a90587f5-207484421[tabletmag.com]