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Henry Veatch bio


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#1 Kat

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 08:25 PM

About Henry Veatch
Source: Wikipedia

Henry Babcock Veatch, Jr. (born August 26, 1911, Evansville, Indiana; died July 9, 1999, Bloomington, Indiana) was a twentieth century American philosopher. He was a major proponent of rationalism, an authority on Thomistic philosophy, and one of the leading neo-Aristotelian thinkers of his time.

Veatch obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He taught at Indiana University (1937-1965), Northwestern University (1965-1973), and Georgetown University (1973-1983) where he was also Philosophy Department Chair from 1973 to 1976. In 1970-71 he served as president of the Western Division of the American Philosophical Association. His collected papers (1941-1997) are archived at Indiana University.


Major works
Concerning the Ontological Status of Logical Forms (1948)
Aristotelian and Mathematical Logic (1950)
In Defense of the Syllogism (1950)
Metaphysics and the Paradoxes (1952)
Intentional Logic: A Logic Based on Philosophical Realism (1952)
Realism and Nominalism Revisited (1954)
Rational Man: A Modern Interpretation of Aristotelian Ethics (1961)
The Truths of Metaphysics (1964)
Non-cognitivism in Ethics: A modest proposal for its diagnosis and cure (1966)
Two Logics: the Conflict between Classical and Neo-Analytic Philosophy (1969)
For an Ontology of Morals: A Critique of Contemporary Ethical Theory (1971)
Aristotle: A Contemporary Appreciation (1974)
Human Rights: Fact or Fancy (1985)
Swimming Against the Current in Contemporary Philosophy (1990)

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Babcock_Veatch"

#2 Roger Bissell

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 09:00 PM

Thanks very much for posting this, Kat!

About Henry Veatch
Source: Wikipedia

Henry Babcock Veatch, Jr. (born August 26, 1911, Evansville, Indiana; died July 9, 1999, Bloomington, Indiana) was a twentieth century American philosopher. He was a major proponent of rationalism, an authority on Thomistic philosophy, and one of the leading neo-Aristotelian thinkers of his time.


Of our time, I would say. As for "rationalism," this should be taken to mean not the modern Rationalistic indulgence in floating abstractions or the denigration of empirical evidence and perceptual data, but instead the classical Aristotelian Rationalism which champions the use of reason in understanding how one should gain knowledge and live one's life.

Veatch obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He taught at Indiana University (1937-1965), Northwestern University (1965-1973), and Georgetown University (1973-1983) where he was also Philosophy Department Chair from 1973 to 1976. In 1970-71 he served as president of the Western Division of the American Philosophical Association. His collected papers (1941-1997) are archived at Indiana University.


One of my college buddies and a noted Aristotelian, Classical Liberal philosopher and author, Douglas Rasmussen, was an admirer (and later friend) of Henry B. Veatch and brought his works to my attention in the early 1970s. After devouring his Intentional Logic and (with Frances Parker) his Logic as a Human Instrument, I immediately recycled some of his insights in a 1971 article in Individualist on the Liar's Paradox. I have additional ideas in logic that owe their inspiration to Veatch, and I have not yet published them, but will before long. (They relate to Aristotle's Square of Opposition, which is held not to be valid for propositions about things like unicorns that don't exist.) Veatch also held that some form of natural rights based on natural law was correct, and he entertained the idea that an integration of the Aristotelian-Thomist version of natural law-rights and the modern Libertarian view would eventually prevail.

Major works
Concerning the Ontological Status of Logical Forms (1948)
Aristotelian and Mathematical Logic (1950)
In Defense of the Syllogism (1950)
Metaphysics and the Paradoxes (1952)
Intentional Logic: A Logic Based on Philosophical Realism (1952)
Realism and Nominalism Revisited (1954)
Rational Man: A Modern Interpretation of Aristotelian Ethics (1961)
The Truths of Metaphysics (1964)
Non-cognitivism in Ethics: A modest proposal for its diagnosis and cure (1966)
Two Logics: the Conflict between Classical and Neo-Analytic Philosophy (1969)
For an Ontology of Morals: A Critique of Contemporary Ethical Theory (1971)
Aristotle: A Contemporary Appreciation (1974)
Human Rights: Fact or Fancy (1985)
Swimming Against the Current in Contemporary Philosophy (1990)

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia....Babcock_Veatch"


So far as I know, the first four items above are not books, but journal essays. I would love to get my hands on them. I have read the next three items, all books, all hard to find except as relatively expensive used books on the Internet. The 1964 and 1966 items are (I believe) both journal essays. The remain four items are al books, and I have read them all except for the last one, which I am in the process of reading. Veatch has also had significant essays published in other people's books, one on Bertrand Russell and one on Gustav Bergmann, both of whom had schools of thought (Logical Atomism and Ontological Atomism) that had a healthy regard for Thomist and Aristotelian ideas, but which attracted drive-by critical comments from Rand, Branden, et al. (Bergmann was head of the philosophy department at the University of Iowa for a time, including the period during which Douglas Rasmussen and I attended. A highlight of my two years in Iowa City was sitting about 10 feet from Veatch as he quietly and politely told Bergmann that his philosophical views were wrong!)

Stay tuned for more Veatch materials, such as I have to share.

Best,
REB
Objectivism, properly used, is a tool for living, not a weapon with which to bash those one disagrees with.

#3 Roger Bissell

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 09:05 PM

The following piece, which appeared in Review of Metaphysics, September 1999, was written by my good friend, Douglas Rasmussen, professor of philosophy at St. Johns University...reb
========================================================

IN MEMORIAM

Henry Babcock Veatch


(1911-1999)


Henry Babcock Veatch, one of the leading neo-Aristotelian philosophers of the twentieth century, died July 9, 1999 in Bloomington, Indiana. He was laid to rest in Bloomington.

Henry Veatch was born in Evansville, Indiana and educated at Harvard. He taught twenty-eight years at Indiana University, eight years at Northwestern University, and more than ten years at Georgetown University. His mentor at Harvard was John Wild, and he was influenced by such neo-Thomists as Jacques Maritain and Etienne Gilson.

Henry Veatch was an Aristotelian through and through, but he championed his Aristotelianism by considering the current issues and problems of the contemporary philosophical scene. Anyone familiar with Veatch’s works would also be familiar with the latest contemporary issues, especially those exhibited in Anglo-American philosophy. Veatch’s championing of Aristotelianism against contemporary fashions in philosophy became evident in his classic work, Intentional Logic (1952; 1970). In this work he challenged many of the contemporary positions found in analytic philosophy regarding the nature of logic. From issues regarding the nature of logical forms and relations to the alleged primacy of the analytic-synthetic distinction, this book argued that a failure to understand the intentional character of logic lie at the very heart of many of the fundamental confusions of contemporary analytic philosophy.

In his 1952 Marquette University Aquinas Lecture, Realism and Nominalism Revisited, Veatch challenged both Fregean and Quinean characterizations of logic and accused both of resurrecting the ancient problem of universals—a problem, for Veatch, which had its solution in Aquinas’ "moderate realism." Veatch’s quarrels with many of the assumptions of analytic philosophy were continued in his later (1969) work, Two Logics. This book foreshadowed, and in many ways predicted, the deconstructivism of Fish and Rorty.

Veatch did not, however, confine his work to logic and language. His classic, Rational Man (1962), was a modern interpretation of Aristotle’s ethics. It remains a masterpiece of clarity and common sense, and it in many ways helped to make possible the resurgence of interest in virtue ethics and the concept of human flourishing. His For An Ontology of Morals (1968) defended a natural-law ethics against nonnaturalism—goodness is a supervenient property—and against those who conflate natural-law theory with divine command theory.

Later in his career, Veatch took an interest in the questions of political philosophy and argued in his Human Rights: Fact or Fancy? (1985) that only a natural-law ethics that based itself on a natural teleology would suffice as a ground for natural rights. Neither a desire nor a duty ethics would do. His conception of basic rights was negative, not positive. Further, the common good of the political community had to be a good that was truly good for each and every individual. Thus what the state could claim on behalf of the common good was severely limited, since the human good for Veatch was never some "Platonic" form.

Veatch was active throughout his retirement years authoring essays and remaining a part of the contemporary philosophical scene. Catholic University Press collected many of these later essays in Swimming Against the Current in Contemporary Philosophy (1990). They showed Veatch to be a thinker with an eye for what is philosophically crucial and a philosopher who was concerned with the truth of things--not fads and fashions.

The title of his last book seems an appropriate summation of Henry Veatch’s long and illustrious career. Yet, those who knew him would also say that Veatch was a man of energy, good humor, and graciousness. Most of all he was a gentleman.

A final comment is necessary. Henry Veatch and his beloved wife, Janie, died on the same day from separate medical causes. Those who ever had the good fortune of spending an evening of conversation with them knew of their wit, wisdom, and devotion to each other. As they were one in life, so too they were one in death.

--Douglas B. Rasmussen, St. John’s University
Objectivism, properly used, is a tool for living, not a weapon with which to bash those one disagrees with.




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