Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

In memoriam: Ian Hacking (1936-2023)
Published: May 10, 2023 Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto

See also the Daily Nous site

It is with deep sadness that the Department of Philosophy announces the passing of one of its most eminent members, Professor Emeritus Ian M. Hacking, CC, FRSC, FBA. The influential scholar, teacher, and prolific author—whose wide-ranging work probed foundational questions about the nature of concepts and who is credited with bringing a historical approach to the philosophy of science—passed away on May 10, 2023, after years of declining health.

Born in Vancouver in 1936, Hacking studied mathematics and physics at the University of British Columbia (BA, 1956) before moving on to the University of Cambridge, where he earned a bachelor’s degree (1958) and a PhD (1962) in Moral Sciences.

Hacking’s research achievements are legion: he has to his name 13 books translated into more than a dozen languages, as well as hundreds of articles. Uniquely, his work held sway outside of the discipline of philosophy as well. In addition to recognition in the social sciences and humanities, Hacking stood out as a philosopher who also attracted praise and respect in the sciences, seeing several of his essays included in annual collections of the best writing in mathematics. In addition, he found himself in constant demand as a public intellectual, penning pieces for newspapers and magazines such as the New York Review of Books.
A fuller obituary will be published on the Department of Philosophy site in the coming days.

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