Monday, July 28, 2008

Solomon E. Levy's passing and influence

Solomon E. Levy, 86, College of Arts and Sciences professor emeritus of philosophy, died Sept. 21. After earning a degree in physics at the University of Southern California, he worked for Philco in California as a radar technician. He enlisted in the service during World War II and served in the Office of Strategic Services. Following the war, he earned a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Southern California then studied in India on a Fulbright scholarship. Levy spent his academic career teaching philosophy at UMKC.--UMKC Perspectives', Spring 2008.

I am finally getting around to making public note of a personal encounter with Dr. Solomon Levy [chairman of the philosophy department at the University of Missouri Kansas City] during my undergraduate years in the mid 1960s. One becomes older, wisdom settles in [hopefully] and youthful bravado and invincibility fade to some fuzzy memory. All of us are subject to deterioration and I am discovering. Fresh out of the confines of high school, I was exposed to new and relevant ideas and among them were enlightenment from the likes of Dr. John Gazda [English and literature professor], Dr. Hans Uffelman [Existential philosophy], and Dr. Sol Levy [the "critical realist" of the philosophy of science]. I suppose I can blame Dr. Levy for my strong movement towards an empirical epistemology though I didn't always agree with staunch philosophical doctrines. I think that is the way that individuals can develop their own weltanschauung--somewhat eclectic. Nevertheless, his influence was significant and it is sobering to witness the passing of true mentors.

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