James Francis Ross

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James Francis Ross
Born(1931-10-09)October 9, 1931
Providence, Rhode Island
DiedJuly 12, 2010(2010-07-12) (aged 78)
Boston, Massachusetts
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern Philosophy
SchoolAnalytic Philosophy
Main interestsPhilosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind, Medieval Philosophy, Philosophy of Law
 
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James Francis Ross
Born(1931-10-09)October 9, 1931
Providence, Rhode Island
DiedJuly 12, 2010(2010-07-12) (aged 78)
Boston, Massachusetts
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern Philosophy
SchoolAnalytic Philosophy
Main interestsPhilosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind, Medieval Philosophy, Philosophy of Law

James Francis Ross (October 9, 1931 – July 12, 2010) was an American philosopher. James Ross, a creative thinker in philosophy of religion, law, metaphysics and philosophy of mind, was a member of the Philosophy Department at the University of Pennsylvania from 1962 until his death. He published widely.

Biography[edit]

James Ross was born 9 October 1931, in Providence (RI) and died in Boston (MA) on 12 July 2010. He was son of the James Joseph and Teresa (Sullivan) Ross. His father was a pharmacist and his mother a school teacher. In 1956 he married Kathleen Fallon, a nurse from Providence, who died on 23 May 2010.

He received his A.B. (1953) and A.M. (1954) from Catholic University of America, Ph.D. (1958) from Brown University, and J.D. (1974) from the University of Pennsylvania. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1975. James Ross began his academic career in the Philosophy Department at the University of Michigan initially as an Instructor (1959–61) and then as an Assistant Professor (1961–62). In 1962 he joined the University of Pennsylvania and remained there until his death, as an Assistant Professor from 1962–65, an Associate Professor from 1965–68, and from 1968 onwards as a Full Professor. He held a number of visiting appointments including Visiting Lecturer Johns Hopkins (1964-5), the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) during the 1975-6 academic year, and Darwin College Cambridge University from September 1982 through December 1983. His research at the Institute for Advanced Study was supported by an NEH grant to the Institute,.[1] He also led a 1977 NEH Summer Seminar at Brown University, titled Faith, Meaning and Religious Knowledge.[2] From 1984 to 1986 he was the President of the Society for Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy.[3]

He researched, taught, and wrote in the fields of medieval philosophy, philosophy of language, law, and religion. In a career that spanned more than five decades, he produced more than 100 articles, a number of translations, and four books. In the last book published before he died, Thought and World (2008) he argues that meaning, truth, impossibility, natural necessity, and our intelligent perception of nature fit together into a distinctly realist account of thought and world. He articulates a moderate realism about repeatable natural structures and our abstractive ability to discern them that poses a challenge to many of the common assumptions and claims of contemporary analytic philosophy. He develops a broadly Aristotelian metaphysics that recognizes the "hidden necessities" of things, which are disclosed through the sciences.

His nearly one-hundred scholarly essays explore a wide range of philosophical issues. Take for instance Ross 2003 in which Ross demonstrates that through his scholarly and philosophical artistry in Summa theologiae Thomas Aquinas sets the 'Christian conception of the world within philosophical principles and concepts' and thereby produced 'one of the classics of the history of philosophy and one of the most influential works of Western literature.'[4] Ross' critiques are rich tapestries of philosophical argument, as seen for instance in his essay on "The Crash of Modal Metaphysics" [5]

James Ross' scholarly examination of Analogy began with his doctoral thesis at Brown University (1958), led to such seminal articles as "Analogy as a Rule of Meaning for Religious Language" (1961) and "Analogy and the Resolution of Some Cognitivity Problems" (1970), and eventually to a monograph, Portraying Analogy (1981), which was the first fundamental examination of the topic since Cajetan (Thomas Cajetan) in 1498.

Select bibliography[edit]

Doctoral thesis[edit]

Monographs[edit]

Articles[edit]

Translations[edit]

Book reviews[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Grant number: FC10503.
  2. ^ National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Grant FA-26537-77-163 to Brown University
  3. ^ http://www.smrphil.org/society.html
  4. ^ James F Ross, "Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae (ca.1273), Christian Wisdom Explained Philosophically", in The Classics of Western Philosophy: A Reader's Guide, (eds.) Jorge J. E. Gracia, Gregory M. Reichberg, Bernard N. Schumacher (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2003), pp. 143-166.
  5. ^ James F Ross, "The Crash of Modal Metaphysics", The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 43, No. 2 (Dec., 1989), pp. 251-279.

External links[edit]