Thursday, July 28, 2005

Gwil Owen

Owen's students at Harvard in the 1960's and 1970's have included Martha Nussbaum, Gail Fine, John Cooper, and Julia Annas. Other than Nussbaum's comments, I don't really know much more about him, including where and when his education was received.

Update: Owen has been placed under Gilbert Ryle in the tree.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


The answer you seek might be in a preface or introduction to Language and Logos, a Festsschrift for Owen. Unfortunately, I don't have the volume at hand.

I do have some other lines for ancient philosophy scholars, however. I believe that Terry Penner worked with Ryle, and I am sure that Penner has taught Alan Code, George Rudebusch, Scott Berman, and Naomi Reshotko, among others. Code, in turn, supervised Christopher Bobonich and Casey Perin, among others. Bobonich, in turn, supervised Rachana Kamtekar and David Johnson.

Also, I believe that Ian Mueller did his PhD with Hao Wang. Mueller later turned more to the study of ancient philosophy, and his PhD students include David Rehm, Scott Schreiber, James Wilberding, and me (though I am an especially messy case, because I worked just as closely with Elizabeth Asmis, Richard Kraut, and Martha Nussbaum, the latter two of whom are already on your list). (Deborah Modrak and Dan Devereux did their PhDs at Chicago and might have worked with Mueller, too.)

Finally, I think that Gisela Striker and Michael Frede were students of Gunther Patzig. Striker's on your list already, and you need a place for Frede, who has turned out several PhDs, including (I believe) James Allen and Henrik Lorenz.

I hope that helps.


8/09/2005 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Josh Dever said...


Thanks. That's all extremely helpful. I've made the additions you list. (I've put you solely under Mueller right now -- if he had an official chair role on your committee, I'd rather leave it that way, but if the committee was co-chaired, or didn't have a chair, I can expand your parentage to include Asmis, Kraut, and Nussbaum.)

I'll check out Language and Logos next time I'm in the library, and see if it gives any clues.

8/09/2005 09:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julia Annas tells me that Gwil Owen (N.B. not Gwyl Owen) worked with Ryle. She sends the following excerpt from his British Academy obituary (with Julia's comments in square brackets):

'Owen had to postpone taking Greats [his final undergrad exam] until December 1948 [instead of June 1948] because of eye-strain......His interests having moved (under Frank Hardie's tuition) towards philosophy rather than ancient history, [Hardie being the ancient philosopher at Corpus, best known for his work on Aristotle's Ethics] he was encouraged by Gilbert Ryle to enrol for the B. Phil., recently established on Ryle's initiative as a course to train philosophers and teachers of philosophers.......[Owen did it in 5 terms instead of 6, ie two years]...Discussions in the lively B. Phil. classes, an increasingly close friendship and vigorous arguments with Ryle, work on a thesis full of original and challenging ideas about Plato: he was in his element. He completed the course in June 1950.' [So Ryle is the main influence, and the nearest to a thesis director for the B. Phil. thesis. Typical of Gwil, incidentally, to do it in less time than anyone else, and to produce one of the most influential ideas on Plato for 50 years as a result.]

8/23/2005 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Josh Dever said...


Thanks. I've put Owen under Ryle in the tree. Ryle then is a student of H.A. Paton, who is in turn a student of J.A. Smith, about whom I haven't managed to learn anything yet. Paton was also a student, as an undergraduate, of Henry Jones, who also taught John Anderson, who went on to be, I gather, the primary father of Australian philosophy.

8/24/2005 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the source for placing Ryle under Paton? I couldn't easily find information about this, but I did note that Ryle said that Oxford philosophy during his time as a student "would have been stone cold but for Prichard".

I've gathered a lot of information about the Australian part of the family tree and will send it along when it's more complete. It looks like most Australian philosophy traces back to Oxford or Cambridge via Ryle (Smart's advisor), Wittgenstein (Armstrong's grand-advisor), Price (Jackson's grand-advisor), and others. Anderson doesn't seem to have had many influential Ph.D. students, as far as I can tell so far.

8/24/2005 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger Josh Dever said...


I'm told that Hacker's book "Wittgenstein's Place in 20th Century Philosophy" identifies Paton as Ryle's tutor at Queen's, but I haven't looked at it myself. I'll check it out today.

Graves' book "A History of Philosophy in Australia" gives the impression that Armstrong, Mackie, and Passmore were all students of Anderson, although it may be that "student of" here is expressing a weaker relation than "advisee of".

8/25/2005 08:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armstrong and Mackie were both undergraduates at Sydney but then went to Oxford for their second degree (B. Phil for Armstrong, Greats for Mackie). This pattern is common for Australian philosophers, with the result that people like Anderson, Smart, Armstrong, and others had their biggest influence via undergraduate rather than graduate teaching. Both of Passmore's degrees (BA and MA) were from Sydney, though, and it looks like Anderson is the most plausible candidate to be his advisor.

(It's hard to keep track of new comments in old threads like this one. How about adding a list of recent comments to the sidebar?)

8/25/2005 04:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about adding a list of recent comments to the sidebar?

How's that?

8/25/2005 06:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, Ryle himself writes: "H.J. Paton was my tutor. Some of my fellow students found him too unforthcoming, but for me his untiring 'Now, Ryle, what exactly do you mean by...?' was an admirable spur. He was an unfanatical Crocean, which, at the time, was the main alternative to being a Cook Wilsonian. His evolution into a wholehearted Kant-scholar and expositor had begun before I ceased to be in statu pupillari." "Autobiographical," in Ryle: A Collection of Critical Essays, p.2, f.

6/23/2006 10:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Oxford student of Gwil Owen was Malcolm Schofield, who was the supervisor for several students in Cambridge:

Eric Pratt
Mary Margaret McCabe
Robert William Jordan
Neil O'Sullivan
Cynthia Farrar
Eleanor Margaret Atkins
A.E. Samuels
Timothy Michael Sinclair Baxter
Verity Anne Harte
Melissa Sharon Lane
Gudrun Monique Tausch-Pebody
Kyung-Choon Chang
René Roel Brouwer
Mantas Adomenas
Miriam Anna Leonard
Alexander George Long
Giles Benjamin Pearson
Charilaos Platanakis

9/16/2006 12:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Chicago, John Stevenson and I were Ian Mueller's first Ph.D.s there. Modrak worked with Werner Wick, and I think Devereux did as well. Mueller had worked under Quine at Harvard, a dissertation on set theory (what else?) His arrival at Chicago coincided with his turn to ancient.


8/23/2007 03:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two small comments on the list of Malcolm Schofield's students. Melissa Lane was supervised by Myles Burnyeat before transferring to the supervision of Malcolm Schofield. Verity Harte was supervised by Nick Denyer before transferring to the supervision of Malcolm Schofield. Both belong equally under both supervisors.

8/01/2008 03:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some more students Michael Frede's:
David Blank,
Eyjólfur Kjalar Emilsson,
Benjamin Morison,
Charles Brittain.

And another student of Gisela Striker:
Svavar Hrafn Svavarsson

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