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May 07, 2009



My most heartfelt condolences Dave. Having just lost my own good philosophical friend--I know very well how this feels. A toast to good lives lost, but to them also continued in our own.

Jc Beall

Nicely said, Dave. Thanks. You'll have to attend the Melbourne AAL this year, and we'll all toast to Bob. (See Greg's site for equally spot-on sentiments:

I had just received copies of my /Spandrels of Truth/ (OUP, 2009) when I got the news from Ross Brady. In the Acknowledgments section of that book, Bob's name is up front, and his work (with Routleys) is at the foundation: they provided the basic semantics/logic for the whole theory! (I clearly recall writing the acknowledgments. I added "the late" to Val Plumwood and Richard Sylvan's names -- well, their Logicians' Liberation League names (viz., Lady Plumwood and Peer of Plumwood, respectively) -- as well as to David Lewis' name. As I wrote out the acknowledgments, listing folks with whom I've discussed the given issues, etc. over the last few years, I was happy not to write "the late" in front of Bob's name....) He's already very missed. ...At least some of us got to see him in his element at the 4th World Congress of Paraconsistency whereat, once again, he discussed the "key to the universe and everything else".

At some point, I should publish the list of the Logicians' Liberation League names that Bob sent to me last year. (Maybe you can publish it. Send an email if you want it.)

As Bob would've signed (but with "Maximum Leader" in place of "Archbishop of Connecticut"):

AML, Archbishop of Connecticut, LLL

(AML: all my love; LLL: logicians' liberation league.)

Paul Pritchard

I don't know you David, but I knew Bob well, and your remarks are indeed spot-on.
I heard the news from Errol Martin, one of Bob's PhD students at ANU.
I was a PhD student in Computer Science, but was attracted to the logic group by Bob's magical brew of intellect, humor, eccentricity and warmth.
What a guy! The Maximum Leader is dead; there will never be another.
I remember him insisting on taking us to the opening of the first McDonald's "restaurant" in Canberra.
There must be uncountably many great stories about him.
I hope to hear some more here.


More stories about my father? Oh, where oh where do I begin?

Yes, all those trips to McDonald's circa early 1960s, perhaps to one of the originals, while he was working on his Ph.D. at Pitt. He'd load whichever kids were around, and off we'd go. He had a lifelong passion for their double cheeseburgers, although McDonald's didn't rival Dairy Queen on his list of quirky obsessions. An ice cream cone at all hours of the day and night (mostly night) was a compulsion I never quite understood.

My father was funny and kind, and oh so smart, and more than a tad eccentric. One of the things that I appreciate most about him is that he never lost touch, even though oceans and divorces and life's callings took him further and further away from "home."

He wasn't here for the big things; in fact, barely acknowledged them -- the marriages and the graduations and the babies and the celebrations -- but when he was here, he was fully here. My father had an intense ability to connect, fully present, fully aware.

Interesting that you mention "God Exists." I just finished reading a long letter he wrote to his own father in 1957, just before setting sail to Japan for missionary work. Is there a way I can access the full article?

Thanks for sharing your memories and for making my day. This was a nice surprise when I googled his name (looking for his obit, but the Canberra newspaper doesn't appear to post them online).

Gail in Pennsylvania

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