Obituaries for Two Former Philosophy Professors


We regret to announce the deaths of two long-standing former members of the department, who passed away recently after long lives and distinguished careers.

Professor Percival Jack died in Cologne, on October 11, 2017, at the age of 94. He was a founding member of the Department of Philosophy at York University. Before that, he had worked in the publications department of the CBC. He was a longtime resident of Edinburgh, Scotland, after his retirement, and funeral services were held at St Columba's Church, Upper Grey Street, Edinburgh, on Thursday, November 9. He was well known on campus until his retirement in 1979 as an advisor to undergraduate students of philosophy, while he was volunteering work of a kind that later came to be associated with the office of the Undergraduate Programme Director in Philosophy. Percy was valued by his colleagues as someone with whom you could always discuss philosophical issues and he was always willing to help test ideas and theories.

Professor Percival Jack


Professor Fraser Cowley died in Wellington, Ontario, on December 5, 2017, at the age of 93. He was a member of the Department of Philosophy, which he joined in 1973 as the Chair of the Department, succeeding John W. Yolton, remaining in that position until 1978. Later, in 1992-1993, he also served as Graduate Programme Director in Social and Political Thought. Professor Cowley was fluent in English and French, having published in both languages, and taught courses on both the Keele campus and the Glendon campus during his tenure at York University, often teaching a course on Sartre in French at Glendon. His publications include Critique of British Empiricism (Macmillan 1968) and Metaphysical Delusion (Prometheus 1991).  (See also obituary in Toronto Globe & Mail.)

Professor Fraser Cowley