Virginia Tech professor Marjorie Grene is the first woman in The Library of Living Philosophers

Blacksburg, Va., Jan. 29, 2003 -- With the publication of one book, Virginia Tech philosopher Marjorie Grene became the first woman to join the ranks of such great philosophers as Albert Einstein (philosopher-scientist), Jean-Paul Sartre, John Dewey, Alfred North Whitehead, Bertrand Russell, Paul Weiss, and Donald Davidson.

The Library of Living Philosophers has published The Philosophy of Marjorie Grene, edited by Randall E. Auxier and Lewis Edwin Hahn. This volume is number 29 in a series of books that, since 1939, has asked the greatest living philosophers what their ideas mean in an attempt to avoid future "interminable controversies" over their works, according to the General Introduction to The Library of Living Philosophers. "There is no Nobel Prize for philosophy," Auxier said recently, "{so} many people regard selection for the Library of Living Philosophers and for the Gifford Lectures in Scotland as the two highest honors a professional philosopher can receive."

Known for her controversial views, Grene was chosen for the series for the value of her ideas, according to Auxier in the book's preface. "Professor Grene has written about a wide variety of philosophical topics and issues over her long career," Auxier wrote. "Particularly she made and continues to make major contributions to the philosophy of biology, a field in which she has been an important voice in the community of biological theorists in their on-going discussion of evolution and its various possible interpretations." Grene believes historical figures must be studied in the context of their time and not in terms only of "consciousness." "My daughter's dog is conscious," she said.

"In her often well-publicized and pointed disputes with the philosophers of consciousness, Professor Grene has come to have a daunting reputation as a philosopher who can disarm or slay an opponent with a single phrase or question," Auxier wrote. However, she is "a person of considerable w

Contact: Sally Harris
Virginia Tech

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