Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Frederick A. Olafson

Later this summer I will be conducting an interview with Fred Olafson, chair of the UCSD Philosophy department from 1972-1976.  Fred received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1951. He is the author of many substantial books and articles, primarily in social and political philosophy, existentialism, and philosophy of mind. His thesis was titled, "A Study in the Physicalistic Theory of Mind." His influences are Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, and Husserl. 

Some of his major works include: Society, Law and Morality (1961), Justice and Social Policy (1961), Principles and Persons: An Ethical Interpretation of Existentialism (1967), Ethics and Twentieth Century Thought (1973), The Dialectic of Action: A Philosophical Interpretation of History and the Humanities (1979), Heidegger and the Philosophy of Mind (1987), and What Is a Human Being? A Heideggerian View (1995); Humanism & Philosophy: The Relationship Past, Present and Future (2008). Some of his publications are available electronically over at Phil Papers.

Stay tuned for the interview and more on Frederick Olafson's philosophical work.


  1. I am eager to read your interview with Prof. Olafson. I took several of his courses in the 1970's. His lecture style was pure thought in action. Always searching for the right word for the deepest imponderable ... and finding it. And all this without ostentation. Truly a heroic mind.

  2. Sorry that we've had to postpone the interview.

    I would be interested to hear any stories you might have about his undergraduate teaching. Feel free to share.