Kathy Wilkes dies

by Chris Bertram on September 4, 2003

Oxford philosopher Kathy Wilkes, probably best known for her book Physicalism has died. The London Times has has a obituary. (I’ve now started to add Donald Davison obituaries to this post).



Tom Runnacles 09.04.03 at 7:11 pm

That’s very sad to hear.

KW gave a bunch of lectures on Mill in my first year at Oxford. Unusually for me (I’m just no good at mornings), I went to most of them, since she was funny and a bit eccentric and made the dry text of ‘Utilitarianism’ come alive.

Later, she interviewed me for a job at St Hilda’s, which I didn’t get. I had to give a ten-minute spiel on personal identity, and KW soon tied me up in knots, but she did it in a rather kindly way which is pretty unfamiliar in Oxford. I can imagine she was amazing in tutorials, particularly with less assertive students.


Jenny Carter 11.03.03 at 4:15 pm

I can’t believe she has gone.
Philosophy was just a millionth of her; she was the kindest truest bravest person in lonely old oxford academia, and fun too


Juan Galis-Menendez 01.12.04 at 3:47 pm

Kathy Wilkes was a remarkably gifted person: brave, brilliant, fearless in her struggle to bring the liberating power of philosophical discussion to totalitarian societies. As a refugee from one such society who greatly admired her books, while disagreeing with many of her conclusions, I am deeply saddened and forlorn at her loss. She embodied the Socratic spirit as well as anyone in our time.

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