Professor Susan L. Hurley (1954-2007)

Professor Susan Hurley died last night. She had been suffering from cancer for a long time, although she continued to work up until her death. Her friends and colleagues describe her as having faced her illness with great dignity.

Professor Hurley’s most recent work was in the philosophy of neuroscience and psychology, focusing on consciousness, social cognition and action. She brought clarity and insight to some of the deepest and most difficult issues in contemporary philosophy of mind, and her research was always informed by an impressive mastery of the empirical literature. Professor Hurley also worked in political philosophy, where she was particularly interested in relating the findings of cognitive science to issues arising in social and ethical theory – a project she carried out with her characteristic rigour and imagination.

Her books include:
Natural Reasons: Personality and Polity (New York, Oxford University Press, 1989).

Consciousness in Action (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1998).

Justice, Luck and Knowledge (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2003).

She also published numerous articles, and edited volumes on the foundations of decision theory, rationality in animals, and human rights. Her webpage, with more information about her work, can be accessed here.

Professor Susan Hurley was, without doubt, a brilliant philosopher. Her death is a great loss to the philosophical community.