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Jay Frank Rosenberg ’63

A picture of Jay Rosenburg

Jay Frank Rosenberg ’63, February 21, 2008, at home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from esophageal cancer. Jay received a BA from Reed in philosophy. He earned an MS in 1964 and a PhD in 1966 from the University of Pittsburgh in philosophy, and joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in philosophy in 1966. He was appointed professor of philosophy in 1974 and Taylor Grandy Professor of Philosophy in 1987. Rosenberg published more than 80 articles and 10 books on metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, and the history of philosophy. His publications include The Thinking Self (Temple University Press, 1986), Beyond Formalism: Naming and Necessity for Human Beings (Temple University Press, 1994), The Practice of Philosophy: Handbook for Beginners (Prentice Hall, 1995), Thinking about Knowing (Oxford University Press, 2003), Accessing Kant (Oxford University Press, 2005), and Philosophieren: Ein Handbuch für Anfänger (Klostermann Vittorio GmbH, 2006). His awards and research appointments included a Guggenheim Fellowship and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was also a Fulbright senior research fellow at the Universität Bielefeld, Germany; and research fellow of the Zentrum fur interdisziplinare Forschung in Bielefeld. While a senior at Reed, he created The Impoverished Students' Guide to Cookery, later expanding it to The Impoverished Students' Guide to Cookery, Drinkery, & Housekeepery, or How to Eat Well on $1 a Day and Live to Tell about It. From royalties, he funded the Jay Rosenberg Cookbook Scholarship at Reed. The popularity of his book led to an appearance on the television game show To Tell the Truth. He was also a successful participant on the television quiz show Jeopardy. Gordon Murdock ’64 notes that Jay was a force behind the Balkan folkdance tradition at Reed. (Jay participated in the Chapel Hill International Folk Dance Club for 40 years.) In 1964, Jay married Patricia O'Day; they had two children and later divorced. In Bielefeld, Germany, he met Regina Faltin; they married in 1980. Jay began a three-year phased retirement program in 2004—teaching one semester at UNC–Chapel Hill and spending the rest of the year at his home in Bielefeld, Germany. Survivors include his wife; his daughter; a son and two grandchildren; and his brother, who illustrated the cookbook.

Appeared in Reed magazine: May 2008

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