Benson Mates Photo

Benson Mates

Born: May 19, 1919

Death: May 14, 2009

Birthplace: Portland

Nationality: United States

Benson Mates

Date of Birth : May 19, 1919
Date of Death : May 14, 2009
Birth Place : Portland

Benson Mates was an American philosopher, noted for his work in logic, the history of philosophy, and skepticism. Mates studied philosophy and mathematics at the University of Oregon, Cornell University, and the University of California at Berkeley. Some of his teachers included J. Barkley Rosser, Harold Cherniss, and Alfred Tarski. From 1948 until his retirement in 1989, he was a professor of philosophy at Berkeley. He remained Professor Emeritus of philosophy at University of California at Berkeley until his death. Mates's 1948 dissertation, "On the Logic of the Old Stoa", formed the basis for his 1953 book Stoic Logic, of which Peter Geach wrote, "Stoic logic is a difficult subject [...] Dr. Mates's monograph is a strenuous and successful effort to overcome these difficulties." Mates's 1965 book, Elementary Logic, remains a widely used introductory textbook in symbolic logic. His 1986 study of Leibniz is also highly regarded. In his own philosophical work, Mates defends a stance akin to Pyrrhonian skepticism. He argues that the major problems of philosophy are intelligible and non-trivial yet utterly defy solution.

Awards Won

  • Guggenheim Fellowship for Humanities, US & Canada
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