Philosophy

Obituary: Geoffrey Madell

It is with sadness that the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences announces the death on 8th March 2018, at the age of 84, of Geoffrey Madell, former Senior Lecturer in Philosophy. He is survived by Muriel, his wife of over forty years.

Geoffrey studied as an undergraduate at Magdalen College, Oxford, and for his PhD under David Hamlyn at Birkbeck College, London. He joined the Philosophy Department at Edinburgh as a lecturer in 1964, where he remained until his retirement in 1999, having been promoted to Senior Lecturer and serving for a period as Head of Department.

Geoffrey’s research was in Philosophy of Mind, in which area he published numerous articles as well as four books, The Identity of the Self (1981), Mind and Materialism (1988), Philosophy, Music and Emotion (2002), The Essence of the Self (2014, pbk. February 2018). Geoffrey was a resolute critic of contemporary materialism, arguing in favour of the unique character of first-person experience and of the unanalysability of the self. His final paper, “Last Rites for the Private Language Argument”, was published in the journal, Philosophy, in January 2018.

A stimulating teacher, Geoffrey was a much-valued colleague both in the Philosophy Department and in the University. He was also a gifted singer who actively participated in Edinburgh’s musical life. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Related links

Philosophy - Last Rites for the Private Language Argument

PhilPapers - Works by Geoffrey Madell