?Dear Readers: It is really a sad news to announce:  Our esteemed Advisor, a great philosopher and educator of our time, Dr. Lewis E. Hahn, has passed in Dallas at the age of 96, on November 23, 2004. He was buried at the graveyard of the Hahn Family in Swenson, Texas.  On February 19, 2005,  a Memorial Service was held for him at the Unitarian Fellowship Church, Carbondale, IL., attended by his friends and family members, former colleagues and students at SIUC. Suncrates, our Editor-in-Chief, was invited to attend both of the ceremonies and to present a Tribute in honor of his esteemed mentor.  Grateful acknowledgement is due to the Hahn Family, especially Mrs. Sharon Crowell, for the compilation of these collected Tributes included herein for our readership globally.  They will be published by the forthcoming Philosophy of East and West, Honolulu, Hawaii, Spring 2006.?




A Tribute to

Dr. Lewis E. Hahn (1908-2004)

In a Global Perspective



President, Thomé H. Fang Institute, Inc.

Mobile, Alabama, USA




For the philosophical community in East and West, no word of introduction is needed for our beloved Master: recipient of numerous distinctions and honors, such as “Man of the Year in Philosophy” (1967), “Award of Lifetime Achievement,” etc. The very name “Lewis E. Hahn” itself is already a symbol: a symbol of genuineness, of dedication, of fulfillment.

            A great work is a dialogue with eternity; A great person is such a work.

    In less than thirty years he has succeeded in developing Carbondale from what was a small college town in the Mid-West into the Mecca of American philosophy. Particularly, as his phenomenal achievement and contribution, we may refer to the Dewey Center and the Pepper Archives he helped install at SIUC which, among others, will remain a unique glory of American philosophy as the “documents and monuments” in the history of human thought.

            For posterity Lewis E. Hahn will remain an object of wonder and amazement.  How is it possible for a human to accomplish so much, so well, and in so short a span of time--less than one century--in breadth and height, in depth and diversity?  Some one hundred years ago, by bridging the New Continent and the Old, William James was thus hailed as a great genius of international friendship in the intellectual sense; but we now find a greater such genius in Lewis E. Hahn, who has succeeded in bridging at least four Continents in East and West: Europe, Australia, America (both North and Latin America), and Asia (China, Japan, India, Korea, Singapore, etc.).  To my knowledge, few of his predecessors and contemporaries as well are half so widely read and liberal-minded as he is, in view of the range and scope of the Library of Living Philosophers he helped continue since the passing of its founder Dr. Paul A. Schilpp. What type of man is Hahn? Our younger generation must wonder. Only a pluralist approach could help us unriddle such a legendary pluralist-contextualist. In one word, “A full personality!”

            As I remember, while working on my dissertation with him in the 70s, we had a brief discussion on Confucius, the sage of ancient China.  “A full personality!” thus he responded, laconically.  Suddenly I realized: To quote The Analects, “The Master is talking about himself!” For, as the Buddhists put it, only a Buddha can understand a Buddha. Or, as William James put it, only one who has philosophy can appreciate philosophy.  Many friends of my generation admire him so much:  Dr. Te Chen of Hong Kong calls him “a great Confucian in America.” Those who regret for the loss of many precious Confucian virtues in China today have now rediscovered them in the person of Lewis E. Hahn!  If Nietzsche called Kant “a great Chinese in Königsberg,” it is simply because he had missed our Master.

             As a paradigm of academic leadership, he is just irreplaceable--a tribute I have personally heard in the late 60s in Carbondale. As a superb administrator, it is not exaggerating to say that he can serve as the best Secretary of the State ever known in history for, definitely, he has more philosophical wisdom than all of his predecessors put together! As a great teacher, he is no less “serene, good, learned, wise, and ardent” than Cassirer,[2][1] and, I should add, with loving stricture and rigor in discipline.  He has exemplified the experientialistic ideal of unity of theory and practice, knowing and doing, action and thought; he has exemplified the Deweyan ideal of religiosity as naturalistic piety, with deep awareness of one’s intimate relationship with Nature; he is thus profoundly inspired by the cosmic feeling of fellowship in unity, the deep sense of cosmic identification and participation.  He is a walking example of the Buddhist ideal of “karñnª and prajñª (compassion and wisdom) in interaction”; the Confucian ideal of “loving conscious-ness and wisdom in mutual illumination”; the Tolstoyan ideal of “kindness before liking”; the Tagorean ideal of Sadhana as self-realization.”  In addition, he is a natural nobility, a silent fighter (against mediocrity, injustice, and lack of quality), a true hero, and a cosmic glory.  As the American proverb goes, “The still water runs deep!” 

             For all such rare qualities and virtues as he has possessed--all in the superlative degree--it is little wonder that many, many scholars of my generation feel the same as I do:  We are fortunate and proud to be contemporary with Lewis E. Hahn, as Plato said of Socrates, his fabulous and immortal mentor!




Memorial for Lewis Hahn


John Howie, Professor Emeritus

Department of Philosophy, SIUC


I am remembering Lewis Hahn today as a scholar, teacher, and supportive colleague. His work on the well recognized Library of Living Philosophers produced nine volumes which he edited and three edited jointly with Paul Schilpp. In addition, his lengthy bibliography attests to the tireless scholarship of this man. He was known and admired internationally, giving presentations and addresses in England, Scotland, Poland, Japan, China, Taiwan, and Mexico, to name but a few. He was a supportive figure of many international philosophical organizations and one of the founders of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy.


As director of graduate studies for the department, Lewis was able and indeed sought ways whereby he could be supportive of students. He was especially sensitive and outreaching in his support of our Asian students, many of whom are recognized scholars today, in part, as a result of Lewis' nurturing during their time in our graduate program.


My personal gratitude toward Lewis, however, is due to the ongoing support that he always offered me. As a young professor, I received this gladly, respectfully, and frequently. As a more mature member of the department, I cherished his friendship and the willingness with which he shared his thoughts and concerns. I always knew that I could speak with him openly and confidentially. Receiving that professional

and personal respect from this man was one very great boost for me throughout many years.


Lewis and Elizabeth loved their place on Reed Station Road and somehow, with all his scholarly and departmental endeavors, and her community activities, they gave their attention and an unbelievable amount of hard work to maintain their acreage. What an interesting mix in the life of this philosopher/ farmer. His and Elizabeth's Christmas letters attested to this, giving quick summaries of all the events and publications that happened during the year, but offering details of the animals, the repair of the barn, and the dredging of the pond, not to forget the year when they contributed several lines to the "low-lifer" who hit their beloved dog on the road and didn't bother to stop.


This supportive, caring, scholarly, contributing man gave so much to so many in his special and quiet way.



Memorial for Lewis Hahn

Thomas Alexander, Professor

Director of Graduate Studies

Department of Philosophy, SIUC


It was a very great honor and privilege for me to be associated with Lewis at SIUC. I had grown up in an academic family--indeed, my father was a philosophy professor--and I knew from childhood on the world of academe when men like Lewis Hahn and my father constituted the norm: civilized, selfless, professional, and gentle-men and scholars. It is a world that has gone, by and large, for a corporatized and careerist world. Lewis hardly ever had a negative comment to make. One of the two times I saw him upset was due to a famous philosopher, one selected for a volume in the prestigious Library of Living Philosophers, pulling out at the last minute, well after the project was under way with essays being written. The great philosopher was stunned to learn that he couldn't pick all the essayists from his circle of devoted followers. Lewis came by my office to talk about his perplexity and frustration. The next day he showed up in his Stetson--the Texan in him had gotten riled. If he had had a gun belt, he might have worn it that day. Usually Lewis was the personification of gentleness. During a dissertation defense he would inevitably begin with considered compliments, a ream of editorial corrections, and criticisms posed in the most nuanced subjunctives (:It might have been a good idea were you to have considered the possibility of doing...."). Perhaps my fondest memory of Lewis is rather odd, but it is very human. We had gone to a conference at Santa Cruz and shared a room. I had come back late the first night and Lewis was already in bed. After a peaceful sleep, it was time to get up. But Lewis wanted to talk philosophy. He removed the covers and sat on the edge of his bed to continue the discussion and I realized he had been sleeping in the buff. This was of no concern to Lewis, who was following out some fine point of reasoning. Well, I thought, this is how the Greeks did it, so on we went. The other memory I will share with you deals with Lewis's love of genealogy. Again we were going to a conference--this time in Cincinnati. We were using Lewis's station-wagon, roughly the size of a Sherman tank, which he asked me to drive. It was somewhere just over the Indiana border that I raised a question about his family. It was some hours later, as we were heading over the Ohio at rush hour into Cincinnati that Lewis was bringing his saga to a close. I will always remember him as the embodiment of kindness, dignity, and dedication to his colleagues and profession. Let me end by quoting the last lines of King Lear: "The weight of this sad time we must obey; Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say, The oldest hath borne most: we that are young shall never see so much, nor live so long."




In memory of Lewis E. Hahn


Kenneth W. Stikkers

Professor & Chairman

Department of Philosophy, SIUC



            My earliest recollections of Lewis Hahn were as a graduate student, in the mid-1970’s, attending the annual meetings of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy.  It was quickly clear to me that Lewis’s presence was one that defined the essence of those meetings.  His welcoming smile and “good to see you,” and the civility, openness, and enthusiasm with which he entered discussions registered a deep impression upon this graduate student.  More than 20 years later those early impressions would contribute greatly to the honor I felt upon being asked to serve as the Chair of Lewis’s Department at SIUC.

            Shortly after my arrival at SIUC in 1997 Lewis quickly made several distinct new impressions which would provide me first hand experience of what he meant to the Department for so long.  The first was at a prospectus defense for what would be the last dissertation on whose committee Lewis would serve.  It was clear to all of us on the committee that the prospectus was too ambitious and lacked focus, but each of the first four of us to speak fumbled about in our comments, unsure what advice would be most helpful to the student.  Lewis spoke last, laying out four concise points of constructive criticism, leaving the rest of us simply to nod in agreement:  at 88 he had hit the nail on the head better than the rest of us. 

            I got to know Lewis best personally during those times when we were both working late or on weekends.  One Sunday afternoon, I heard someone enter the Department office and stuck my head out of my office to see who it was.  “What are you doing here on a Sunday?” I asked Lewis.  To which he responded by shaking at me the large manuscript he had clutched in his hand:  Strawson!  He’s got his footnotes all wrong!”  It was that instance that most strongly conveyed to me the passion that Lewis carried for his work--the passion of a true scholar to get things right, down to the smallest details--all the way to the end.  The incident was significant for other reasons, too, although I did not realize them at the time.  First, it would be the closest that I would ever see Lewis get to “angry” and the most disparaging tone I would see him express at another human being.  Second, it helped me appreciate later how terribly painful it was for him to admit to himself and to others that he was unable to continue the work he so dearly loved and in which he took such pride and pleasure.

            Besides his care for precision, Lewis modeled other virtues of the academic life as well, including support for his colleagues and love of his students.  One could always count on Lewis’s attendance at Department events, and this was especially appreciated by graduate students making their first public presentations at the weekly Agora.  Lewis always had an encouraging word at such events, and as my own graduate student experiences with Lewis attested, there was no greater encouragement to a young scholar than being taken seriously by a distinguished, senior member of the profession.

            Finally, Lewis was perhaps the most authentic pluralist I have met in the profession:  he honestly believed to the depth of his being that philosophy was the conversation of humanity, into which all honest perspectives are to be welcomed.  This attitude was expressed in his role as Editor of The Library of Living Philosophers and especially appreciated by the numerous international students who worked with him and who received his constant encouragement.

            Lewis Hahn will always represent to me the very best of this profession I chose to enter:  a passion for truth, without axes to grind, camaraderie with one’s fellow truth-seekers, the joy of seeing young minds grow and develop, a reveling in the wondrous diversity of the human experience.  His will long remain as one of those voices in my memory, serving to keep me honest.  Indeed, on several occasions, especially late at night when Faner Hall is so quiet and empty, I sense Lewis still at work on some project, and in sensing his presence I feel the sudden urge to check my footnotes more carefully—for fear of being like Strawson.  I see the schedule of upcoming Agora sessions and resolve not to miss the next one—after all, Lewis always seemed to find time to attend and thereby show his love and support for his students.  Above all, in remembering Lewis and feeling his presence in the halls where I work, I resolve to make a better effort at greeting my colleagues with a smile, a good will, an open mind, and an open heart.  Thank you, Lewis.



Remarks for Lewis E. Hahn Memorial Service

Randall Auxier, Professor

Editor for Library of Living Philosophers

Department of Philosophy, SIUC


I knew Lewis Hahn from 1987 and have had the unenviable task of attempting to carry on in his place.  As his actual shoes were too large for my feet, I feel his symbolic shoes must remain incompletely filled by the feet that follow.  We may stand upon his shoulders but we still labor in the shadow he has cast. 

Actually, I have come to think of Lewis as a sort of sundial in the world of philosophy, as the light of wisdom moved round him he stood in place and measured it.  When the sun shone from the east he looked to the wisdom of the eastern lands and became an ambassador of West to East of East to West.  He proved at length that in him the twain shall meet.  While eastward lies the direction of daybreak and the future, Lewis was ever building towards the fulfillment of ideals and expectations –many of which were designed to transcend the generations.  He gave to future centuries eleven volumes of the Library of Living Philosophers and secured the future existence of another six.  Lewis always took the time for the young philosophers around him, lending an ear and offering helpful observation, encouragement and a kind of respect that the young crave in ways that their elders so often forget.  But Lewis believed in the future and recognized when it was before him.  I was only one among countless young people who took encouragement from Lewis Hahn’s vision of the future.  Thus he faced the morning sun.


At noonday when not even Lewis cast a shadow, with bright eyes, toothy smile, and a single finger pointed heavenward,  he stood among his fellows even as he towered over them.  Lewis came to be valued as a discerning judge of the qualities that distinguish what is merely good from what is truly great in the world of human thought.  His contemporaries responded to his judgment; they waited upon it.  He had perfected the art of being both generous and honest in expressing his judgment.  What was genuinely to be praised he freely held up to the light, and what was yet to be praiseworthy he sheltered in his own warmth.  His was the mentoring touch.  His countless students, those who have felt that great but kindly hand upon their shoulders will know that the only fit repayment is to follow Lewis’ example.  Stand upright among your peers, speak the truth in such a way as to leave each bathed in its light, and let that noonday sun warm your heart even as it gives energy to your thoughts.

As the sun sinks into the west the shadow of the past grows long.  In his later days Lewis represented to literally thousands of philosophers a living link to days of wondrous achievement and vital thinking.  When I was with Lewis, I was with someone who had known and worked with John Dewey, Stephen Pepper, Edgar Brightman, and so many others of a bygone day.  These personages were beyond my reach, but so long as I knew Lewis they were not beyond my imagination; one degree of separation between his amazing memory and the images in my head; the living past facing west. 

For so many of us Lewis was the master of context, showing us that the Archimedean point was not a place to stand from which to move the world, but a place from which to grasp the way the world already moves.  If we would honor him we must plant our feet and look towards the light. 










Tribute for Lewis

Robert Hahn, Professor

Department of Philosophy, SIUC

I have had the most unusual circumstance of being a member of the department of philosophy at SIU and sharing the same last name with Lewis.  We are both “Hahns.” On many occasions when I have been introduced to philosophers, the name Lewis Hahn was so well known, and his visibility had been so deeply connected with SIU, that it was not unusual to be asked whether I was related to Lewis.  In fact, on quite a number of occasions, colleagues asked presumptively if I was Lewis’ son!  I have checked a variety of family trees, but so far I have not yet found a link connecting “my Hahns” with “Lewis’ Hahns,” though I would be both delighted and honored to find such a link.

In the course of years of departmental business, whenever there was some confusion over whether “Lewis” or “Robert” was the “Hahn” in question, I was fond of identifying myself as “Hahn-the-Younger” or even “Hahn-the-Lesser.” This response seemed to amuse Lewis.

Seeing Lewis in the office, or passing him in the hallways, was always a pleasant affair. He always seemed upbeat and cheerful. That’s the Lewis I knew and the one that I will always remember. What an inspiration to us! A man who remained devoted throughout his life to philosophy and its business! It was an honor to have known him and an honor to be counted among his colleagues.


Tribute to Professor Hahn

Joseph Wu, Professor Emeritus

Department of Philosophy

California State University at Sacramento, CA



In the year of 1960, after completing my bachelor degree in Chinese literature, I ventured to go to the outside world for exploration.  In September of this year, I was given an opportunity to meet Professor Lewis E. Hahn who was the dean of School of Arts in Washington University of St. Louis.  I was then given a full scholarship for my unexpected academic world--philosophy.  In spite of my former major in Chinese literature, I was cheerfully attracted by this new major.  For just about two years, under the methodological direction of Professor Hahn, I completed a master degree in philosophy.  Then, I continued to work for my Ph.D., together with my full-time teaching at University of Missouri.

            Professor Hahn has been an admirable scholar.   His academic interest has been in both teaching and administration.   He is also a top scholar in research, in the development of pragmatic philosophy, and also integration of East and West.  Now, in my reflection, Professor Hahn is an admirable authority in my academic life.   Without this professor, I would never get into the field of philosophy.   Without this important director, I would not continue to stay in the United States.  Now, he has passed away, but his spiritual life still continues performance in the world of immortality.


Memorial for Lewis E. Hahn

Elizabeth R. Eames, Professor Emeritus

Department of Philosophy, SIUC

In all the years that Lewis and I were colleagues and friends at three different universities, there was one aspect of his professional life that puzzled and intrigued me, and perhaps it did you too.  That was his desk. We all knew Lewis to be a well-organized and busy person who engaged in the many activities of teaching, of the philosophy department, of the university, and of the profession with efficiency and skill. But every office of his that I ever visited had in it a messy desk piled high with a mountain of books, papers, journals, letters, announcements, and apparently random pieces of paper. That desk was an anomaly.  Not only did it not fit with the rest of Lewis's ordered academic life; but also it seemed to have major importance to him.  I am sure that many of the persons who helped him in those offices over the years, secretaries, teaching assistants, office-mates, itched to sort and organize and "help" him with that messy desk.  However, although Lewis was very open to variations of office routines (as long as the work got done), he had one major law: DO NOT TOUCH THE DESK.

            Moreover the desk seemed to have an almost magical quality--in spite of being a mountainous mess it could yield to his hand the answer to many questions.  Let us say you appeared in the office to ask if he remembered the name of the philosopher who commented on a paper on Peirce's categories in the American Philosophical Association meetings of eight months ago. If the name and university association of the commentator did not immediately come to his mind, Lewis would sit down opposite the mountain and scan the outer edges of the layers of paper facing him. After perhaps thirty seconds he would pinch the edges of some of that paper and carefully withdraw the proceedings of that meeting and give you your answer.  You might think of the desk as a kind of precursor of Google for philosophers. Or you might meet Lewis in the hall and he would ask you to step in the office for a minute, saying that he had met a former student of ours in his last semester's trip to Boston. He wanted to share the news and the status of this student's work with you.  Again he would scan the piled papers, then tweak out from the mountain a small piece of paper from which he would read for you the news of the student's dissertation progress, her family situation, and her prospects for the future. Or you might ask Lewis for his reaction to a student's thesis for which you were the director responsible and he a committee member.  Again he would draw from the mountain a folder containing the thesis and several closely written pages of corrections, suggestions, and queries to be produced at the oral examination in the not too distant future.

            I could never determine a principle of order that would explain this miracle--was it like an archeological dig? -- the lowest down was the earliest or was it directional? -- students to the south, profession to the east,  "and the like" as Lewis would phrase it.

            I cannot answer that question, but I believe I can guess the secret of the desk.  If one were to examine the program of the APA that produced the name of the philosopher you sought (Lewis would not let you take the program itself away), in addition to the name of the Peirce scholar, you might find a handwritten note in the margin such as "by Jan 30, contact committee members and reserve meeting place for April 28 or 29th."   If you had a chance to read the rest of the paper with the notes about the student on it, you might find a handwritten note, "send recommendation to Placement Service by Feb 1"or "possibility of year replacement at JL See Bob".  I think the messy mountain was a massive to do list.  I imagine each item in that pile represented some activity--a letter to be written, a meeting to be arranged, a report to be made, a speech to be given, a manuscript to be critiqued, a favor to be rendered.  With the aid of an excellent memory and calendar of upcoming dates fixed his mind, Lewis could process the mess on the desk into the multitude of tasks that constituted his responsibilities, professional and institutional. The items piled on the desk represented his care for the individuals, colleagues, students, and friends who were part of those responsibilities. We might be amused or impressed or puzzled by the desk, but we were all its beneficiaries, and we feel its absence. But, even more, we miss its owner and operator, our colleague and friend, Lewis Hahn.


Memorial for Lewis Hahn

Martin Lu

Professor of Philosophy, University of Sydney

Sydney, Australia

It was personally sad for me to learn of the passing away of Professor Hahn.  But in my memory, his life was brimming over with joy, love and blessing, for his family, his colleagues and particularly his students.  I was one of his Chinese students from Taiwan during the period of 1967 to 1972.  Without his assistance (personal, academic, and financial), many of us from overseas would not have been able to finish our studies in this strange and wonderful land.  I must say that we did not disappoint him in our careers all over the world, esp. in Asia, to spread the seed of learning.

            When I came to Carbondale in 1967, it was not only my first overseas trip but also my first trip by plane.  You could imagine the cultural shock to me, but I was well taken care of in the Philosophy Department of SIU under the leadership of Professors Hahn, Moore, Morris and Elizabeth Eames.  I could still remember his soft and measured tone with much kindness whenever we talked to him in his office.  He lived a life of scholarship and had educated a generation of students who subsequently followed his steps to become scholars.

In this God-fearing Bible Belt of Southern Illinois, Professor Hahn spread the gospel not by direct preaching but by love, learning, and exemplified life.  For the rest of our lives, we will all carry this memory in our heart and try to live the way he does in our own limited way. 


Remarks for Lewis Edwin Hahn

Memorial Service

19, February 2005

George Kimball Plochmann, Professor Emeritus

Department of Philosophy, SIUC


Many years ago, Lewis Hahn often introduced speakers at the Philosophy Colloquium that convened with some regularity on Thursday afternoons at four o'clock.  He was thorough in his introductions, and left little to guess or chance.  When he himself delivered a paper, however, he was rarely introduced by anyone else -- perhaps people supposed that he needed no introduction.  To those coming to this memorial meeting today, I suppose no introduction is needed either, for Lewis was a devoted worker in enterprises that brought him in contact with a great many people, almost every day of his life.  I let others say more about the personal history, and concentrate more on the professional side of his life.  But I have just two little personal notes to play, and then it will be his career, a distinguished one.


Many years ago, there was a fine movie, The Last Picture Show, whose setting was a very small and by no means prosperous Texas town - wind, sand, partly unpaved streets, a few dreary stores, a motion picture house where the manager sold the tickets and then took them and ran the projector.  I mentioned this movie to Lewis, knowing only that he was a Texan, and he replied that he grew up in a town much like the one depicted. But he respected rural Texas and kept his connections there throughout his life.

            My second vignette describes a brief moment in his life in the outskirts of Carbondale, at his home on Reed Station Road.  It is late afternoon, the sun is beginning to tire of scorching us, and will shortly go down in a crimson blaze.  Lewis is walking, slowly but determinedly, from his comfortable house to the barn, perhaps a hundred yards, and is carrying a large bowl.  Trailing him, surrounding him, impeding him, are about two dozen cats of all feline shapes and sizes--some of them yowling piteously, others buttoned up-- and all to be joined by a few others cats and kittens already anticipating a great feast they will be sharing.  I never saw a more contented look on the face of Lewis Hahn than at that moment.

Now back to his early history.  He took his B.A. from the University of Texas, and his other two degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.  While there, he became friends with Willis Moore, who later, from 1955 to 1972, was chairman of the Department of Philosophy at Southern, and in that capacity had much to do with the hiring of Lewis as a Research Professor in the Department.

            Lewis had an extraordinary record of service in professional societies, and was also instrumental in ways that many of us scarcely realized in the obtaining of funds for the Department here.  Despite the impression I may be giving, however, Lewis was not (to borrow the delightful phrase of William S. Gilbert) Lord High Everything Else.  In a way--a very human, modest, democratic way--he was persuasive.  Aristotle speaks of the Unmoved Mover, and to avoid possible misunderstanding, I would call Lewis the Unshaken Shaker--for in his quiet, unobtrusive and ever-so-persuasive manner he started many of our most fruitful programs, and also stood firm on his principles when disagreement with him was nearly unanimous and not at all mild.  A man for all seasons, as the saying goes, and the man to have with you in a foxhole.

In virtually all stages of the history of literature and philosophy he did a great amount of reading, shedding illumination upon dark corners of the very ancient Presocratics, the Puritans in America, the eighteenth-century French philosophers, Britishers, neopragmatists, and many others.  His mastery was communicated in a graceful turn of phrase that he used in passing on his insights to the student or reader.

Lewis taught at the University of Missouri for several years, was a visiting lecturer at Princeton, and then became an institution at Washington University in St. Louis, where he chaired the Department of Philosophy for fourteen years, and deaned the Graduate School for nine, concurrently with some of the fourteen.  In 1965 he became Research Professor of Philosophy at Southern. I shall let others tell of his many publications, and of his significant role in the exceptionally important publication of the works of John Dewey, a monumental labor, and brought to the public by the Southern Illinois University Press.

            When Paul Arthur Schilpp resigned as editor of the great series of which he was the founder, The Library of Living Philosophers, Lewis was persuaded to take over the position, and he carried through the task of editing two armfuls of daunting volumes that have been published by Open Court.

The selection of a principal philosopher is largely in the editor's hands.  The aim is to create a dialogue, hence each volume of the series begins with an intellectual autobiography, which in some cases has been a few pages of friendly reminiscence, and in others a book-long disquisition.  The editor then has much to do with finding those expert enough to contribute trenchant criticism or encomium, where each is deserved, regarding this philosopher.  A considerable number of those experts are dilatory in their submissions, careless in their footnote references, and again, when the opportunity arises to be dilatory once more, in correcting the proof sheets. The editor must not merely choose but perfect the contents.  The subject philosopher then responds to the praise and dispraise of the couple of dozen essays, now in proof, and after that, presumably supplies a complete bibliography, which nearly always must be completed and put in acceptable form, a joint labor of the editor and helpers. Volumes are many hundreds of pages, sometimes nearing a thousand.

This is the form and content originated by Dr. Schilpp and carried on by Lewis in a total of about sixty years--a gigantic effort, a skilled effort, an effort of first importance that is being continued.

It is on this note of triumphant conclusion to a fine life and career that any of us can say how proud we all are to have known Lewis Edwin Hahn





Memorial for Lewis E. Hahn

Matt Sronkoski

Philosophy Graduate and College of Liberal Arts

 Academic Adviser, SIUC

I do not usually respond to any of the posts on this list serve, but I think it is important for me to share my feelings about Lewis Hahn.  Given the length of his life and the extent of his accomplishments, I feel very little sorrow with his passing and only feel compelled to express how glad I am to have my life touched, albeit briefly, by this great man.  I really did not know Dr. Hahn well.  By the time I started graduate school, he was already retired from teaching and was working on the LLP full time, and therefore he had few formal interactions with graduate students.  But I remember him as person who modeled the kind of personal stature which is all too often dismissed as cliche or Pollyanna in the academic world.  Every time I passed him in the hallway he looked me in the eye, cocked his head with a smile and greeted me with such a degree of delight, that it would make my whole day.  Whenever he was in town, he attended the Agora presentations, always offering the sharpest, most constructive comments.  Even when he offered criticism, he was never vicious or smug, but genuinely delighted to engage in the process and to share his experience and wisdom.  His work ethic was legendary and the LLP flourished under his Editorship.  I am very glad to have had his big life briefly touch my little life.  Our philosophy department is a better place because of Lewis Hahn.   Goodbye Dr. Hahn.




Memorial for Lewis E. Hahn

Dave Clarke, Professor Emeritus

Department of Philosophy, SIUC


Well said, Matt.  Lewis Hahn was a truly good man.  I never heard him say an unkind or demeaning word about a colleague to another colleague, and of course never discussed perceived personal and moral failings of colleagues in front of students.  Quite to the contrary, he was always encouraging and supporting of those around him.  I always admired him for that.

            We all owe much to him as the first Director of Graduate Studies and the one primarily responsible for establishing the graduate program.  One of his most important legacies is the acquisition of the Carus Papers for Morris Library -- an extraordinary bit of diplomacy.



Memorial for Lewis E. Hahn

Eugenie Gatens-Robinson, Professor Emerita

Department of Philosophy, SIUC


Thank you Matt and Dave for reminding us of what a treasure Lewis was to us all. I too was cheered by the twinkle in the eye and the cocked head, as if he was giving a salute to his fellow philosopher.  He was genuinely delighted in the students and in his colleagues...The pride that this great man took in his colleagues and the students was so genuine--so truly kind.  He knew what everyone was working on.  He was interested in the most generous way. Elizabeth Eames said when I called her to tell her of Lewis's passing, "it is as if something has been taken out of the structure of things...he has been there so long and held together so much." 


Memorial for Lewis E. Hahn


Hans H. Rudnick, Professor Emeritus

Department of English, SIUC


Professor Hahn was a committed, untiring, and dedicated editor after Professor Schilpp had to pass the reins to him as his designated successor.  He has left his mark on the LLP by driving it forward in the spirit of Paul Arthur Schilpp with many volumes featuring the distinguished philosophers of our time. He has performed a remarkable service to the profession, particularly because of his advanced age.


Memorial for Lewis E. Hahn

Stephen Bickham, Professor Emeritus

Department of Philosophy, Mansfield University

President, Society for Philosophy of Creativity

Central Division

Thanks for the notification about Lewis.  He seemed almost eternal.  I met him in 1964.  He was director of graduate studies and had been a dean at Washington U and chair at Missouri. It was a real coup that Willis Moore had brought Lewis [Hahn], Morris [Eames], and Elizabeth [Eames] to SIU as a sort of unit. . . . I remember Lewis (whom I never had for a class) tell me that he had started in Philosophy because as an English major he wanted to study something that would help him understand Walt Whitman. Lewis, in his own gentle, charming manner sang quite a song of himself.



Memorial for Lewis E. Hahn

Don Mikula

Former graduate student

Now teaching an east/west course in philosophy in China


When a man of the character, intelligence and good will of a man like Lewis Hahn is no longer with us, we are forced to both grieve and remember with immense joy that we were privileged to 'know the man.'  What a very special person he was.  It is impossible to put into words all the right things--to be said about him, yet we want to acknowledge his greatness.  Confucius, a man much like Lewis, held that Jen is the virtue of a truly good man--A human-hearted and gracious person.  If ever a man attained to that pinnacle of superiority, it was Lewis Hahn.  The only other man I think that would compare to him is Aristotle who was of such outstanding erudition and philosophical wisdom.  I count myself 'fortunate' to have had the privilege of eating and drinking, and rubbing elbows with such a one!   Much love to all who shared his deep and abiding friendship. 


[1] Pen-name for George C. H. Sun, On-line Scholar for Chinese Classics & Archive Studies, Peking University, Beijing, China; Advisor, China Project, Center for Process Studies, Claremont, California, USA


[2] Cf. Paul A. Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of Ernst Cassirer (New York: The Tudor Publication, 1967), pp. 52-54.