Obituary Dale Jacquette

Dale Jacquette

by Nicholas Rescher

Professor Dale Jacquette of the University of Bern in Switzerland died suddenly and unexpectedly on Monday, August 22, 2016 at the age of 63. After graduating from Oberlin in 1975 with high honors in philosophy, Jacquette earned his Ph.D. at Brown University in 1983 with a doctoral thesis on the logic of intention under the direction of Roderick Chisholm. Thus began an amazingly productive career which saw the publication of a long series of informative and influential books appearing at a rate exceeding one per year, and covering a vast range of philosophically salient topics in logic, metaphysics, and the philosophy of mind. Of special interest to Jacquette were Meinong, russell, and Frege–to each of whose work he dedicated several books. His Breadth of vision is indicted by the fact that Schopenhauer and Wittgenstein also figured in his pantheon. Beyond his own writings, Jacquette rendered service to the profession in various important editorial projects, including a term as editor of the American Philosophical Quarterly (during 2002-05).

There is a long tradition of transatlantic migration of European scholars into American universities, but movement in the reverse direction is exceedingly rare. Jacquette became one of its few instances when he moved from Penn State University to the University of Bern in 2008. His transit betokened the deep appreciation his European colleagues had for his extensive work on modern Germanophile logic and philosophy.

Jacquette was a devoted and indefatigable researcher possessed of a keen insight into fundamentals and a tenacious determination to get to the heart of the matter. His premature death left several important projects in a state of near-readiness for publication, including a monumental philosophical biography of Gottlob Frege in preparation for Cambridge University Press.

An accessible and friendly person who always manifested a spirit of cooperation and collaboration, Dale Jacquette had accumulated a wide circle of admiring and dedicated friends and associates. His departure is a great loss both to philosophy itself and to the philosophical community.