03 December 2020

It is with great sadness that the Department of Philosophy learned of the passing of Professor Emeritus Richard Bosley on Saturday, November 26.

Richard came to the University of Alberta in 1963, where he spent his entire career. Even after his retirement in 1995, he remained active in the life of the Department and continued to teach as an instructor until 2005.

Richard was a specialist of Aristotle, with special interests in the transmission of Aristotle’s ideas into the Western canon, via its Arabic interpreters. Struck by the temporal coincidence of the flowering of Greek and Chinese philosophy, he spent his first sabbatical in China learning Mandarin, and soon added Chinese Philosophy to the courses he taught in the Department. Richard was not only a passionate teacher who had a lasting impact on many of his students, some of whom became life-long friends; he was also a prolific writer. Aside from articles in MindApeironThe Journal of Chinese Philosophy, and Philosophy East and West among others, he published many singled-authored books such as On Good and Bad: Whether Happiness is the Highest Good (1988), On Virtue and Vice: Metaphysical Foundations of the Doctrine of the Mean (1991), On Knowing that One Knows: The Logic of Skepticism and Theory (1993). With his long-time colleague and friend, Martin Tweedale, he co-authored Aristotle and His Medieval Interpreters (1992) and co-edited two anthologies with Broadview Press: Basic Issues in Medieval Philosophy (1997, 2006) and Ancient Political Thought (2014).

Aside from academic writing, Richard also had a love for dramatic writing and wrote several philosophical dialogues, which were performed at various conferences and which always included a role for his wife, Vivien.

Richard suffered from Alzheimer in the last few years of his life, a tragedy for such a great intellectual mind. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 55 years, Vivien, their two sons Aneurin and Laurence, grandchildren and many other family members, friends, and former colleagues. He will be dearly missed.