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David Armstrong dies


I received this message via the Australasian Association of Philosophy:

The philosophical community will be saddened to learn that David Malet Armstrong died on the 13th of May after a long illness: two months shy of his 88th birthday. DMA or Armo, as he was affectionately known, is the most important philosopher that Australia has produced. Such has been his impact that he not only made major contributions to the philosophy of mind, epistemology and metaphysics, he also played a significant role in laying out the terrain and setting the agenda in those fields. As one reviewer put it when summing up Armstrong’s book What is a Law of Nature?, ‘all future work … starts here’.

The Australasian Association of Philosophy expresses its sadness at David Armstrong’s death, and offers its condolences to his wife Jenny and her children and his sister Suzanne.

The AAP, has placed a section on its website:,
where people are welcome to visit and add their recollections of David.

Please let people know about the page.

I did not know him well, but I did meet him a few times…


  1. Neil Levy Neil Levy

    I won’t pretend to be sad. He was brilliant, but he was an arsenal.

  2. Neil Levy Neil Levy

    Damn you autocorrect! Arsehole, not “arsenal”. On the eve of the FA cup final, too.

    • I thought you were making a point about his debating style…

  3. Brian Brian

    I thought John Mackie was the most important philosopher Australia has produced. (Perhaps that’s because of my Gnu Atheist roots and Mackie’s ‘Miracle of Theism’?). Excepting our venerable host. But have never heard of this man who encapsulated all that was a major sporting team in London named after an armory.

    • Neil Levy Neil Levy

      Armstong is a candidate. But one of many, including several working philosophers. Chalmers actually is a much stronger candidate.

      • It’s such a pity that Dave is best known for his antithesis of materialism, while Armstrong was known for materialism, when Dave is such a nice guy, and Armstrong was not very nice to up and coming philosophers.

  4. Charles Pigden Charles Pigden

    I have to disagree. He was always pleasant and friendly to me when I was young and indeed thereafter. And it certainly wasn’t because I agreed with his politics, which I did not.

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