Longtime Department of Philosophy Professor Brad Bassler has retired after 25 years at the University of Georgia. In addition to his work in the philosophy of literature, mathematics, and physics, Bassler is an accomplished mathematician, musician, and poet--a true Renaissance man who has spent his career committed to interdisciplinary exploration. He is the author of four philosophical treatises: Kant, Shelley and the Visionary Critique of Metaphysics (2018), Matrix Philosophy Manifest (2017), The Long Shadow of the Parafinite: Three Scenes from the Prehistory of a Concept (2015), and The Pace of Modernity: Reading With Blumenberg (2012), as well as the poetry collection OPERATING MANUALS IN THE DARK (2019).
“Brad’s endlessly creative, passionate and uncompromising devotion to philosophy and to his students will be sorely missed in our department, and beyond,” declares associate professor Elizabeth Brient. “His commitment to thinking and working in the interdisciplinary spaces that join philosophy and literature, philosophy and mathematics, and philosophy and physics, played out not only in his research but in his extraordinary teaching and mentoring. To say that his retirement will leave a huge gap in our program is a gross understatement!”
While Bassler pursued a varied array of personal and academic interests, his dedication to teaching remained steadfast. “Brad Bassler is one of the most dedicated teachers we have ever had in the Philosophy Department,” says Ed Halper, Distinguished Research Professor and Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor. “Students found his classes thoroughly engaging, and from all that I could tell, Brad enjoyed engaging them further. For many students, his classes and additional meetings with him were transformative.”
"Professor Bassler is a wide-ranging scholar, and a gifted and committed teacher and mentor," says Department Heat Aaron Meskin. "He made a huge contribution to the intellectual development of undergraduates and graduates at UGA for 25 years. He will be missed."
Bassler leaves a lasting impression on the Department and Professor Yuri Balashov notes he will continue to refer to Bassler in his philosophy of language classes when explaining the philosophical principles of esteemed philosopher Saul Kripke in A Puzzle About Belief (1988): "I attend a philosophy talk by a scholar named 'Brad Bassler' and come to believe (not surprisingly) that Brad Bassler is a brilliant philosopher. A few years later I attend a mathematics talk by someone named ‘Bradley Bassler’ and form a belief that Bradley Bassler is an excellent mathematician.” He continues, “I find it curious that these two people (almost) share a name. I do not for a moment believe them to be the same person since I am convinced that one cannot be both a brilliant philosopher and an excellent mathematician…. I have two distinct notions of Brad Bassler that I do not link internally. And yet they are of the same person!"