Ned Garvin, epistemologist extraordinaire, died this June. He was only 57 years old. Ned was instrumental in my hiring at Albion College, and was the kindest and smartest person I’ve met in 25 years of academic life so far. The other night I attended a memorial event for him at the college. Not surprisingly, the event was held in the same auditorium where just a few years earlier V.S. Ramachandran spoke at Ned’s invitation!
Former students from all around the country came, many who are presently in neuroscience or philosophy graduate programs. Other folks who followed different careers paths were there in large numbers, too. There was barely a dry eye in the house as many speakers gave witness to Ned’s charm and wit, his skill as a teacher and mentor, and to his exceptionally-varied hobbies (Harleys, flyfishing and cajun accordion-playing are the first to come to mind!). For those whose interest is piqued, I suggest a simple lookup in FaceBook; there you will see more than one “Ned Garvin is God”-type group, and I heartily encourage a glance at Remembering Ned Garvin.
I miss Ned during my teaching days, when prepping for classes and when reading exciting new findings in cognitive science. This world is really just not the same without him. My heart goes out to his wife Jenny, to their kids, and to others in the Albion community who knew Ned for much longer than me; I cannot imagine the loss you all must feel.