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Memoir

Jack W. Meiland
Regents' Proceedings 158

Jack W. Meiland, professor of philosophy in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, retired from active faculty status on August 31, 1997, following 35 years of service.

Professor Meiland received his B.A. (1956), M.A. (1957), and Ph.D (1962) degrees from the University of Chicago. He joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1962 as an instructor of philosophy. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1964, associate professor in 1968, and professor in 1974. Professor Meiland also served as director of the LS&A Honors Program from 1979-83, as LS&A's associate dean for long-range planning and curriculum from 1983-90, and as associate dean for undergraduate education from 1990-92.

Professor Meiland's philosophical interests have been unusually wide-ranging, including metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of logic, philosophy of the social sciences and of history, phenomenology, hermeneutics, contemporary continental philosophy, and American philosophy and pragmatism. He has published three influential books in these areas: Scepticism and Historical Knowledge (1965), The Nature of Intention (1970), and Talking About Particulars (1970). He has also published thirty articles, and is co-editor, with Michael Krauss, of Relativism: Cognitive and Moral (1982).

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to undergraduate education, Professor Meiland was appointed Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in 1988, and twice received the LS&A Excellence in Education Award. A superb classroom teacher students know him for his caring approach; he teaches without pretense, conveying to students that he is a partner in learning. He taught classes in the Residential College and in the Inteflex Program, and had a special talent for making philosophy come alive for students whose chief interests lie elsewhere. In the last few years, Professor Meiland reintroduced American philosophy into the curriculum, and developed two new courses: "Great Books in Philosophy," and "Science, Culture, and Values." For many years, Professor Meiland taught a University Division course of his own design for first-year students, "Methods of Thinking." His book, College Thinking (1981), is one of the few college guides that discuss how to benefit intellectually from college.

The Regents now salute this distinguished faculty member by naming Jack W. Meiland professor emeritus of philosophy.