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Memoir

Richard B. Brandt
Regents' Proceedings 75

Richard B. Brandt, Professor of Philosophy, retired from the active faculty on May 31, 1981, after seventeen years of effective service to the University.

Professor Brandt graduated from Denison University in 1930, with majors in both philosophy and classical studies. He did graduate work at Cambridge University and the University of Tubingen and received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1936. Professor Brandt taught at Swarthmore College from 1937 to 1964. He joined The University of Michigan faculty in 1964 as Chairman of the Department of Philosophy, and served ably in this capacity for thirteen years. During his tenure the Department grew from twelve to twenty faculty members.

Professor Brandt has had many professional honors: Guggenheim Fellowship; Fellow at Center for Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences; John Locke Lecturer at Oxford University; President of the American Philosophical Association (Western Division); and president of two interdisciplinary societies, one dealing with political and legal philosophy and the other with philosophy and psychology. Within The University of Michigan, Professor Brandt has been awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award and has been the Roy Wood Sellars Distinguished College Professor of Philosophy.

Professor Brandt's work in ethics is outstanding. His Hopi Ethics: A Theoretical Analysis (1954) was a landmark in the use of anthropological data to examine fundamental philosophic issues. His Ethical Theory (1959) has been reprinted several times; it is a systematic treatise, which includes his own position, on original form of rule-utilitarianism. His crowning achievement, A Theory of the Good and the Right (1979), argues that a rational person would choose a moral code based on rules of action that maximize utility. He has supplemented these books with a wide variety of articles, which apply his ideas to practical issues.

In view of these many accomplishments and contributions to the University, the Regents now salute this distinguished scholar and teacher for his dedicated service by naming him Professor Emeritus of Philosophy.