established at the National Humanities Center
News Release Date: March 2, 2010; updated October 19, 2011
Research Triangle Park, N.C. Philip L. Quinn (1940-2004) worked in philosophy of science and philosophy of religion. He taught at Brown University, where he held the William Herbert Perry Fraunce Professorship, and at the University of Notre Dame, where he was the John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy. He served as President of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association, and he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Philip Quinn served on the final selection committee of the National Humanities Center in 1984 and subsequently assisted the Center as a preliminary reviewer of applications for many years. He was one of the dedicated scholars whose judgment insured the quality of the Center's Fellows, and though he himself never came to the Center as a Fellow, he valued it as a crucial American institution for the nurture and improvement of scholarship in the liberal arts.
After Professor Quinn's death in 2004, his Notre Dame colleague in philosophy, Paul Weithman, and another close friend, Mary Lou Solomon, were named co-executors of his estate. Paul Weithman had been a Fellow of the National Humanities Center in 2000-2001, and he was aware of Philip Quinn's long-standing connection and interest. He inquired whether a suitable memorial might be established at the Center, and in the end the two co-executors decided to endow the Philip L. Quinn Fellowship to be awarded annually in philosophy, preferably supporting young women in the early stages (pre-tenure) of their scholarly careers. The endowment will be established with $800,000 from the Quinn estate matched by $700,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The first Quinn Fellowship will be awarded to a member of the class of 2011-12 at the Center.
It is especially gratifying that a distinguished and much-loved member of the academic world admired the National Humanities Center and that his co-executors have chosen to memorialize him here. It speaks to the place that the Center holds in the hearts and minds of American scholars, and it is fitting that Philip Quinn's intellectual and ethical commitments in the profession be transmitted thus to future generations of philosophers.