In Memoriam

Professor Laurence Goldstein (1947-2014)

Message from Faculty of Arts (21 May 2014)

It is with great sadness that we have to announce that Laurence Goldstein, Professor Emeritus of HKU, passed away peacefully on the 19th May, 2014, aged 67. Laurence was an excellent friend and colleague to many in HKU, having first arrived here in 1976 as a young Lecturer in Philosophy. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1983, to Reader four years later, and to Professor in 1991. He held positions as Head of the Department of Philosophy and Master of Graduate House, as well as a number of shorter-term appointments in Comparative Literature, History, and the Institute of Human Performance. He retired from the University in 2004, but continued his close commitment to HKU through a series of Honorary Professor appointments.

He was most recently at the University of Kent, where he held the positions of Professor of Philosophy and Head of the School of European Culture and Languages.

He was noted for his work on logico-semantical paradoxes, on Wittgenstein, and, in HKU, for helping to set up the multidisciplinary Cognitive Science programme. His wit and humour will be the subject of many reminiscences, but he will perhaps be best remembered for his acute interest in a broad spectrum of academic enquiry and endeavour at HKU. He always seemed to his colleagues to be an irrepressible spirit, but at the end he quickly and sadly succumbed to one of the more virulent forms of brain tumour, first diagnosed at the end of 2013. In what was surely not intended as a premonition, he wrote in 1995, in an article on dying in the journal Analysis, that "Many people appear to slip away…while sleeping peacefully and painlessly". His wife, Carol, and family were with him throughout his last days.

His friends and colleagues, including

  • Douglas Kerr
  • John Spinks
  • Vivian Chu
  • Christopher New

Here is a short memoir about Professor Goldstein written by Professor Tim Moore