D. Z. Phillips

Western Philosophy
20th-century philosophy
Dewi Phillips late in life
Name:Dewi Zephaniah Phillips
Birth:November 24, 1934
Morriston, Wales
Death:July 25 2006 (aged 73)
Swansea, United Kingdom
School/tradition:Analytic philosophy, Moral philosophy
Main interests:Philosophy of religion, ethics, Philosophy of literature
Notable ideas:A new role for the philosophy of religion: not in uniting theology and philosophy, but in recognising and analysing their different functions.
Influences:Kant, Kierkegaard, Weil, Wittgenstein, Rhees, Winch


Dewi Zephaniah Phillips (24 November 193425 July 2006), known as D. Z. Phillips, Dewi Z, or simply DZ, was a leading proponent of Wittgensteinian philosophy of religion and had a long academic career spanning five decades. At the time of his death, he held the Danforth Chair in Philosophy of Religion at Claremont Graduate University, California and was Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Swansea University (formerly the University of Wales, Swansea and University College, Swansea).

Born in Morriston, Glamorgan, Wales, in 1934, Phillips was the youngest son of David and Alice Phillips. One of three brothers, he was predeceased by the Reverend Cadfan Phillips and Keri Phillips. In 1959 he married Margaret Monica Hanford and they had three sons, Aled, Steffan and Rhys, and four grandchildren, Ceri, Bethan, Siân and Emyr.

He attended Swansea Grammar School and studied at University College, Swansea (1952–58) and the University of Oxford (St Catherine’s Society) (1958-61). From 1959 until 1961, he was Minister of Fabian Bay Congregational Church, Swansea. He began his academic career at Queen’s College, Dundee, in 1961, before joining the University College of North Wales, Bangor, in 1963. He returned to Swansea University in 1965 to take up a lectureship in the Department of Philosophy. Promoted to a senior lectureship in 1967, he became professor and head of department in 1971. He also served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts (1982–1985) and as a Vice-Principal (1989–1992). In 1993 he was appointed Danforth Professor of Philosophy of Religion at the Claremont Graduate University in California, and thereafter divided his time between Claremont and Swansea where, in 1996, he became the Rush Rhees Professor Emeritus and Director of the Rush Rhees Archives and Peter Winch Archives based in Swansea University. He held both positions until his death in 2006.

Professor Phillips gave many endowed lectures during his tenure at California's Claremont Graduate University. These included the Cardinal Mercier Lectures (Leuven), Marett Lecture (Oxford), Riddell Lectures (Newcastle), McMartin Lectures (Carleton University, in Ottawa), Hintz Lecture (Tucson), the Aquinas Lecture (Oxford), and Vonhoff Lectures (Groningen).

His teachers at Swansea – J. R. Jones, R. F. Holland, Peter Winch and, most importantly, Rush Rhees inspired an untiring devotion to philosophy. His research interests included the philosophy of religion, ethics, philosophy and literature, Simone Weil, Søren Kierkegaard, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. He contributed much to Swansea University's reputation as a centre of Wittgenstein's philosophy. Indeed, Phillips's distinctive contribution to philosophy, and a handful of other philosophers associated with Swansea, is recognised among professional philosophers as "the Swansea school" of philosophy.

Outside philosophy and academia, his commitment to the language and culture of Wales was clear. He was instrumental in the founding of the Taliesin Arts Centre on the university campus in Swansea, and promoted the use of the Welsh language in local schools. He was honoured by membership of the Gorsedd Circle of the National Eisteddfod.

Professor Phillips died of a heart attack in Swansea University Library, on July 25, 2006. He was 71.

Published works

D. Z. Phillips was perhaps best known for his publications in the philosophy of religion, but he has also published articles in ethics, philosophy and literature, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Welsh language publications in Welsh literature. He was editor of the journal Philosophical Investigations (Blackwells) and the Swansea Series in Philosophy (Palgrave), as well as the Claremont Studies in the Philosophy of Religion and Wittgensteinian Studies series. Selected publications:
  • Athronyddu Am Grefydd (Philosophising About Religion)
  • Belief, Change and Forms of Life
  • Concept of Prayer, The
  • Death and Immortality
  • Dramâu Gwenlyn Parry
  • Faith after Foundationalism
  • Faith and Philosophical Enquiry
  • From Fantasy to Faith
  • Interventions in Ethics
  • Introducing Philosophy: The Challenge of Scepticism
  • Kant and Kierkegaard on Religion (co-edited with Timothy Tessin)
  • Moral Practices (with H O Mounce)
  • Philosophy's Cool Place
  • Problem of Evil and the Problem of God, On the
  • Recovering Religious Concepts
  • Religion and Friendly Fire
  • Religion and Hume's Legacy (co-edited with Timothy Tessin)
  • Religion and the Hermeneutics of Contemplation
  • Religion without Explanation
  • R.S. Thomas: Poet of the Hidden God
  • Sense and Delusion (with Ilham Dilman)
  • Through a Darkening Glass
  • Wittgenstein and Religion
  • Wittgensteinian Fideism? (Co-written with Kai Nielsen)

External links

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Analytic philosophy (sometimes, analytical philosophy) is a generic term for a style of philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century.
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Ethics (via Latin ethica from the Ancient Greek ἠθική [φιλοσοφία]
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Philosophy of religion is a branch of philosophy that is concerned with the philosophical study of religion, including arguments over the nature and existence of God, religious language, miracles, prayer, the problem of evil, and the relationship between religion and other
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Ethics (via Latin ethica from the Ancient Greek ἠθική [φιλοσοφία]
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Philosophy and Literature is an academic journal founded in 1977. It explores the connections between literary and philosophical studies by presenting ideas on the aesthetics of literature, critical theory, and the philosophical interpretation of literature.
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Immanuel Kant (22 April, 1724 – 12 February, 1804) was a philosopher from Königsberg in the Kingdom of Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). He is regarded as one of the most influential thinkers of modern Europe and the closing period of the Enlightenment.
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Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (IPA: [ˈsɶːɐn ˈkʰiɐ̯g̊əˌg̊ɒːˀ], but usually Anglicized as
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Simone Weil (IPA pronunciation: [siˈmɑn veɪ][1]) (February 3, 1909 – August 24, 1943), who occasionally used the anagrammatic pen name Emile Novis, was a French philosopher, social activist, and
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Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (IPA: ['luːtvɪç 'joːzɛf 'joːhan 'vɪtgənʃtaɪn]
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Rush Rhees (19 March1905-22 May1989) was a philosopher at Swansea University from 1940 to 1966

Rhees is principally known as a student, friend, and literary executor of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. With G. E. M.
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Peter Guy Winch (January 14, 1926 in London – April 27, 1997) was a British philosopher known for his contributions to the philosophy of the social sciences, Wittgenstein scholarship, ethics, and the philosophy of religion.
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November 24 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

  • 380 - Theodosius I makes his adventus, or formal entry, into Constantinople.

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Year 1934 (MCMXXXIV
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July 25 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

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Philosophy of religion is a branch of philosophy that is concerned with the philosophical study of religion, including arguments over the nature and existence of God, religious language, miracles, prayer, the problem of evil, and the relationship between religion and other
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Claremont Graduate University (formerly The Claremont Graduate School) was founded in 1925 in the city of Claremont, California. It is one of two graduate institutions in the prestigious Claremont Colleges consortium, the other being the Keck Graduate Institute.
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The meaning of the word professor (Latin: person who professes to be an expert in some art or science, teacher of highest rank[1]) varies. In most English-speaking countries, it refers to a senior academic who holds a departmental chair
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Philosophy is the discipline concerned with questions of how one should live (ethics); what sorts of things exist and what are their essential natures (metaphysics); what counts as genuine knowledge (epistemology); and what are the correct principles of reasoning (logic).
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Swansea University (Welsh: Prifysgol Abertawe) is located in Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom.

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