Gerald J. Massey, Ph.D (Princeton)

  • Distinguished Service Professor of Philosophy Emeritus

In 1970 Dr. Massey came to Pitt from Michigan State to chair the Department of Philosophy, charged with the task of pulling the department together and moving it forward.  His seven-year chairmanship has been called the Golden Age of the Pittsburgh Department, which by 1975 had been adjudged the second best philosophy department in the nation by the National Research Council.  Similarly, in 1988, Dr. Massey began what Adolf Grünbaum has called “an action-packed” nine-year term (1988-1997) as Director of Pitt’s renowned Center for Philosophy of Science, greatly expanding its international reach, influence, and prestige. In 1992, Dr. Massey was appointed Distinguished Service Professor of Philosophy.   In 1997 the then President of Germany, Dr. Roman Herzog, awarded Dr. Massey the coveted Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse (Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany) for his contributions to German-American philosophy.

Click on the Curriculum Vitae button to view a narrative account of Dr. Massey’s many-sided academic career.

Dr. Massey resides in Slippery Rock, PA with his cat Zorro and his foxhound Lazarus.  He also maintains a cottage on his 73-acre farm in Stoneboro, where he makes hay and works with Morgan horses.  Dr. Massey is always pleased to welcome students, faculty, and staff to his home or farm.

Representative Publications

 “Quine and Duhem on Holistic Hypothesis Testing”, American Philosophical Quarterly, v. 48 (2011), pp. 241-268.  (This book-length issue of the APQ devoted to Quine’s work)

“St. Thomas Aquinas on the Age of the Universe: Pious Advocate or Self-Interested Partisan?” Studia Culturologica: Divinatio, v. 24 (2006), pp. 67-97.

 “St. Thomas Aquinas on the Age of the Universe: Replies to Critics”, Studia Culturologica: Divinatio, v. 30 (2009), pp. 201—246.

“A New Reconstruction of Zeno’s Flying Arrow” (with Miloš Arsenijević and Sandra Šćepanovic), APEIRON, v. 41 (2008), pp. 1-43.

“From Conceivability to Possibility: Method or Myth” in Modal Epistemology, eds. E. Weber & T. De Mey, Belgian Royal Flemish Academy of Science (2004), pp. 9-21.

Zoological Philosophy, guest edited by G.J. Massey & B.D. Massey, Philosophical Topics, v. 27 (1999), special book-length issue of this journal, xv + 308 pages.

“Medieval Sociobiology: Thomas Aquinas’s Theory of Sexual Morality” in Zoological Philosophy, eds. G. Massey & B. Massey, Philosophical Topics, v. 27 (1999), pp. 69-86.

“Descartes’s Tests for (Animal) Mind” (with Deborah Boyle), in Zoological Philosophy, eds. G. Massey & B. Massey, Philosophical Topics, v. 27 (1999), pp. 87-146.

Thought Experiments in Science and Philosophy, eds. T. Horowitz & G.J. Massey, Rowman & Littlefield (1991), vi & 335 pages.       

 “Backdoor Analyticity” in Thought Experiments in Science and Philosophy, eds. T. Horowitz & G.J. Massey, Rowman & Littlefield (1991), pp. 285-296.

“The Indeterminacy of Translation: A Study in Philosophical Exegesis”, Philosophical Topics, v. 20 (1992), pp. 317-345.

“Indeterminacy, Inscrutability, and the Relativity of Ontology”, Studies in Ontology: American Philosophical Quarterly (1978), pp. 43-55.

“Genetic Inference: A Reconsideration of David Hume’s Empiricism” (with Barbara D. Massey), in Inference, Explanation, and other Frustrations: Essays in the Philosophy of Science, ed. John Earman, U. of California Press, Berkeley & Oxford (1992), pp. 72-83.

“Rhetoric and Rationality in William Harvey’s De Motu Cordis”, in Science, Reason, and Rhetoric, eds. H. Krips, J.E. McGuire, and T. Melia, University of Pittsburgh Press & University of Konstanz Press (1995), pp. 13-46.

Binary Connectives Functionally Complete by Themselves in S5 Modal Logic”, Journal of Symbolic Logic, v. 32 (1967), pp.91-92.

Binary Closure-Algebraic Operations That Are Functionally Complete”, Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, v.11 (1970), pp. 340-342.

“Atomic Boolean Algebras and Classical Propositional Logic”, in Studies in Epistemology: Logic, Meaning, and Computation: Essays in Memory of Alonzo Church, eds. C. Anthony Anderson & Michael Zelëny, Kluwer Academic Publishers (2002), pp. 185-189.

“Semantic Holism” (with Nuel Belnap), Studia Logica, v. 49 (1990), pp. 67-82.

Semantic Holism is Seriously False”, Studia Logica, v. 49 (1990), pp. 84-86.

“Are there any Good Arguments that Bad Arguments are Bad?” Philosophy in Context, v. 4 (1975), pp. 61-77.

“The Fallacy behind Fallacies”, Midwest Studies in Philosophy, v. 6 (1981), pp. 489-500. [First published online 7 May 2008.], originally appeared in The Foundations of Analytic Philosophy, eds. P.A. French, T.E. Uehling, Jr., and H.K. Wettstein, Minneapolis (1981).

Understanding Symbolic Logic, Harper & Row (1970), xix + 428 pages.