Stephen C. Pepper papers, 1903-1972
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Brief Description:

Autobiographical and biographical material comprises over one-quarter of the papers of philosopher, Stephen Pepper; the autobiographical "History of Stephen C. Pepper" which was started when Pepper was twelve and continued throughout his life. The collection also includes correspondence with other scholars. The correspondence between Pepper and Cynthia Schuster, as well as with Judith Economos and Arthur Efron, is extensive and substantive. The collection also includes ample manuscript material documenting the development of Pepper's philosophical thought from its first expression in early essays to its flowering in his major works.

The ephemera in this collection includes diplomas, honors, posters, travel materials, and a photographic block.  There are also five tape recordings by Pepper on aesthetics, and a film entitled "Social Equilibrium."

Held at:
Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
605 Agriculture Dr.
MC 6632
Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: 618-453-2516
Fax: 618-453-3451
Email: speccoll [at]
Record Series Number: 1/2/MSS 106
Created by: Pepper, Stephen C. (Stephen Coburn), (1891-)
Volume: 38.0 Boxes
Arrangement: Arranged in twenty two series: (1) History of Stephen C. Pepper-Part II, (2) History of Stephen C. Pepper-Part III, (3) History of Stephen C. Pepper [holograph, original manuscript including journals]-part I. (4) History of Stephen C. Pepper [holograph, original manuscript including journals]-part III, (5) Journals: [notebooks], (6) Miscellaneous, notebooks, diaries, etc. (7) Narratives, historical and biographical, (8) The laws of art, 1921 [mixed typed and holograph manuscript], (9) Science and common experience, sketch of a metaphysics, 1926-1927, (10) Aesthetic quality, 1937, AMS, (11) Philosophy SS, 15, 1939, TMS, (12) General correspondence, 1914-1972, (13) Notes on various subjects, course bibliographies, class record books, (14) Administrative files, (15) Manuscripts, articles, and addresses, (16) Book reviews, bibliographies, student and colleagues work and newsclippings, (17) Travel materials, honors and posters and memorabilia, (18) Books, (19) Correspondence, (20) Class notes, (21) Journal articles, newsclippings, book announcements, and reviews, royalty statements, (22) Narratives, historical and biographical, appointment books, miscellaneous.
Biographical Note for Pepper, Stephen C. (Stephen Coburn), (1891-) :

Stephen Coburn Pepper was born in 1891, the son of well-known portrait painter Charles Hovey Pepper, and the grandson of a distinguished President of Colby College. 

Pepper majored in Philosophy and received both an A.B. and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.  After teaching for a year at Wellesley College, Pepper was called to military service during World War I.  In 1919, Pepper joined the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Pepper was elected chairman of the Art Department from 1938 to 1952.  From 1939 to 1947, Pepper served as Assistant Dean of the College of Letters and Science at Berkeley, and in 1953 he became chairman of the Philosophy Department there.  Pepper was also an author of several major works in philosophy, aesthetics, and metaphysics.  His most notable works are: Aesthetic Quality, World Hypotheses, The Sources of Value, and Concept and Quality. 

Throughout his administrative years, Pepper continued to teach and was a popular lecturer.  He also continued to write on subjects both technical and non-technical, taking an interest in such current affairs as the design of the San Raphael Bridge. Periodically he would travel abroad studying art forms ranging from the primitive art of the Yucatan to the Renaissance art of Europe.

Prior to his death, Pepper completed an article on aesthetics for the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Stephen C. Pepper died of cancer on May 1, 1972.

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.
Subject Index
Art criticism.
Pepper, Stephen C. (Stephen Coburn), 1891-
Philosophy, American - 20th century
University of California, Berkeley
Genres/Forms of Material
Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.
Oral history
Pepper, Stephen C. (Stephen Coburn), 1891- - Correspondence
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote form this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.
Acquisition Notes: Stephen Pepper and Frances Pepper Tarson  donation
Related Materials: VFM
PreferredCitation: [Item], Stephen C. Pepper papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.