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Pepper, Stephen C. (Stephen Coburn), (1891-) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Pepper, Stephen C. (Stephen Coburn), (1891-)

Historical Note:

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.

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