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Hahn, Lewis Edwin (1908-2004) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Hahn, Lewis Edwin (1908-2004)

Historical Note:

Dr. Hahn is the author of many articles published in professional journals as well as the author of A Contextualistic Theory of Perception, and Contextualistic Worldview: Essays. He collaborated with John Dewey, Ray Lepley, Stephen Pepper and others on Value: A Cooperative Inquiry. In addition to this collaborative enterprise, Dr. Hahn served as Chair of the John Dewey Cooperative Research Project. Dr. Hahn is perhaps, best known as the editor of the Library of Living Philosophers where he edited numerous volumes of this series published by Open Court.  Besides his publications, presentations, editorial activities, teaching, and development of courses and course material, Dr. Hahn was active in a plethora of national and international professional philosophical organizations as well as departmental, college and university committees.  He also served as a consultant for various foundations and government agencies including the U.S. Office of Education, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Program, and Educational Testing Services.

Before coming to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Dr. Hahn was a professor at the University of Missouri in Columbia from 1936 until 1949 with the exception of one term in 1947 where he taught as a visiting professor at Princeton.  From 1949 until 1963, Dr. Hahn was a professor and university administrator at Washington University in St. Louis.  He was appointed as a Research Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Philosophy at Southern Illinois University in 1963. In the fall of 1970 and the Spring of 1980, Dr. Hahn taught at Baylor University in Waco, Texas as a visiting professor.

Lewis Hahn was born on September 26, 1908 on a farm near Swenson, Texas.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Arts degree in English at the University of Texas with Phi Beta Kappa honors in 1929. Dr. Hahn wrote his Master's thesis on Emerson as a lecturer and was awarded an Oldright Fellowship for the 1930-1931 year to pursue a doctorate in English and continue his studies of the relationship between Emerson and Whitman. Early in this fellowship year, Dr. Hahn became convinced that he wanted to pursue a doctorate in Philosophy.  On the advice of Harold Chapman Brown (a collaborator with Dewey, Mead, and others on Creative Intelligence: Essays in the Pragmatic Attitude, 1917) Dr. Hahn decided to pursue a doctorate in Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley since the University of Texas did not offer a doctorate in Philosophy at the time.  Dr. Hahn completed his Doctorate in Philosophy in 1939.  In June of 1932, Dr. Hahn married Elizabeth Herring and they had three daughters, Helen, Mary Louise, and Sharon Kay. After the death of Elizabeth in 1991, Dr. Hahn married Mary Anne Stearns. He died in 2004.

Sources: Lewis Edwin Hahn Papers, Box 33, Folder 70
Note Author: Christina M. Gould

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