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Schilpp, Paul Arthur (1897-1993) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Schilpp, Paul Arthur (1897-1993)

Historical Note:

Dr. Paul Arthur Schilpp was widely known as a scholar and teacher.  He founded the Library of Living Philosophers in 1938 and served as its editor until July of 1981.  The Library of Living Philosophers was conceived during the 29 years that Dr. Schilpp served in the Philosophy Department at Northwestern University. The first volume on John Dewey appeared in 1939.  While editing the Library of Living Philosophers and teaching, Dr. Schilpp wrote a number of books as well as articles in scholarly journals. Some books by Dr. Schilpp include Kant’s Pre-Critical Ethics, The Quest for Religious Realism (the Mendenhall Lectures given at DePauw University), andThe Crisis in Science and Education (Grady Gammage Memorial Lectures at Arizona State University).

Dr. Schilpp travelled and lectured widely throughout the world.  He held a visiting professorship at the University of Munich, Germany; was awarded the Watumull Foundation Lectureship in India and Ceylon; and represented the U.S. Department of State at the Pakistan Philosophical Congress.

He served as president of the Western Division of the American Philosophical Association and was also a consultant in Philosophy to the Encyclopedia Britannica.  In 1974, he received the Gold Medal of Phi Beta Kappa of Greater Chicago area for Distinguished Service.  In June of 1980, he was awarded the First Bertrand Russell Society Award at the University of Chicago Campus.  From 1978-1979, Dr. Schilpp served as co-chairman of the Centennial Commemoration Festival to honor the 100th birthday of Albert Einstein.  Dr. Schilpp received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for this project which brought three Nobel Laureates, various distinguished scholars and the St. Louis Symphony to Carbondale. In addition to his activities in learned societies, Dr. Schilpp was a leader in multiple causes including the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, the United World Federalists, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and the American Civil Liberties Union etc.

Dr. Schilpp was born in Germany and was the son of a pioneer Methodist minister.  He came to the U.S. in 1913 at the age of 16 to study at Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, Ohio where he graduated 3 years later with high scholastic record.  He earned his Master’s degree at Northwestern University, his Bachelor of Divinity degree at Garrett Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. at Stanford University.  He also received honorary doctorates from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Illinois, Springfield College, Massachusetts, Kent State University, Ohio, and Baldwin Wallace College, Ohio. He was a professor at the University of the Pacific and Northwestern University before coming to Southern Illinoios University Carbondale in 1965.

In 1950 Dr. Schilpp married Madelon Golden and they had two children, Erich Andrew and Margot Marlene.  He also had four children from a previous marriage to Louise Grunholz, Mrs. Erna Bimson, Mrs. Marjorie Goodere, Robert W. Schilpp and Walter N. Schilpp.

Sources: "Biographical sketches, clippings, and bibliography," Box 1, Folder 1, Paul Arthur Schilpp papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Note Author: Christina Gould

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