As the department faculty seems to get younger and younger, we thought it would be fun to check in with our most recently retired faculty to see what they’ve been up to. As it turns out, they seem to be doing a lot of philosophy during their retirements! They are also managing to have lots of fun—in the vineyard, on the pickleball court, and on globe-trotting adventures.
Jim Boyd retired in 2006 after taking his last group of faculty on a Fulbright Study Tour to India. The years following have been filled with travel in the United States, Asia and Europe, plus writing, at the request of his children, his “memoir” of the years living in Asia. This led to written reflections on what he has learned from my teachers in India, Sri Lanka, Iran and Japan.
Boyd’s writing is a combination of photographs and poems that convey what he has experienced and learned about the philosophies central to these cultures. Friends and some former students indicated their interest in what he has written and so he has made six of his published photo-poems available on Amazon Kindle.
Don Crosby retired from the department in 2002 after 36 years of enjoyable work with faculty and students. Don and his wife Pam moved to Tallahassee, Florida soon thereafter. Not long after his arrival, he taught philosophy of religion, pragmatism, and the history of ancient philosophy part-time for four years as an adjunct at Florida State.
While Crosby had published four books by the time of his retirement, since then he has published 15 more with another forthcoming and more in progress. The topics of these books are far-ranging, including theories of religious language, human and environmental ethics, action theory, epistemology, history of philosophy, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, and defenses of religious naturalism. Crosby presented a paper at a philosophical meeting in Salt Lake City last summer and has continued to write articles for publication.
Clearly, philosophy has continued to play a central role in Crosby’s life since retirement. He shares, “Living the good life after retirement has meant for me continuing to take intellectual work seriously and exercising my mind by engaging in a daily regimen of philosophical inquiry.”
Dick Kitchener retired in 2013 but taught a course for a couple of years until 2018. Since then he’s occupied himself with travel. He and Anne just returned from a South American trip to the Galapagos, the Amazon, and Machu Picchu. Kitchener has more trips planned in the future, including an annual trek to Utah Shakespeare festival.
With all this travel, Kitchener still finds time for his favorite hobbies. “I play a little pickleball, golf, and continue to sing in a Barbershop Quartet and Chorus. And I just bought a classic 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air 2-door hardtop convertible! Of course, I always have time to visit my grandkids and to last out the winter in Hawaii.”
Kitchener continues to read and write. He organized a “Festschrift” for Bernie Rollin, finally publishing the papers in a journal on applied animal ethics. He also published a critical study in Analysis, did a translation project of Jean Piaget’s Autobiography along with a couple of other translations. He is currently working on revising drafts on “Do animals have an Epistemology?”, “The Piaget-Isaacs Affair,” and “Piaget’s other Intelligence Test” and working on a book proposal: Folk Epistemology: Its Origin and Future Prospects.
Jane Kneller retired from CSU in 2015, although she didn’t entirely retire from philosophy. She had always wanted to return to the Pacific Northwest, so she relocated to western Oregon to a small commercial vineyard in the Willamette Valley. She missed teaching and taught for a few years at various colleges in the area until COVID changed the dynamics from lively classroom discussion to muted screens.
Kneller has presented talks at professional conferences when she’s felt like it (the joy of being retired!) until that too became nearly impossible thanks to COVID. Meanwhile, she continues to write and publish papers on Kant and early German romanticism. Given this continuous philosophical engagement, Kneller thinks about retirement a little differently: “I think of myself as retired from committee meetings even as, like the Dude, philosophy abides.”
Kneller reports that vineyards are “lovely but extremely labor intensive.” Her escape, as always, has been family, friends (including dogs, of course), and singing. Since moving to Oregon, she has been in a fabulous women’s choir that promotes social justice, sociability, and beautiful music (with a conductor who grew up in Fort Collins!). She does report missing one thing: “All my great colleagues at CSU and my wonderful friends from Fort Collins. If you’re ever out here in ‘the Valley’ it would be great to see you!”
Michael Losonsky went on transitional retirement in 2012 and fully retired July 2015. In November 2012, his wife Jane Kneller bought Greyhorse Vineyard, a small organic vineyard in Oregon, where they grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. For three years they had vineyard managers and once Losonsky learned the ropes he’s been managing and working in the vineyard, both on tractor and on foot. They sell the Pinot Noir to winemakers, lately Swick Wines, and the Chardonnay they vinify for themselves.
Losonsky has been writing, including two contributions to The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Reference (2021) and The Cambridge Handbook of the Philosophy of Language (2022), and he’s working on two papers on Locke and Leibniz. He was especially happy to publish in 2020 an essay in Hume Studies on Hume’s concept of the ‘whimsical condition’, a theme I pursued for a long time while teaching Hume at Colorado State University.
Losonsky reports a major health scare and a thankful recovery, “After decades of hypertension, refusing to see doctors, and self-medication, I had a heart attack in 2021 that resulted in being transported in a screaming ambulance to Portland, two stents, two doctors, and a daily shovel full of medications. I’m fine, so far, but aging is not for the meek.”
Holmes Rolston shared new research about his work and his status as “the father of environmental ethics.” Some recent examples include Haoran Zhang’s article in Religions titled, “Dialogue between Confucianism and Holmes Rolston, III—Its Significance for Theology in the Planetary Climate Crisis” and Arthur Obst’s dissertation at the University of Washington, “Wilderness for Wildness: Saving the Wild in a Post-Natural World,” featuring Rolston and Baird Callicott.
Rolston was featured in an interview with Sam Libenson and Justin Wong with The Harvard Review of Philosophy. The Harvard Review of Philosophy each year conducts interviews with philosophers considered “groundbreaking and on the leading edge of philosophy.” This 2022 issue on Philosophy and the Environment also included Baird Callicott and Peter Singer. Rolston recently engaged in an online dialogue with Willa Swenson-Lengyel from Davidson College. Swenson-Lengyel holds the endowed chair in science and religion that Rolston established after being awarded the Templeton Prize in 2003.
Most recently, Rolston has published an article in Zygon, “We Humans Are the Worst and the Best and…” where he details humanity’s “wicked mix of the awesome and the awful” and shares his “spiritual hope in a secular future.”
Phil Turetzky retired at the beginning of June 2016. He worked on his logic and critical thinking textbook and published it with Broadview Press in 2019 under the title The Elements of Arguments: An Introduction to Critical Thinking and Logic. He has received positive feedback from several faculty and graduate teaching assistants at various colleges and universities.
Since then, Turetzky has been working on a book inspired by Spinoza’s Ethics. He also keeps in touch with several former students and other philosophers, mostly through video conferencing. Other than that, Turetzky continues to play guitar and through the pandemic started learning to sing. He swims several times a week and plays chess every week.