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Joseph Boyle Memorial Event

Friday October 6, 2017, 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Joseph M. Boyle, Jr., was born in Philadelphia on July 30, 1942 and died on September 24, 2016.

In 1970, Boyle completed his PhD dissertation at Georgetown University under the supervision of Germain Grisez. He held positions at Fidelis College in Herman, Pennsylvania (1968-70), Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan (1970-76), the College of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota (1976-81), and University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas (1981-86). In 1986 he moved to the University of Toronto to take up a position as professor of philosophy at St. Michael’s College and the Department of Philosophy. He retired in 2013.

Although his main focus was on teaching and scholarly work, he was also a highly effective administrator, serving as principal of St. Michael’s College (1991-2001) and as interim chair (2003) and acting chair (2008-2009) of the Department of Philosophy. He also served as president of the American Catholic Philosophical Association in 1988-89.

He authored Free Choice: a Self-Referential Argument (1976) with Olaf Tollefsen and Grisez; Life and Death with Liberty and Justice: A Contribution to the Euthanasia Debate (1979) with Grisez; Catholic Sex Ethics (1986) with Ronald Lawler and William May; and Nuclear Deterrence, Morality, and Realism (1989) with Grisez and John Finnis. He co-edited Philosophical Perspectives in Bioethics (1996) with his colleague L. W. Sumner.

Boyle worked under Roderick Chisholm’s supervision while on a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at Brown University in 1975-76, and with Robert P. George and others as a Fellow in the James Madison Program at Princeton in 2010-11. From 2013 to 2016 he was a leader of a philosophy of religion reading group in the Department of Philosophy of the University of Toronto, focused on classical theism.

A complete memorial notice appeared on the American Philosophical Association’s website.

This memorial event will be held at St. Michael’s College.

  • 3:00 – 5:00 pm: Academic Event
  • 5:00 – 6:00 pm: Mass at St. Basil’s Parish, 50 St Joseph St, Toronto, ON M5S 1J4
  • 6:00 – 7:00 pm: Reception


Friday October 6, 2017
3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Department of Philosophy
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St. Michael’s College
81 St Mary Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1J4 Canada
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