BERNARD GERT was Stone Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, Emeritus,Dartmouth College, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Research Professor, Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is author of Common Morality:Deciding What to Do (2004), paperback edition (2007), Morality: Its Nature and Justification, revised edition (2005) and Hobbes: Prince of Peace (2010). First author of Morality and the New Genetics: A Guide for Students and Health Care Providers, (1996) and Bioethics: A Systematic Approach, (2006), and editor of Man and Citizen, (Thomas Hobbes's De Cive and Chapters X-XV of De Homine) (1972, 1991).
Stone Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, Emeritus
Ph.D., Cornell University, 1962
October 16, 1934 - December 24, 2011
Bernard Gert, the Stone Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy Emeritus, died unexpectedly on December 24. We remember Bernie with great fondness as a prolific scholar who made significant contributions to a field he loved. In books such as Common Morality: Deciding What to Do (2004), Bernie cogently illuminated how the quiet decisions of everyday life find their underpinnings in a deep moral structure that guides our judgment. His classic work, Morality: Its Nature and Justification, was first published in 1998 and is now in its sixth edition. His understanding of morality as a system that can guide us when facing multiple choices was important for applied ethics. There can be no greater testimony to Bernie's love of philosophy than the fact that he inspired both of his children to become professional philosophers.
Bernie joined the Dartmouth faculty in 1959 when he was still completing his Ph.D., which he received from Cornell in 1962. He retired in 2009 after 50 years of service to the Philosophy Department and Dartmouth College, making him the longest serving faculty member in our history. At his retirement, he was awarded Dartmouth's Elizabeth Howland Hand-Otis Norton Pierce Award for outstanding teaching of undergraduates. Bernie was also in demand at other institutions, and was honored as a guest professor at The Johns Hopkins University, Edinburgh University, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Nacional Universidad de La Plata and Universidad de Buenos Aires. He believed that moral ethics should be applied, which led him to serve as an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Dartmouth Medical School and as a Research Professor in the Department of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He was also a founding member of the Ethics Committee at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital and a consultant to the Ethics Committee at the University of North Carolina Hospital. In 2006, Bernie received a Lifetime Achievement award from the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.
A memorial service will be held in Rollins Chapel, Hanover, NH on Sunday, August 12 at 11am. A reception in the Hinman Forum, Rockefeller Center will follow.
Last Updated: 7/24/12