Arthur Prior A ‘Young Progressive’ Letters to Ursula Bethell and to Hugh Teague 1936-1941.
Arthur Prior is scarcely a household name in New Zealand, but in some respects his story repeats a narrative we like to think of as quintessentially Kiwi—that of the small town boy who ‘makes it’ on the world stage. Born and raised in the rural township of Masterton in 1914, Prior became a leading philosopher of the 20th century, feted for his invention of tense logic (or temporal logic as it is now called), invited by no less a figure than Gilbert Ryle to deliver the prestigious John Locke lectures in Oxford in 1956, offered a Chair in Philosophy at Manchester in 1958, then a Fellowship at Balliol College, Oxford, in 1966. Tragically, he died at the relatively young age of 54, but he remains one of the central figures in the development of logic in the 20th century.
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