Peter F. Limper


Died June 26, 1939 – June 7, 2017,Memphis, TN

College: Pierson
Major: Philosophy
Graduate School: Yale Graduate School, M.A., Philosophy, 1965; Yale Graduate School, Ph.D., Philosophy, 1975

Dr. Peter Frederick Limper

June 26, 1939 – June 7, 2017

Dr. Peter F. Limper, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Christian Brothers University, died on June 7, 2017. He is survived by his sister, Mary Joy Leaper of Norwalk, CT, and innumerable friends and colleagues. He received his degrees in Philosophy from Yale University. He began teaching at CBU in 1977. Over his many years of service, in addition to teaching a range of courses in Philosophy, Peter served as Dean of the School of Arts as well as Department Head of Religion and Philosophy. He received the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award in 1999 and will long be remembered for the many roles played in university productions. He was passionate in his knowledge of and love for trains and railroads. He retired from teaching in 2006. Among his many loves, his friends always remained the greatest. A memorial service is being planned / date and time to be announced.

After graduating from Yale College with a major in philosophy and spending a year at Northwestern University, I returned to the Yale Graduate School where I received an MA in philosophy in 1965 and a PhD in 1975. I have taught philosophy at California State University, Hayward (now Cal-State East Bay), Bowdoin College, and Christian Brothers University in Memphis. During my 29 years at CBU, I served at various times as Chair of the Religion and Philosophy Department and Dean of the School of Liberal Arts. I retired in 2006 with the rank of Professor Emeritus. I have published about half a dozen articles and made several conference presentations, mainly in the areas of American pragmatism and process philosophy, particularly as these relate to the philosophy of technology.

I found retirement difficult at first, partly because of a need to come to terms with the gap between my life expectations and actual accomplishments. Now, however, I enjoy it greatly. I remain in Memphis, where I live by myself, as I have for most of my adult life. Although I sometimes regret missing the experiences of marriage and parenthood, I suspect I may not have been well suited for either. I have good friends here and elsewhere, and enjoy socializing, cooking and entertaining. While not an aficionado of Memphis music, I enjoy other aspects of the local cultural scene, especially theater. (I did some acting both at Yale and CBU.)

Retirement has given me more time to indulge my life-long love of trains, including attending railfan activities and dabbling in railroad photography. An HO gauge model railroad remains – perhaps forever – in the planning stage. Travel, by train or otherwise, has been a rewarding retirement activity. I ride Amtrak when possible, and also have done some train-riding and other railroad activities abroad.

I’m an omnivorous reader, with interests including science fiction and keeping up with current developments in science and technology. I’ve become somewhat addicted to Sudoku. I neither tweet, blog, nor have a Facebook page, but find e-mail valuable for keeping in contact with out of town friends and family, and spend a good deal of time surfing the Web.

My politics remain liberal. (I regret that this has increasingly become a term of reproach.) I’m concerned about the politicization of what I regard as urgent environmental issues, including human-induced global warming.

My contacts with 1961 classmates have been somewhat limited, though I also keep in touch with friends from other Yale College classes, and some from my days at Yale Graduate School. My most recent visit to New Haven was for a reunion of philosophy graduate students in 2008. The impact of Yale on my life has been profound, particularly since I was both an undergraduate and graduate student there, but I can’t adequately comment on this in the available space (beyond expressing regret that Yale College was not co-ed when I attended). I wish all my classmates well in the years to come.