Obituary of Alfons Grieder | Philosophy
My friend Alfons Grieder, who died at the age of 86, was professor of philosophy and visiting professor at the University of London from 1967 to 2005.
Born in the village of Wenslingen in Baselland, Switzerland, where his father, Traugott, and mother, Amalie (née Buess), operated a farm, Alfons attended Schiers school in the canton of Graubünden. There he showed an aptitude for studies, especially mathematics and physics.
In 1955, after completing his teacher training, he taught mathematics, first at a school in the canton of Basel, then at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (1962-63). While there he obtained a degree in physics, then did postgraduate research in physics at the University of Zurich (1964-65), after which he attended the Janggen-Pöhn Foundation in St. Gall, who has helped outstanding postgraduates continue their academic training – in his case to move from physics to philosophy.
He moved to Great Britain in 1966 to study for a doctorate at the University of Bristol, where he met and married another student, Linda Liebold, in 1967. He was subsequently professor of philosophy at the University. from London (1967-81), upgrading to Senior Lecturer (1981-89), Head of Division (1989-2000) and Visiting Professor (2001-2005), after which he retired.
Alfons has always been very interested in the lives of others, especially young people. Unlike many, even those with a deep understanding of many topics, he was happy to embrace people whose opinions differed from his own. He was wonderfully insightful, and through decades of friendship, I never knew he was wrong about anything or anyone.
He is survived by Linda, their children, Peter, Tom and Esther, grandchildren, Anastasia, Sofia, Sylvie and Elio, and her brother, Walter. A son, Robert, died in 2011.