Paul William Humphreys

January 17, 1950August 9, 2022
Obituary of Paul William Humphreys
Paul Humphreys, Commonwealth Professor of Philosophy at the University of Virginia, died peacefully on August 9 of a glioblastoma. He is survived by his loving family: his wife, Diane Snustad, and daughters, Emily (Nick) and Alexandra “Allie” Humphreys. He is also survived by granddaughter Sophie, sister Rosemary Upsdell (Norman), brother Mark Humphreys, and many extended family members. He will be missed by his many friends, including the local running community, and by colleagues and students in many parts of the world. Paul was born in London, England in 1950 to William and Christina Humphreys. He received a B.Sc. degree in Logic and Physics from the University of Sussex in 1971. He came to the United States to study at Stanford University, where he was awarded an M.S. in Statistics and M.A. in Philosophy in 1974 and a PhD in Philosophy in 1976. He taught at UCLA, C.S.U. Long Beach, and the University of Arizona before coming to the University of Virginia in 1978, where he taught for more than 40 years. He published widely in the areas of emergent properties, metaphysics, probability, computational science, artificial intelligence, and other areas of philosophy of science, and was internationally recognized for his significant contributions to these areas of modern philosophy. He was a truly interdisciplinary scholar, who established working groups at UVA with faculty from data science, sociology, economics, and other fields. He was a dedicated teacher, a supportive colleague, and a man of eclectic interests. He will be remembered for his devotion to his family, his intelligence, his kindness, his wonderful sense of humor, and his infectious laugh. His family would like to thank his primary care doctor and friend Dr. Andrew Wolf, and the doctors and nurses of the University of Virginia Medical Center and the Hospice of the Piedmont for their compassionate care in his last days. A special thanks to Blake Sipe of Harrisonburg for his generous support and help during Paul’s illness. A celebration of his life will be planned in the near future. Donations in his honor could be made to the American Brain Tumor Association.

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