William P. Alston

Shreveport native and 1942 Centenary graduate, William P. Alston passed away at his home on September 13, 2009. Born November 29, 1921, Alston graduated high school at the age of 15. At Centenary he was a member of the choir and majored in music performance (piano), before serving in the military during the Second World War. During the War, Alston fell in love with philosophy and taught himself as much about it as he could, enough that he was admitted to graduate study in Philosophy at the University of Chicago without ever having taken a philosophy course. Receiving his PhD in 1951, Alston went on to teach at the University of Michigan, Rutgers University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Syracuse University. He was also President of the American Philosophical Association, the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and the Society for Christian Philosophers. Alston had a distinguished philosophical career working in the areas of epistemology, philosophy of language, and philosophy of religion. He was a founding editor of the journal Faith and Philosophy and an early organizer of the Society of Christian Philosophers. He was also a central figure in the late 20th century revival of the philosophy of religion.

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