Elected: 1977
Discipline: Unspecified at this time
Professor Robert Craigie Cross CBE FRSE
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When Robert Cross went to Aberdeen University as Regius Professor of Logic in 1953, philosophy teaching ‎was divided into two traditional departments – Moral Philosophy and Logic and Metaphysics – and an ‎elementary course in philosophy was compulsory for arts students. These aspects were to change radically. ‎Aberdeen was still then a small, local university with the traditions of Scottish higher education firmly in ‎place. Students came largely from the North-East region, there were no student residences, and “meal ‎Monday” was used to enable students to return home for a break. In his first few years Cross, with Wladek ‎Bednarowski, established up-to-date courses in logic, general philosophy and the history of philosophy ‎which emphasised the virtues of clarity, careful analysis and common sense typical of Oxford philosophy at ‎the time. Cross’s own major philosophical work was Plato’s Republic: a philosophical commentary, written ‎with A. D. Woozley (his part being written in his distinctive near-indecipherable handwriting, sometimes ‎known as “Linear C”) and published in 1964. It was written not as a new work of scholarship but as a ‎patient, careful survey of the arguments in the Republic which students at all levels would find accessible ‎and illuminating. The book had the characteristic care and lucidity in outlining Plato’s views which were ‎typical of Cross’s writing and teaching. It has been widely used ever since. He took great satisfaction from ‎learning in the mid-1990s that students continued to take substantial numbers of photocopies from the book; ‎and it is still prominently cited as a basic text for students. ‎