David W. Hamlyn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

David Walter Hamlyn (1 October 1924 – 15 July 2012)[1][2] was Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, London (1964–1988), and editor of Mind from 1972 to 1984.[2]


Hamlyn was born in 1924. His father was a grocer. He commanded a tank during World War Two in India and the Middle East as part of Hodson's Horse Regiment.[2]

Hamlyn's major interests were in Aristotle (whose de Anima, II and III and parts of I, he translated with a commentary, 1968) and in Ludwig Wittgenstein, both of whom influenced Hamlyn's approach to questions in epistemology and philosophy of psychology.[3]

Hamlyn's central thesis, developed in Experience and the Growth of Understanding (1978), Perception, Learning and the Self (1983), and In and Out of the Black Box (1990), was that in order to be a knower a being must be active and seek to regulate its beliefs in accord with a norm of truth: this requires membership of a community, interaction with which involves emotional responses. In short, knowers are social, affective agents.[4]

The other main area of Hamlyn's writing was the history of philosophy.[5]

Over the course of his career, Hamlyn authored twelve books.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Who's Who 1974, London : A. & C. Black, 1974, p. 1399
  2. ^ a b c d "Professor David Hamlyn". Times Newspapers Limited. 24 August 2012.
  3. ^ Haldane 2005. p. 358.
  4. ^ Haldane 2005. p. 358.
  5. ^ Haldane 2005. p. 358.


  • Haldane, John (2005). Honderich, Ted (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-926479-1.