Kai Nielsen (philosopher)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kai Nielsen
Born(1926-05-15)May 15, 1926
DiedApril 7, 2021(2021-04-07) (aged 94)
Alma materUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Duke University
Occupation(s)Philosophy professor, author

Kai Nielsen (May 15, 1926 – April 7, 2021) was an American professor, latterly emeritus, of philosophy at the University of Calgary. He specialized in naturalism, metaphilosophy, ethics, analytic philosophy, social and political philosophy. Nielsen also wrote about philosophy of religion, and was an advocate of contemporary atheism. He was also known for his defense of utilitarianism, writing in response to Bernard Williams's criticism of it.


Born on May 15, 1926, in Marshall, Michigan, Kai Edward Nielsen was raised in Moline, Illinois.[1]

Nielsen achieved his AB honors[2] at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and, in 1959, his PhD at Duke University.[3]

Before moving to the University of Calgary, Nielsen held appointments at Amherst College and New York University.[4]

Nielsen was a member of the Royal Society of Canada[3] and a past president (in 1983) of the Canadian Philosophical Association.[5]

Nielsen was also one of the founding members of the Canadian Journal of Philosophy.[6]

In 1973 Nielsen was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto II.[7]

He wrote or edited over 40 books on topics such as Marxism, metaphilosophy and ethical and political theory.[3]

Nielsen died in April 2021 at the age of 94.[4][8]



Articles and book chapters[edit]

see listings at Nielsen's personal home page, Calgary home page, and details at Philpapers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kai Edward Nielsen". Oxford Reference. Retrieved 2021-04-08.
  2. ^ KAI NIELSEN Curriculum Vitae (Abbreviated)
  3. ^ a b c "Nielsen, Kai 1926- | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  4. ^ a b "Department of Philosophy | University of Calgary". phil.ucalgary.ca. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  5. ^ "Presidents". CPA-ACP. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  6. ^ "Canadian Journal of Philosophy". Cambridge Core. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  7. ^ "Humanist Manifesto II". American Humanist Association. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  8. ^ "In Memoriam: Kai Nielsen". News. 2021-04-09. Retrieved 2021-04-12.


External links[edit]