Priscilla Cohn

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Priscilla Cohn
Priscilla Cohn.jpg
Priscilla Cohn in 2012
Priscilla T. Neuman

(1933-12-14)December 14, 1933
DiedJune 27, 2019(2019-06-27) (aged 85)
EducationBryn Mawr College (Philosophy BA, MA, PhD)
Willard Cohn
(m. 1951; div. 1980)

(m. 1980; died 1991)
Era20th-century philosophy
ThesisThe Idea of Nothing in the Philosophy of Martin Heidegger (1969)
Doctoral advisorJosé Ferrater Mora
LanguageEnglish, Spanish
Main interests
Animal ethics, environmental ethics, history of philosophy, contemporary philosophy

Priscilla T. Neuman Cohn Ferrater Mora (née Neuman; 14 December, 1933 – 27 June, 2019) was an American philosopher and animal rights activist. She was Emerita Professor of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University, associate director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, and co-editor of the centre's Journal of Animal Ethics.

Life and work[edit]

Cohn was born to Simon and Helen Neuman, one of five children, in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania, in 1933. She studied at Haverford Friends School, leaving early to study at Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr. In 1951, she eloped with Willard Cohn. Cohn then enrolled in Bryn Mawr College, earning a bachelor's, a master's, and a PhD in philosophy, between 1956 and 1969.[1] She wrote her thesis on the work of Heidegger; her doctoral advisor was the Spanish philosopher José Ferrater Mora.[2] She separated with Willard Cohn in 1969 (they divorced in 1980); Cohn married Ferrater Mora the same year.[3]

She taught philosophy for more than 35 years at Pennsylvania State University, writing on a variety of topics including animals, environmental issues, and ethical problems, as well as on contemporary philosophers and the history of philosophy, publishing in both English and Spanish.[3]

Cohn was made full Professor in Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University in 1982, and was made Professor Emerita at Pennsylvania State University Abington in 2001. She pioneered courses in animal ethics and lectured on five continents. For three years, 1990–1993, she was Director of the Summer School Course in animal rights at Complutense University (Madrid) at El Escorial[4] — which were the first courses of their kind in Spain. She also taught the Graduate School Course on Applied Ethics at the University of Santiago de Compostela, in 1991.[5]

Her interest in wildlife was reflected in her work as the founder and director of P.N.C. Corp, a nonprofit animal rights foundation that organised the first international conference on contraception in wildlife in the United States and initiated and funded the first PZP fertility control study on white-tailed deer. She was also a board member of The Fund for Animals and Humane USA.[5]


Cohn died at her home in Villanova, Pennsylvania, on 27 June, 2019, due to complications relating to Parkinson's disease.[3]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Etica aplicada (Applied Ethics; Alianza Editorial, 1981), written with José Ferrater Mora, containing the first essay on animal rights published in Spain
  • Contraception in Wildlife (Edwin Mellen Press, 1996), edited with E. D. Plotka and U. S. Seal
  • Ethics and Wildlife (Edwin Mellen Press, 1999)
  • La Filosofia de Ferrater Mora (The Philosophy of Ferrater Mora; Documenta Universitaria, 2007)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kistler, John M. (2002). People Promoting and People Opposing Animal Rights: In Their Own Words. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-313-31322-6.
  2. ^ "Doctoral Dissertations, 1969". The Review of Metaphysics. 23 (1): 176–195. 1969. ISSN 0034-6632. JSTOR 20125529.
  3. ^ a b c Cook, Bonnie L. (2019-07-02). "Priscilla T. Neuman Cohn Ferrater Mora, 85, heiress who became philosophy professor, animal-rights activist". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  4. ^ Terricabras, Josep-Maria (2019-07-08). "Priscilla Cohn: entre Ferrater Mora y los animales". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  5. ^ a b "Transcript of Prof. Priscilla Cohn's Live ARZone Guest Chat". ARZone Podcasts. 2011-12-18. Retrieved 2020-06-23.

Further reading[edit]