William Mitchell (philosopher)

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Sir William Mitchell
William Mitchell (retouched).jpg
Sir William Mitchell (1941)
Born(1861-03-27)27 March 1861
Died24 June 1962(1962-06-24) (aged 101)
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy

Sir William Mitchell (27 March 1861 – 24 June 1962) was Professor of English Language, Literature, Mental and Moral Philosophy at the University of Adelaide from 1894–1922, Vice-Chancellor 1916–1942 and Chancellor 1942–1948.[1]

Mitchell was an enthusiast for literary societies, and was in 1883 a foundation member of the South Australian Literary Societies' Union, served as its president in 1901, and remained a staunch supporter of the Union in 1937.[2]

Mitchell wrote about issues overlapping philosophy of mind and science, neurology, quantum theory and philosophical psychology.

His work is the subject of a book by W. Martin Davies, The philosophy of Sir William Mitchell, 1861–1962 : a mind's own place (2003) ISBN 0-7734-6733-5.

He is also the benefactor of The Professor Sir William Mitchell Prize for Philosophy, Level II, and gives his name to the South Australian Electoral District of Mitchell.

On 18 January 1900 William Mitchell married Marjory Erlistoun Barr Smith (1868 – 3 August 1913), fourth daughter of Robert Barr Smith. Their daughter Joanna "Nan" Mitchell (1900– ) married Major David Thompson, of Farnham House, Farnham Royal. Buckinghamshire c. 1 May 1925.

Mitchell was knighted in 1927.[3]


  • Davies, W. Martin (2003). "Sir William Mitchell, K.C.M.G. (1861–1962): Philosopher and Chancellor of the University of Adelaide". In Healey, John (ed.). S.A.'s Greats: The men and women of the North Terrace plaques. Kent Town, South Australia: Historical Society of South Australia. ISBN 0-9579430-0-8.


  1. ^ Davies 2003, p. 92
  2. ^ "Record Debating Season For Literary Union". The Advertiser (Adelaide). South Australia. 28 April 1937. p. 25. Retrieved 29 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ [1]

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