Professor Helen Beebee writes:
Members of the University may be familiar with Jacob Epstein’s bronze bust of Samuel Alexander in the foyer of the building named in his honour. But who was Samuel Alexander? Well, he was Professor of Philosophy at Manchester (or rather – to start with – at one of its predecessors, Owens College) from 1893 to 1924. He was hugely influential in his lifetime, and published his two-volume Space, Time, and Deity in 1920. He was also the first Australian-born person to be awarded the Order of Merit, and was instrumental in the establishment of the Victoria University of Manchester in the early 20th century.
The John Rylands Research Institute has funded a small project based on Alexander’s papers, which are housed in the Library’s Special Collections. This has involved archival research by two postdoctoral researchers, Emily Thomas and Anthony Fisher, and will result in a website (coming soon) with information about Alexander’s life and work, as well as some of his correspondence with other eminent philosophers of the day, including Bertrand Russell and C. D. Broad. Dr Fisher will be a member of the Philosophy discipline area at the University for two years from January 2014, as a Newton International Research Fellow, researching and writing on Alexander’s work and influence.
A detailed catalogue of the Samuel Alexander Papers is available online via Elgar.