It is with great sadness that the Philosophy Department announces the death of a giant among philosophers, Jon Michael Dunn (1941-2021). Mike was a native of Indiana, born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and raised in Lafayette. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh with a dissertation on The Algebra of Intensional Logics, where he studied with Alan Ross Anderson and Nuel Belnap. He taught at Wayne State University in Detroit and at Yale University before joining the philosophy department at Indiana University in 1969, where he remained until his retirement in 2007 as the Oscar R. Ewing Professor of Philosophy. He was an Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, President of the Society for Exact Philosophy, on the Executive Committee of the Association for Symbolic Logic, editor of the Journal of Symbolic logic, and chief editor of the Journal of Philosophical Logic. He was the author or co-author of six books and over 100 papers. He was a huge influence on the development of the department and its ascent during the 1990s to national and international prominence in the field of logic. He was the founding dean of the School of Informatics at Indiana University in 2000 (now the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering). He received the Indiana University Bloomington Provost’s Medal in 2007 and was appointed a Sagamore of the Wabash by the Governor of Indiana. Professor Dunn’s work focused on information based logics, especially substructural logics, including intuitionistic logic, relevance logic, linear logic, BCK-logic, and the Lambek Calculus. He adopted an algebraic approach to these topics known as gaggle theory (generalized galois logics), developed in two books especially, Algebraic Methods in Philosophical Logic (with G. Hardgree, 2000) and Generalized Galois Logics (with K. Bimbó, 2008). He worked also on quantum logic and computation, and proved with Katalin Bimbó the decidability of Ticket Entailment, an open problem since 1960.Additional information about Mike’s contributions to IU can be found in this article from the Indiana University Alumni Newsletter at the time of his retirement in 2007. You can find an intellectual autobiographical essay by Mike Dunn here, with a full list of his publications at the time of publication.
The department will be preparing a memory book for Professor Dunn that records personal remembrances of Professor Dunn as a teacher, colleague, friend, administrator, etc. If you would like to contribute, please contact Kirk Ludwig at firstname.lastname@example.org.