James E. Tomberlin, Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Northridge, died on October 13, 2002, at home in Northridge after a short battle with cancer. He was 59.
Born in Tallahassee, Florida, on November 23, 1942, Professor Tomberlin received his B.A., with honors, in 1965 from Florida State University and his M.A. (1968) and Ph.D. (1972) from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He joined CSUN's Philosophy Department in 1969. Jim was a dedicated teacher, especially good at recognizing and encouraging philosophical talent, and
instrumental in the post-baccalaureate success of many of his students. In recent years, his teaching concentrated mainly on logic and critical reasoning.
Jim Tomberlin was a renowned and highly respected philosopher, having published over 90 essays and other works in many areas of analytic philosophy, including Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind, Logic, Action Theory, Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Philosophy of Religion. Through his editorial positions, he also contributed significantly to research and scholarship in the profession by providing forums for some of the most influential work of his fellow philosophers. He was founder and editor of Philosophical Perspectives, a series of yearly philosophical volumes featuring original essays by leading figures in analytic philosophy, all written at his invitation. Established at CSUN with the help of a grant from the office of then President James Cleary, Philosophical Perspectives began publication in 1987; the forthcoming volume will be the sixteenth and final one Jim edited, but like his influence the series will continue. In 1992 Professor Tomberlin also became co-editor of Noûs, one of the world's leading philosophy journals. In that role, he oversaw the rigorous peer review of thousands of submitted essays and was influential in defining contemporary standards for publication in analytic philosophy.
With Jim's death, many of us lose a good friend and philosophy loses an uncompromising advocate. He is survived by his wife Hilda of Northridge and by his mother, a sister, and two brothers, all of Tallahassee, Florida. Memorial contributions may be made to the World Wildlife Fund or the Humane Society of the United States. [Published by California State University Northridge]