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Morris Lazerowitz

LAZEROWITZ, MORRIS (1907–1987), U.S. philosopher. Born in Lodz, Poland, he was taken to the U.S. in 1914. In 1938 he married the philosopher Alice Ambrose (1906–2001) and joined the faculty of Smith College. Author of numerous articles, his most important books are The Structure of Metaphysics (1955) and Studies in Metaphilosophy (1964). In these works, Lazerowitz is concerned with the nature of philosophical explanation, and especially with the fact that philosophical dispute is seemingly irresolvable. His analysis of this situation is that the philosopher is not putting forth empirical claims, though they are often masked as such, or even descriptions of linguistic usage; but rather, that certain visions he has of the world are expressed in these ways. It is thus necessary to distinguish such verbal formulations from their underlying impulses to gain a full understanding of the philosophical quest.

After he retired from teaching, Lazerowitz was named professor emeritus of philosophy at Smith College.

Lazerowitz also wrote Philosophy and Illusion (1968), The Language of Philosophy: Freud and Wittgenstein (1977), and Cassandra in Philosophy (1983). With his wife he coauthored Logic: The Theory of Formal Inference (1961), Fundamentals of Symbolic Logic (1948, 1962), Essays in the Unknown Wittgenstein (1984), and Necessity and Language (1985).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.