I am sorry to report that Tony Lisska died yesterday. Readers of this blog will know Tony’s work on Aquinas, most prominently his 1996 book on Aquinas’s Theory of Natural Law and his 2016 book, Aquinas’s Theory of Perception, both published by Oxford.
For the community at Denison University (Ohio), Tony will be remembered for his five decades at the center of campus life there. Tamar Rudavsky forwarded these remarks from the president of Denison, Adam Weinberg, which offer a sense of the impact he had over his career:
“Emeritus Professor of Philosophy Tony J. Lisska passed away this morning. Tony was a pillar of the Denison and Granville communities and much beloved by all. He was a truly great Denisonian who embodied what it means to be a professor at a liberal arts college. Tony joined the faculty at Denison in 1969, launching an extraordinary 52-year career on The Hill. During his time at Denison, he served as dean of the college for five years, chaired the philosophy department three times, and founded and chaired the Honors Program for 15 years. He retired from Denison in 2021. In 2016, the Gilpatrick Center was rededicated as the Lisska Center for Scholarly Engagement (now the Lisska Center for Intellectual Engagement) to honor Tony’s enduring and exemplary service and dedication to the college. The Lisska Center’s mission is to promote intellectual dialogue and scholarly excellence on campus by supporting students, faculty, and alums. Tony earned a Bachelor of Arts from Providence College, a master’s from Saint Stephen’s College, a doctorate from The Ohio State University, and a certificate from the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University.
Tony was a specialist in Thomism and analytic philosophy and the thinking of St. Thomas Aquinas. He published extensively and was a giant in the field of philosophy – his publications are detailed on his Denison bio page.
Tony will be missed by many, including me. The Denison flag will fly at half-staff for three days to celebrate his life and contributions. We will share additional information as it becomes available.