Most will already have noticed at Leiter Reports that John Pollock has died. Given his centrality to epistemology of the last 40 years or so, I note it here as well, with some initial thoughts about his work.
John played a central role in traditional epistemology and in the burgeoning field of formal epistemology, as well as having cross-disciplinary influence in fields related to the latter, including cognitive science and artificial intelligence. I first encountered his work by reading Knowledge and Justification, one of the few book-length treatments in press in the 1970’s on the central topics in epistemology that attracted me to the area, and his OSCAR project is, to my mind, the most sophisticated and detailed investigation of the nature of defeasible reasoning available. Since reading that first book, I made a conscious effort to read everything John wrote. There are very few philosophers about whom I would say that one learns from everything they write, and John is one of those. It is fair to say that he had no aversion for formal devices and distinctions, but the complexity was never unmotivated and the resulting work was always among the central items to be taken into account when working in the area (for examples, see The Foundations of Philosophical Semantics and Nomic Probability and the Foundations of Induction). He was one of the reasons Arizona has been such a force in epistemology over the past 30 or so years, and he will be missed both personally and professionally.