John Jamieson Carswell Smart


Biography of John Jamieson Carswell Smart

John Jamieson Carswell "Jack" Smart (September 16, 1920 – October 6, 2012) was an Australian philosopher and academic who was Emeritus Professor of Australian National University* Australia. He worked in the fields of metaphysics, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, and political philosophy.

Born in Cambridge, England of Scottish parents, Smart began his education locally, attending The Leys School, a boarding school in the area. His younger brothers also became professors: Alastair (1922–1992) was Professor of Art History at Nottingham University; Ninian was a professor of Religious Studies and a pioneer in that field. Their father, William Marshall Smart, was John Couch Adams Astronomer at Cambridge University and later Regius Professor of Astronomy at Glasgow. In 1950, W. M. Smart was President of the Royal Astronomical Society. In 1946, Jack Smart graduated from the University of Glasgow with an M.A., followed by a B.Phil. from Oxford University in 1948. He then worked as a Junior Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford for two years.

He arrived in Australia in August 1950 to take up the Chair of Philosophy at the University of Adelaide, which he occupied from 1950 until 1972. After twenty-two years in Adelaide, he moved to La Trobe University where he was Reader in Philosophy from 1972-76. He then moved to the Australian National University where he was Professor of Philosophy in the Research School of Social Sciences from 1976 until his retirement in 1985, and where the annual Jack Smart Lecture is held in his honor. Following his retirement he was Emeritus Professor at Monash University.

In 1990 he was awarded the Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia. In 1991 he was elected to become an honorary Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford Oxford University and in 2010, elected to become an honorary Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford.

At first Smart was a behaviourist before becoming an early proponent of Type Identity Theory.

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