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Emmett Corrigan

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Old Main, USU


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• Is the world eternal? YES
• Do humans have contra-causal free will (i.e., can humans do otherwise)? NO
• Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? YES
• Do humans have souls? YES
• Are there natural rights? YES
• Is it morally permissible to eat meat? NO
• Is the unexamined life worth living? NO
• Is truth subjectivity? YES
• Is virtue necessary for happiness? YES
• Can a computer have a mind? YES
• Can humans know reality as it is in itself? YES
• Is hell other people? YES
• Can art be created accidentally? NO
• Can we change the past? NO
• Are numbers real? NO
• Is it always better to know the truth? YES

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I am sad to relay some tragic news. Emmett Corrigan, USU Philosophy major and lawyer in Boise, Idaho, was shot and killed last Friday. He was 30 years old. Story here. Corrigan was an unusual student: really smart, and at the same time a rowdy, brawling tough guy – genuine fightin’ Irish – and at the same time a devoted father and husband. He specialized in criminal law, and it looks like some difficult criminal matter ended up getting out of hand.

Corrigan graduated from Gonzaga’s law school, and kept in occasional contact with me. When he was a student at USU, he told me that a professor in another discipline had told him that philosophy was no preparation for law school. Later, when he was in law school, he sent me a note to let me know: “Anyone who says philosophy doesn’t prepare you for law school is talking horseshit.” A vintage Emmett comment. I am so glad to have known him, and so sad to think of the world without him.

UPDATE: Obituary here.


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