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Maurice Finocchiaro

Distinguished Professor Emeritus



Maurice Finocchiaro was born in the Italian island of Sicily, and grew up there until age 15, when his family immigrated legally to the U.S. After finishing high school in 1960, he went to college at M.I.T., earning a B.S. in philosophy and physics in 1964. Then he went to graduate school in philosophy at the University of California-Berkeley, receiving a Ph.D. in 1969, with a dissertation on the philosophy of history of science. His teaching career at UNLV spanned four decades (1970-2003), and it included introductory as well as advanced courses in logical theory, symbolic logic, philosophy of science, history of scientific thought, and science and religion. His scholarly activity, which continued after his retirement in 2003, includes 17 books, more than 150 articles, more than 150 book reviews, and about 200 conference presentations (many as keynote speaker). In particular, many of his books have been published by such publishers as the university presses of Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, and California-Berkeley; some of his publications have been translated into 9 foreign languages, including German, French, Russian, and Chinese; many of his scholarly projects have received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Science Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, and Guggenheim Foundation; at UNLV, he received the award of Barrick Distinguished Scholar the first year (1981) it was given, and he is the only person to have received this award multiple (three) times; and he was also one of the first faculty to be appointed Distinguished Professor.

Research Area(s)

  • Informal Logic and Critical Thinking
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • 20th Century Italian Social and Political Philosophy
  • Galileo
  • Gramsci