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Renowned philosopher teaching course
February 1, 1999

When David Armstrong left Sydney, Australia, the afternoon of January 11, the weather was pleasant, with temperatures for the week ahead predicted to climb into the 80s. When he landed in Boston on the evening of January 16 - after a stop-over in sunny Santa Barbara, Calif. - he witnessed the back end of an ice storm, and faced the prospect of catching a very slippery ride to UConn.

No matter. Armstrong, an emeritus professor of philosophy from the University of Sydney, specializes in metaphysics, a field that weighs arguments against the existence of familiar objects. Hence, he could reason, the ice didn't exist. He and his wife, Jenny, arrived in Storrs safe and sound later that night.

Armstrong, who will teach a graduate course at UConn this semester, is one of the world's foremost philosophy professors, says Crawford Elder, head of the department at UConn. Armstrong retired from the Australian university about six years ago, and teaches one course a year at top American universities. He has taught most recently at Notre Dame and Yale University.

Armstrong has authored or co-authored 13 books, published more than 65 articles, and has taught all over the world. In 1993, he was awarded the Order of Australia for his services to the discipline. He is a graduate of Oxford and Melbourne universities, and is a student of the American Civil War.

Armstrong will lead a graduate seminar on metaphysics on Wednesdays during the semester, from 1-3:30 p.m. in Room 227 of Manchester Hall. Visitors are welcome, says Elder.

Richard Veilleux