Werner Ulrich's Home Page:  C.W. Churchman












Obituary Notice

   C. West Churchman (ca. 1995)  A. Schultz












C. West Churchman died on Sunday, 21st of March, 2004, in Bolinas, California. He was 90 years old.

I reproduce here a short excerpt from an obituary notice that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle of Thursday, 25th of March, 2004. It was also reproduced on the Chronicle's web site, SF Gate. Copyright specifications of SF Gate do not permit full reproduction of the article, but they do allow other web sites to link to material found on SF Gate. Here is the URL where you can find the full obituary notice:


West Churchman will live on for ever in the consciousness of those who knew him or appreciate his work.






Extract from:

C. West Churchman -- groundbreaking philosopher

Peter Fimrite, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, March 25, 2004
San Francisco Chronicle | Feedback | FAQ


C. West Churchman, an influential philosopher and teacher who helped create the concept of corporate responsibility with his groundbreaking studies on sociological systems, has died at a rest home in Bolinas.

Professor Churchman, a longtime professor at UC Berkeley, died Sunday of complications from Parkinson's disease. He was 90.

The onetime Nobel Prize nominee dedicated his life to the application of philosophy and ethical values to daily life, including the corporate world.

An author of 12 books, he applied his unique philosophy of how systems operate to everything from wildlife to the search for life on Mars.

He became internationally recognized, and somewhat controversial, because of what was then a radical concept of incorporating ethical values into operating systems, according to his wife, Gloria Churchman, of Mill Valley.

"Academic philosophy wasn't satisfying to him," she said. "He wanted philosophy to have meaning in the world. He wanted to insert an ethical dimension into science. And he really made it his job to remind all these CEOs that they had ethical responsibilities."

"He was a tremendous teacher. People would flock to his class," Gloria Churchman said. "He always kept you on the edge of your chair, because he was a very, very exciting lecturer. He had students from everywhere, all over the world."

In addition to his wife,*) Professor Churchman is survived by his son Daniel Wharton Churchman of Bolinas and two grandchildren.

The funeral is private, but a public memorial service will be announced at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Parkinson's Institute, 1170 Morse Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94089-1605.

2004 San Francisco Chronicle | Feedback | FAQ

Page B - 7


*) Postscript: C. West Churchman's wife Gloria died on 2 August 2009, aged 81, in Mill Valley, California. [W. Ulrich, 28 Sep 2009]









C. W. Churchman (ca. 1970)

Photograph (edited) that appeared on the covers of the books The Design of Inquiring Systems (Basic Books, New York 1971) and Philosophie des Managements (Rombach, Freiburg, 1973, = the German edition of Challenge to Reason, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1968).
Click to enlarge the picture.







Content last modified 26 March 2004, except for postscript added 28 Sep 2009
Last updated 10 Dec 2012 (keywords, meta tags; first published 26 March 2004)





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