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Remembering IPPL Board Member James  Nickson.

James Bridges ("Jay") Nickson passed on July 1, 2015 in Grand Forks, ND. He was born March 22, 1945 in Chicago, IL, son of Dr. James J. Nickson and Dr. Margaret Hofrichter Nickson. Jay grew up in London and New York, and attended college at Dartmouth, Reed and graduated from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. A talented software designer and engineer, he began working for IBM in 1965, and subsequently worked at Digital Equipment Corporation and various other technology firms in the Northeast U.S. Several software products he designed won product of the year awards from industry magazines. He came to UND in 2009 and worked as a Programmer at the School of Aerospace Sciences. He was also the inventor of systems and methods for semantic URL handling that was awarded a patent in 2014.

James was a motorcycle enthusiast, avid swimmer and early SCUBA diver. A voracious reader and intellect, at UND, he dedicated himself to the study of philosophy and took many courses with the Philosophy Department. A kind man with a big heart and big soul, he is survived by his brother, Professor Robert Nickson, of New York University, brother Michael Nickson, sister-in-law Julie and niece Catherine of Arlington, VA, and cousins Tanya DeMarsh Dodson, Judy DeMarsh and Walter DeMarsh of Seattle WA.

A memorial reception to honor Jay will be held at the North Dakota Museum of Art on Friday, November 6 from 4:00-6:00 PM. Donations in Jay's memory may be made to the UND Institute for Philosophy in Public Life, where Jay was a board member: Online guest registry available at www.amundsonfuneralhome.com

This obituary ran in the Grand Forks Herald on October 31, 2015.


The first annual Eliot Glassheim Essay Award on Capitalism and the Public Good is now underway. The submission deadline is November 15, 2015.

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IPPL bridges the gap between academic philosophy and the general public. Its purpose is to cultivate discussions between professional philosophers and those who have interest in the subject regardless of experience or credentials. The Institute was founded on the premise that anyone can do philosophy; that philosophy relates to day-to-day life; and that philosophical communities are fun, fulfilling, and essential for democracy.

Through radio, films, blogs, books and magazines, discussions, and digital archives, IPPL creates a world-wide philosophical community. Through fellowships and publications, it provides opportunities for professional and amateur philosophers alike. It is proving, time and time again, that people like philosophy and that philosophy is good for people. It aims to show that despite the tenor of the time, deep thought and philosophical contemplation can be in vogue.