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Thelma Z. Lavine (1915–2011)

Author of From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest

Includes the names: TZLavin, Thelma Z. Lavine

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Thelma Zeno Lavine was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of a clothing designer. Her middle name, appropriately for her career in philosophy, came from Zeno of Citium, founder of Stoicism and the Stoic Academy. She received a bachelor's degree from Radcliffe College in 1936 and earned doctorates in philosophy and psychology from Harvard University. In 1944, she married Jerome J. Sachs, an attorney, with whom she had a daughter. Dr. Lavine began her teaching career at Wells College in Aurora, N.Y. She went on to hold faculty positions at Brooklyn College, the University of Maryland, George Washington University, and George Mason University, where she was Robinson Professor of Philosophy before her retirement in 1998. She specialized in 19th-century German philosophy, the sociology of knowledge, and American philosophy, particularly the writings of John Dewey. She became nationally and internationally known for her writings and television appearances as well as for her work in the classroom, and won praise for making philosophy accessible to millions. She was the author of From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest (1984), which grew out of a series of lectures initially broadcast by Maryland Public Television and later by public TV stations nationwide. Dr. Lavine wrote scholarly articles and reviews and served as president of the Washington Philosophy Club and the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. She also was a member of the Cosmos Club in Washington and the executive board of the Washington School of Psychiatry's Forum on Psychiatry and the Humanities.
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