North American Scholar

MORROW, Glenn Raymond

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1892-04-29
  • Born City: Calhoun
  • Born State/Country: MO
  • Parents: Charles Sumner & Bessie Bronaugh M.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1973-01-31
  • Death City: Swarthmore
  • Death State/Country: PA
  • Married: Dorrice Richards, 11 July 1923.
  • Education:

    A.B. Westminster Coll. (Fulton, MO), 1914; LL.D., 1951; Presbyt. Theol. Sem. (Louisville, KY) 1916-7; U. Missouri, 1919; Ph.D. Cornell, 1921; study at Paris, 1921-2; Munich & Vienna, 1933-4; L.H.D. U. Pennsylvania, 1966.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. Gk. Westminster Coll., 1914-6; lctr. philos. Cornell, 1922-3; asst prof, to asso. prof, philos., U. Missouri, 1923-9; prof, philos. U. Illinois, 1929-39; prof, philos. U. Pennsylvania, 1939-73; dean Coll. Arts & Sci., 1944-52; Adam Seybert prof, moral & intellect, philos., 1947-65; founder & chair fac. senate, 1958-9; del. ACLS, 1937-50; exec, comm., bd. dirs., 1945-7; pres. west. div. APA, 1940; east, div., 1953; Guggenheim fell., ASCSA, 1952-3; Fulbright scholar, Oxford, 1956-7; Am. ed. Archiv f. Gesch. d. Philosophic, 1960-5.

  • Dissertation:

    "The Ethical and Economic Theories of Adam Smith: A Study in the Social Philosophy of the Eighteenth Century" (Cornell, 1921); printed (New York, 1923; repr. New York, 1969).

  • Publications:

    Studies in the Platonic Epistles (Urbana, IL, 1935, 2d ed. as Plato's Epistles [Indianapolis, 1962]); Plato's Law of Slavery in its Relation to Greek Law (Urbana, IL, 1939); "On the Tribal Courts in Plato's Laws" AJP 62 (1941) 314-21; "Necessity and Persuasion in Plato's Timaeus," Phil. Review 59 (1950) 147-63; Plato's Cretan City (Princeton, 1960); "Plato's Theory of Primal Bodies in the Timaeus," AGP 50 (1968) 12-28; Proclus' Commentary on the First Book of Euclid's Elements (trans.) (Princeton, 1970); "Plato and the Mathematicians: An Interpretation of Socrates' Dream in the Theaetetus (201E-206C)," Phil. Review 69 (1970) 309-33; Proclus' Commentary on Plato's "Parmenides" (translation completed posthumously by John M. Dillon) (Princeton, 1987).

  • Notes:

    Glenn R. Morrow was one of the outstanding Plato scholars of the 20th century. He began his work in political philosophy under George Sabine at Cornell, and his first publication was on Adam Smith. It was Sabine who suggested to Morrow what became his life work: the study of Plato's Laws in the historical context of the political and legal institutions of fourth-century Greece. But Morrow's interests remained broadly political. He published on the theory of democracy and on academic freedom; he served on the academic freedom committee and in the national council of the A.A.U.P., of which he became a vice-president. As Dean of the College at the University of Pennsylvania in the McCarthy period, he led a vigorous and largely successful campaign against a Pennsylvania loyalty oath. Morrow also contributed to the organization of scholarship at the international level by serving as the first American co-editor of the Archiv ftir Geschichte der Philosophie when it was revived by Paul Wilpert in 1960, after having ceased publication in the Nazi period.Morrow published extensively throughout his career, primarily in the history of philosophy and above all on Plato. His work includes a number of important articles on Plato's later dialogues, notably "Necessity and Persuasion in Plato's Timaeus;' "Plato's Theory of Primal Bodies in the Timaeus," and "Plato and the Mathematicians: An Interpretation of Socrates' Dream in the Theaetetus (201E-206C)."His translation of Plato's Epistles, with full critical essays, remains a standard reference work. His 1939 monograph on Plato's law of slavery was essentially a preparation for his 1960 book on the Laws, relying (as does the larger work) on careful comparison between Plato's proposals and what is known of contemporary Greek institutions. Morrow was thus able to draw on the traditional resources of historical philology, together with his own broad knowledge of political theory and the history of philosophy, in order to make accessible to the modern scholar Plato's latest, longest, and least-read book. Morrow's masterpiece, Plato's Cretan City, is the foundation and starting-point for all later scholarship on the Laws.After his retirement Morrow turned to the Neoplatonic tradition and the history of mathematics. He completed a translation, with introduction and notes, of Proclus' Commentary on the first book of Euclid; and his translation of Proclus' Commentary on Plato's Parmenides was well advanced at his death. (It was completed later and published by John Dillon.)

  • Sources:

    U. Pennsylvania Almanac (6 Feb. 1975); WhAm 9:514.

  • Author: Charles H. Kahn