Carl Cohen, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy in the Residential College and in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, retired from active faculty status on June 1, 2017, after 62 years as an active member of the University of Michigan faculty.
Carl Cohen joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1955, when he completed his Ph.D at UCLA. Cohen was the founder, and for ten years the Director of the Program in Human Values in Medicine at the UM Medical School. He served as Chairman of the UM Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA), on the Executive Committee of the College of LS&A, and was one of the planners and founding members of the UM Residential College in 1967 where he was appointed as Acting Director during Fall Term of 1981. For many years, Cohen was a member of the National Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union, and participated as Chair of its Michigan affiliate. He is also an active member of the labor panel of the American Arbitration Association, served as a consultant to the Judiciary Committee of the U. S. Senate, to the Rockefeller Foundation, to the National Humanities Center, and to the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has been a member of the National Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union, where he was Chairman of the ACLU of Michigan from 1971-1974.
Cohen published numerous essays on contemporary philosophical controversies, e.g.: abortion, freedom of speech, conscientious objection, human subject use, genetic engineering, organ transplantation, and the use of animals in biomedical research, in various periodicals including: The Nation, The Civil Liberties Review, The New York Times, The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, The Journal of the American Medical Association, The Texas Law Review, The Yale Review, The Michigan Review, Ethics, and The New England Journal of Medicine.
His nine books, translated into many languages, include: Democracy (1972); Civil Disobedience: Conscience, Tactics and the Law (1971); Naked Racial Preference (1997); Four Systems (1982); Communism, Fascism and Democracy: The Theoretical Foundations (3rd ed., 1997), and most recently, A Conflict of Principles: The Battle over Affirmative Action at the University of Michigan (2014). He is coauthor of The Animal Rights Debate (with Tom Regan, 2001), Affirmative Action and Racial Preference (with James Sterba, 2003), and the most widely used textbook in logic around the globe, Introduction to Logic, (with Irving Copi) whose 15th edition is to be published in 2016.
During a reception on September 8, 2017, RC Instructor Cindy Sowers, of the RC Arts and Ideas in the Humanities Program, read a moving tribute to Professor Cohen, the text of which may be found here.
Professor Cohen will give a talk at the RC 50th Celebration on October 20, 2017, and his family will host a reception for him at his home that afternoon from 2:30-4:30pm.
If you would like to send a personal note to Professor Cohen, you may do so at this address.