Stanley J. Kaminsky ’75, a former professor of philosophy known for his creative, witty and enthusiastic teaching, passed away Nov. 2. He was 69.
He taught at Union from 1980 to 1991 in courses ranging from the history of philosophy to logic to biomedical ethics.
Robert Baker, the William D. Williams Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, recalled his former colleague’s great intellect and innovative teaching style. “Those of us who had the pleasure of teaching him or working with him recognized him as a brilliant and witty philosopher and an exceptionally popular teacher who filled his classes with puzzles and poems,” Baker said. “He found a variety of ways to bring logic and epistemology to life. His colleagues recall his good humor, kindness, wit and affability.”
A 1982 teaching evaluation by Jan Ludwig, then department chair, noted that Kaminsky “prepares meticulously for his classes; indeed he more than prepares, he rehearses. A familiar sight in the Humanities faculty lounge is Kaminsky pacing back and forth, notes in hand, going over the class in which he is about to appear.”
Playful by nature, Kaminsky is shown juggling in a group photo of philosophy faculty in the 1984 Freshman Record. He frequently held classes outdoors.
After Union, Kaminsky joined the technology sector at Fleet Bank and other firms as an analyst and programmer.
An Albany native, he was valedictorian of his class at Albany High School. He earned a B.A. in philosophy from Union in 1975, graduating summa cum laude as class salutatorian. He went on to earn his master’s and Ph. D. from the University of Michigan.
He was a member of Temple Israel and a dedicated volunteer at the Daughters of Sarah Community.