Imre Ruzsa

Imre Ruzsa (1921-2008)

Imre Ruzsa was the father of modern philosophical logic in Hungary and the founder of the Department of Logic at Eötvös University.

He was born on May 12, 1921 in Eastern Hungary. Having been a political prisoner under Nazism and Stalinism, he was 35 by the time he finished his studies at Eötvös University, as a student of Rózsa Péter. He briefly taught students in mathematics before moving on to teach philosophy students. In 1965, he was appointed a research fellow at the Institute for Philosophical Research at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In 1971, he moved to Eötvös University; to the Department of Logic of the Faculty of Humanities, at that time chaired by a Marxist-Leninist dialectical logician. In 1982, he succeeded in separating modern logicians from the "dialectical logic" tradition, and founded a new department under the name "Department of Symbolic Logic and Methodology of Science" - it is this department that is now called the Department of Logic. He was appointed full professor in 1978 and professor emeritus in 1998. He received the Széchenyi Prize in 1991.

His professional interests centered around modal logic, intensional logic, modeling natural language in systems of intensional logic, and the foundations of logic and mathematics. He always thought of his generalization of A. N. Prior's concept of semantic value gaps to quantified, intensional and type-theoretic systems as his most important contribution to logic. He was the author of three books in English (Modal Logic with Descriptions, The Hague, 1982, Intensional Logic Revisited, Budapest, 1991, Introduction to Metalogic, Budapest, 1993), several monographs and textbooks in Hungarian, and many articles in leading logic journals. Many of his former students are now renowned experts in logic, philosophy, and linguistics at departments across Hungary, Europe, and the United States.

He died on July 2, 2008 in Budapest.