Bunge, five years ago, wrote a 500-page autobiography HERE. By drawing upon his prodigious memory for decades-old readings, events and conversations, it laid out in fascinating detail his personal, family, cultural and scholarly life. The Memoir is enormously educative and a delight to read. It has 1,200 entries in its Name Index. He manages to say something insightful about the life and work of nearly every person mentioned in the Index. It is a ‘Who’s Who?’ of modern South American, Anglo-American, and European physics and philosophy. The book with ample quotations is reviewed HERE. A 30-page account of Bunge’s life, achievements and central philosophical positions can be read HERE. His scientific, philosophical, social and educational positions are elaborated and appraised in a recent 41-chapter Festschrift HERE.
In 70 books and 540 articles , written over an 80-year span, he made substantial contributions to physics, philosophy of physics, metaphysics, methodology and philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of social science, philosophy of biology, philosophy of technology, moral philosophy, social and political philosophy, medical philosophy, criminology, legal philosophy and education HERE.
For many, Bunge’s realist interpretation of quantum mechanics was his major contribution to modern physics. In 2003 he surveyed the arguments in his ‘Twenty-Five Centuries of Quantum Physics: From Pythagoras to Us, and from Subjectivism to Realism’ HERE. In a journal double-issue, ten physicists and philosophers laid out and appraised his ‘signature’ account of quantum mechanics, with Bunge replying HERE.
The unifying thread of Bunge’s life and research was the constant and vigorous advancement of the Enlightenment project that brings science and philosophy together for the advancement of human welfare. He expended the same energy on criticism of cultural and academic movements that deny or devalue the core principles of the project: naturalism; the search for objective, trans-personal, non-subjective truth; the universality of science; the value of rationality; and respect for individuals.
Bunge’s passing is a loss for his family and the scholarly world. Hopefully some in the succeeding generations of philosophers, physicists and educators will be inspired to emulate his example of a wide-ranging, in-depth, cosmopolitan approach to the advancement of knowledge and the formation of a just and equitable society. He embodies the best, and more, of the liberal education ideal.
My own obituary for this friend and fine person can be read HERE.