John Gilhooly Remembers Ben Arbour

November 18, 2020
Posted by Joe Gorra

With the recent and very tragic death of EPS member, Ben Arbour, and his dear wife, Meg, EPS President, Mike Austin, has invited friends and colleagues of Ben to offer their reflections on Ben’s life, his care for philosophy, and his ministry to others.

Ben’s friend and colleague, John Gilhooly (Director of Honors Program, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Theology, at Cedarville University), offers this reflection:

Ben was a wonderful, relentless, indefatigable advocate for clarity in our speech about God, purity in our devotion to Christ, and charity in our conduct by the Spirit. He was a loyal friend: equal measures bold and honest. He knew no strangers because he showed no partiality. He argued fiercely because he cared deeply. He took his work seriously but he could laugh at himself. His friends knew that even a causal joke directed his way would provoke a serious response – even as he chuckled at the absurdity. 

I realized when I met Ben that I did not love analytic philosophy. I wouldn’t do it for free or as a hobby. But, Ben’s professional accomplishments were something he happened to do when the more pressing business of his work or family or church was complete. He had a passion in his pursuits that was contagious, even if his grit and tenacity for argument were so surpassing that few could imitate the frenzied pace of his joyous life. Ben was a hurricane that could argue.

I will miss him until the Day, and the academic community is poorer for the vacuum of personality and insight that Ben leaves behind.

For the EPS web project on The Philosophy of Theological Anthropology, Ben and John wrote on “Transgenderism, Human Ontology, and the Metaphysics of Properties.”