Susan Hurley, ’76


Susan Hurley ’76 went on to become a philosopher of great distinction before passing away in 2007 at the age of just 52. Gil Harman, her senior thesis advisor, remembers her as a brilliant student who he thought he could serve best by not getting in her way. Hurley's classmates published the following obituary in The Princeton Alumni Weekly:

"The class lost its salutatorian and one of its brightest stars with the death of Susan Hurley Aug. 15, 2007, in Oxford, England, following a 12-year struggle with breast cancer.

She arrived at the Princeton Inn Annex from her native Santa Barbara amid trunks of clothes, books, and boxes of California citrus, packages of which arrived regularly throughout college.

Susan was glamorous and daring and walked in beauty always. Senior year, she acted on a dare to take the next flight out of Newark airport and completed her thesis on a Nassau beach. She sang with the Glee Club, was a member of Cap and Gown Club, and roomed with Elizabeth McNichol and Terri Pauline.

After Princeton, she studied philosophy at Oxford, and became the first woman fellow of All Souls College in 1981. She also obtained a doctorate from Harvard Law School in 1988. She held chairs at Warwick University and Bristol University, published widely, and was a philosopher of international repute.

Her most influential book is titled Consciousness in Action (1998). …

Susan is survived by her husband, Nicholas, and their sons, Alasdair and Merryn.

The Class of 1976"

Other obituaries appeared in The Guardian(link is external) and The Times(link is external). A colleague at Bristol also published an appreciation of her life and work(link is external).

Photo by Steve Pyke