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Remembering John Chapman ’49

The announcement in the Bulletin of the death of John Chapman ’49 is necessarily an announcement only. I would like to add a few words about him.

Chapman was a political science student who studied political theory under Roland Pennock—who in turn had been a student when Frank Aydelotte was president of Swarthmore in the 1920s.

Soon after Chapman graduated from Swarthmore he began teaching at the University of Pittsburgh, and from there became a co-editor of NOMOS, the yearbook of the American Society of Political and Legal Philosophy.

Anyone, I believe, can become a member of the Society, and Roland Pennock led me to join. I received their yearbook for almost 40 years and wrote one article for it.

Chapman and Pennock edited the volume on criminal justice. Chapman and another scholar edited the volume on democratic community. With yet another scholar he edited the volume on majorities and minorities.

The NOMOS volumes are perhaps the most encompassing contributions to understanding political and legal thought in the English-reading world. John Chapman's association with NOMOS—and with Swarthmore—are a testimony to the life of the mind.