J. S. Minas

Professor Emeritus

J.S. Minas

Minas was an important figure in the early history of the Department of Philosophy, but it was in his administrative roles that Minas made his biggest mark at Waterloo.  He served two stints as Dean of Arts, from 1967-70 and 1974-79.  He also served as Dean of Graduate Studies in 1966-67, and as the University Computing Officer in 1982-83.  "The Minas Formula" was used by the Faculty of Arts for over 40 years to determine equitable allocations of resources to departments.

One colleague recalls that he spent some time as the Interim Chair of the former Department of Human Relations, "which was unable to govern itself because of continued squabbling among its members (the unit was finally disbanded!)" Near the end of his career, Minas moved to the University of Pennsylvania, then to Drexel University.

His PhD thesis was on many-valued logic, and he spent many years working in "operations research" - a field nowadays more liked to be called "management science".  He also worked in decision theory and in the more mathematical parts of the philosophy of science, including confirmation theory.

Minas is recalled fondly by those who had a chance to work with him as a man of great charm and humour.  One remarked on his wit---he was locally well known for his observation that most of the decision theorists he worked with were almost wholly incapable of actually making decisions 
about the practical details of life.   In the words of another, "he was a very remarkable person, one of a kind and sorely missed."