Vale Dr Rusi Khan

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  • Post published:June 25, 2006
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Rusi Khan, one of the JSA’s founding members, died on 15 February after a short battle with cancer. Rusi, a Parsee Indian, was educated in Bombay, and then London University where he was awarded the Doctor of Philosophy for his thesis on the freedom of the will. From there he took a lectureship in Singapore, and eventually a position in the Philosophy Department at Monash in 1965. He retired from Monash in 1994.

Rusi’s interests ranged across the broad field of philosophy, with special interest in aesthetics, political theory and the philosophy of religion. Aristotle and Wittgenstein were, for him, the two greats of Western thought. He was also an enthusiast for literature, particularly that of the great moral tradition. I had the advantage, and pleasure, of studying philosophy under Rusi, a deeply conscientious and dedicated teacher.

Rusi’s interest in Johnson was not surprising. Himself an “Enlightenment Man”, he was naturally drawn to Johnson’s rationality, and to his precise language and incisive thought. Of particular interest were Johnson’s doubts about the sincerity of his own faith, and his relationship with the sceptic philosopher, David Hume.

Rusi was an unassuming, self-effacing and gentle man. He will be missed by many. Our sympathies go out to his wife Esther, who is also a member of the JSA.