David Daiches Raphael

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -


THE DIS­TIN­GUISHED aca­demic David Daiches Raphael spe­cialised in moral and political phi­los­o­phy and wrote widely on the sub­ject. He was one of three sons of Ja­cob and Sarah Raphael, who ar­rived from east­ern Europe in the early years of the 20th cen­tury. From Liverpool Col­le­giate School he won a schol­ar­ship to Univer­sity Col­lege, Ox­ford where he stud­ied clas­sics and phi­los­o­phy. He grad­u­ated in 1938 with a First Class de­gree and then com­pleted a DPhil at Oriel Col­lege as a Robin­son Se­nior Scholar.

Dur­ing the Se­cond World War he served briefly in the army be­fore be­com­ing a tem­po­rary civil ser­vant in the Min­istry of Labour. Af­ter that he pur­sued an aca­demic ca­reer, first as pro­fes­sor of phi­los­o­phy at the Univer­sity of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand un­til 1949 and then at Glas­gow Univer­sity un­til 1970, be­ing ap­pointed to the Ed­ward Caird Chair of Political and So­cial Phi­los­o­phy in 1960. Af­ter the Glas­gow years he was pro­fes­sor of phi­los­o­phy at Read­ing Univer­sity un­til 1973, when he moved to Im­pe­rial Col­lege, Lon­don where, as pro­fes­sor of phi­los­o­phy, he ran the hu­man­i­ties

David Daiches Raphael: cus­to­dian of moral and political phi­los­o­phy depart­ment from 1973 to 1983. His ca­reer also in­cluded sev­eral vis­it­ing ap­point­ments. He was a Vis­it­ing Fel­low at All Souls Col­lege, Ox­ford (196768) and Vis­it­ing Pro­fes­sor of Political Sci­ence at Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity in Bal­ti­more (1984).

Be­sides tak­ing his share of univer­sity ad­min­is­tra­tion, aca­demic ad­vi­sory work and mem­ber­ship of pro­fes­sional as­so­ci­a­tions, he served on a num­ber of govern­ment com­mit­tees in­clud­ing the Wheat­ley com­mit­tee on the Teach­ing Pro­fes­sion in Scot­land (1961-63), the Scot­tish and English Agri­cul­tural Wages Boards (1962-78) and the Po­lice Ad­vi­sory Board for Scot­land (1965-70).

Raphael’s early pub­li­ca­tions were on 18th cen­tury moral phi­los­o­phy and philoso­phers. Later he wrote on political phi­los­o­phy, on jus­tice, and on the phi­los­o­phy of Adam Smith. Prob­lems of Political Phi­los­o­phy (1970) has be­come a stan­dard text­book for stu­dents of political the­ory. He also wrote in­tro­duc­tory books on moral phi­los­o­phy and the thoughts of Thomas Hobbes.

Af­ter re­tire­ment in 1983 he con­tin­ued to be ac­tive aca­dem­i­cally: he was one of sev­eral edi­tors of the Glas­gow Edi­tion of the works of Adam Smith and also the au­thor of a Past Masters vol­ume on Smith. His last book, The Im­par­tial Spec­ta­tor (2007) dealt with Smith’s moral phi­los­o­phy. In 2001 he pub­lished Con­cepts of Jus­tice which be­gins with chap­ters on jus­tice in the Bi­ble and in an­cient Greek thought be­fore dis­cussing views of jus­tice in mod­ern phi­los­o­phy from Hobbes to the 20th cen­tury.

He was an ac­tive mem­ber of West­min­ster Syn­a­gogue for over 40 years, as chair­man from 1987-89, and for many years chaired its prayer­book com­mit­tee. He was con­sid­ered in­spi­ra­tional for his un­com­pro­mis­ing hon­esty, skil­fully weigh­ing op­tions and reach­ing timely de­ci­sions. He con­tin­ued to at­tend meet­ings even when travel had be­come a ma­jor chal­lenge. His views on mat­ters of liturgy were al­ways closely ar­gued, thought­fully pre­sented and cre­ative. He wrote two beau­ti­ful prayers for West­min­ster Syn­a­gogue’s High Holy Day ser­vices, one of them open­ing the erev Rosh Hashanah ser­vice. He read this prayer at the ser­vice in his clear, res­o­nant voice, even in the last months of his life.

Raphael was pre­vi­ously a mem­ber of Gar­nethill Syn­a­gogue in Glas­gow and then Maiden­head Syn­a­gogue. He was also a mem­ber of the Board of Gov­er­nors of the He­brew Univer­sity from 1969-81 and later an hon­orary gov­er­nor.

Raphael was a widely-read scholar, con­sci­en­tious,eth­i­cal and ac­cu­rate. He dis­played in­trepid loy­alty, im­mense courage, in­de­pen­dence of thought, the high­est stan­dards of con­duct in of­fice and a gen­uine in­ter­est in the wel­fare of oth­ers, in­clud­ing both aca­demic and ad­min­is­tra­tive staff who worked for him.

He cared about friend­ships and the wider com­mu­nity as well as his im­me­di­ate fam­ily. In 1942 Raphael mar­ried Sylvia Daiches, daugh­ter of Rabbi Salis Daiches of Ed­in­burgh and his wife Flora, and in­cor­po­rated her sur­name into his own name. Sylvia died in 1996; Raphael is sur­vived by his daugh­ters, Sally Van No­or­den and Anne Shep­pard, and his grand­chil­dren, He­len, Richard, Alan and Sarah.

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