POMFRET — A funeral mass took place at St. Denis Church in Hanover, New Hampshire on June 11 for Dr. Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka Houthakker, 91, Founder and President of the World Phenomenology Institute, who died June 7 at her beloved farm in Pomfret. She was buried in Woodstock.
She was born in Marianowo, Poland, into an aristocratic family of historical significance on Feb. 28, 1923; Professor Tymieniecka Houthakker was the daughter of Wladyslaw Zaremba Tymieniecki and Baroness Maria Ludwika de Lenval.
Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka Houthakker, an internationally known philosopher, was a professor of continental phenomenology. In 1976, her independent spirit led her to found the World Institute for Advanced Phenomenological Research and Learning, in Belmont, Massachusetts, later moving the Institute to Hanover, New Hampshire. This Institute remained Dr. Tymieniecka’s life-long work and passion.
She was the author of 14 books and monographs (with the central treatise Logos and Life in four volumes) as well as the founder and editor (since 1968) of Analecta Husserliana, the Yearbook of Phenomenological Research (117 volumes in print) and of Phenomenological Inquiry: A Review of Philosophical Ideas and Trends (in its 37th issue). As President of the World Phenomenology Institute, she spearheaded and organized some 80 international conferences, two world congresses of phenomenology among them. From 1988 till 1998, she served on the Steering Committee of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies.
Dr. Tymieniecka studied at University of Krakow, Sorbonne, and University of Fribourg, Switzerland, where she earned her Ph.D. in philosophy. Academic appointments include University of California, Berkeley; Oregon State University; Sorbonne; Pennsylvania State University; Yale University (Postdoctoral Research Fellow); Bryn Mawr College, Lecturer; Radcliffe Institute for Independent Studies (Associate Scholar); Duquesne University; University of Waterloo; and St. John’s University.
Though Dr. Tymieniecka received many academic honors throughout her long and productive life, one special recognition was the Honorary Doctorate she received from the University of Bergen, Norway, in 2008, for her scholarly contributions to philosophy, particularly phenomenology.
Her many friends, acquaintances, and colleagues throughout the world included Pope John Paul II, who visited her family in Vermont when he was Cardinal. Dr. Tymieniecka and Pope John Paul II collaborated on several academic publications and remained devoted friends until his death in 2005.
In 1955 Professor Tymieniecka married Hendrik S. Houthakker, who was a long-time member of the Department of Economics at Harvard; he predeceased her in 2008. She is survived by two sons, Louis and Jan of Pomfret and one daughter, Isabelle Houthakker of Ukiah, California.
Arrangements were under the direction of the Rand-Wilson Funeral Home of Hanover, N.H.
This obituary first appeared in the June 26, 2014 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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