One of our truly first-rank intellectuals, Bill died May 17, 2023, following a four-year battle with lung cancer. 

Coming from Jesuit High School in Portland, Ore., Bill intended to be a physicist, but realized his dorm-room bull sessions were the highlight of his experience with us, so at the last moment made the prodigious leap to philosophy. For the rest of his life, he never looked back.

After numerous academic honors at Princeton and serving as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, he went on to earn his philosophy Ph.D. at Harvard. He taught at the University of Washington in Seattle for 33 years, earning a devoted student following and teaching awards, as well as industry-wide accolades for his research and writing. His final book, Learning from Our Mistakes: Epistemology for the Real World, is regarded as a must-read in the profession, and his previous writings on the philosophy of human rights should make us all recall our time with him and each other. His T-ball coaching and holiday pies were unmatched. 

Bill is survived by his wife, Judy Foley; his daughters Kate and Rebecca; stepdaughter Erin; granddaughter Amara; sisters Madeline and Maria; brother John; and their extended families; as well as former wife Margot Sims. For those of us who struggle even to spell epistemology, Bill lights a comforting path, allowing us to rely on a dear friend for a fleeting glimpse of true knowledge. 

Undergraduate Class of 1970