Jasper Blystone

Message from the President

Sept. 7, 2016

Dear LMU Community:

I am saddened to inform you that Jasper Blystone, professor emeritus of philosophy, died unexpectedly on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. He was 88 years old.

Jasper joined the university in 1965 and taught in our Philosophy Department until his retirement in 2007. He was so devoted to his students that he continued teaching courses on a part-time basis until last year. In his extraordinary 50-year career, Jasper, who specialized in philosophy of human nature and ethics, influenced thousands of students. Jasper developed his philosophical approach based on “pragmatology,” addressing the interconnections of personhood, symbolism, and culture. He is the author of “The Pragmatics of the Human Heritage.”

Jasper was a popular professor who maintained strong relationships with his students well beyond graduation. Prior to the advent of internet blogs, his regular newsletter, The Nous-Letter, sparked philosophical conversations throughout campus and among alumni. He created and maintained a campus-wide interdisciplinary philosophical journal titled Metanoia, reflecting Jasper’s view that philosophy calls us to create new forms of life and thought. He also was the curator for The Human Heritage Project, a library of tens of thousands of 18th, 19th, and 20th century books from all over the world pertaining to human cultural expression.

Jasper earned his B.A. and M.A. in comparative literature from the University of Southern California and his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Mainz, Germany.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held in Sacred Heart Chapel on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 11 a.m. A rosary will be said at the Santa Rosa Catholic Church in Lone Pine, California, on Sept. 23, at 7 p.m., and a Mass will be held at Santa Rosa on Sept. 24, at 11 a.m., followed by interment at Mt. Whitney Cemetery. Notes of condolence can be sent to P.O. Box 1002, Lone Pine, California 93545. In lieu of flowers, Jasper’s family asks that donations be made to the general scholarship fund of the Philosophy Department in LMU’s Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, or to Santa Rosa Catholic Church, 311 E. Locust, Lone Pine, California 93545.

Please keep Jasper, his wife, Laura, his son, Peter, and their entire family in your thoughts and prayers.


Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.