Obituary for Ladislav Tondl

Prof. Ladislav Tondl


The distinguished philosopher, semiotician and logician Professor Ladislav Tondl has died at the age of 91.

Professor Ladislav Tondl was one of the founders of Czech semiotics, communication theory, philosophy of science and the initiator of the analytical line in Czech philosophical thought. Over long periods of political persecution in the 50s and in the normalization period (1968–1989), Professor Tondl significantly influenced Czech intellectual environment and his works earned him an international reputation. In 1993 he founded the Centre for Science, Technology, and Society Studies (at the renewed Institute of Philosophy) and for many years held the position of its head. He was a member of the editorial board of the journal Erkenntnis, a member of the Association for the Philosophy of Science, International Council for Science Policy Studies, Learned Society for Praxeology, a member of the Semiotic Group of the Czech Society for Cybernetics and Informatics, chairman of the Czech Committee for Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science. In addition to his academic accolades, Professor Tondl was awarded the Medal of Merit for his service to the Czech Republic in the field of science in 2004.

The wide range of his professional interests included above all the issues and problems of philosophy of language, semiotics and communication theory. Professor Tondl’s lifelong focus on semantics is perhaps most famously represented by his seminal work Problemy semantiky (Problems of Semantics) (Czech version 1966, expanded Russian version 1974, English version 1981). After 1989 Professor Tondl published extensively; apart from numerous contributions to a wide range of academic journals he pursued his theoretical interests in the books Mezi epistemologii a semiotikou (Between Epistemology and Semiotics) (1996), Dialog. Semioticke rozmery a rozhrani dialogu (Dialog. Semiotic Dimensions and Interface of Dialogue) (1997), Technologicke mysleni a uvazovani (Technological Thinking and Reasoning) (1998), or Clovek ve svete vedy a techniky (Man in the World of Science and Technology) (2009). His last book, Rozmluva a usuzovani (Dicourse and Reasoning), was published in 2014.

Professor Ladislav Tondl died in Prague on 7 August 2015. The funeral will take place in the Prague-Motol Crematorium on Friday 14 August at 11:15 am.

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