Burleigh Taylor WilkinsOctober 13, 2015
Wilkins, Burleigh Taylor, 83, passed away October 13, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. Burleigh was born in Bridgetown, VA on July 1, 1932 to parents Marie Taylor and Burleigh Wilkins, both of whom preceded him in death. Burleigh was raised on the Eastern Shore and returned to his beloved hometown nearly every summer after embarking on an academic career that took him to universities across the country and around the world. He is survived by his children Brita Taylor Wilkins Lincoln (Rocky), Carla Wilkins and his son William Wilkins; two grandsons John “Jack” Taylor Lincoln and Clark Walter Lincoln.
Burleigh was a professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Santa Barbara for 45 years. He graduated from Duke University, Summa cum laude in 1952 with a degree in History; Harvard University with a M.A., in History; and a Ph.D., in Philosophy from Princeton University. In addition to teaching at UCSB, Burleigh taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, and Rice University.
Burleigh wrote many books and published numerous articles – and he even had a book written about him. His books included: Carl Becker; The Problem of Burke’s Political Philosophy; Hegel’s Philosophy of History; Has History Any Meaning? A Critique of Popper’s Philosophy of History (also published in Mexico as Tiene la Historia Algun Sentido?); Terrorism and Collective Responsibility; two books of essays: The European Convention on Human Rights and The Rights of Individuals and Groups. In 2009 he realized his dream of publishing a work of fiction with his book Mr. Jefferson’s Chair. In 2001, Essays In Honor of Burleigh Wilkins: From History to Justice was published and was edited by his former student Aleksandar Jokic.
While Burleigh loved his writing, he equally loved teaching and guiding his students as a mentor and friend. Many of his former students wrote of his unequaled ability to make them better students and encourage their career development.
Burleigh also loved fast cars and always strived to be his definition of the pinnacle of achievement, “a southern gentleman.” As he wrote in his Replies and Reflections chapter of the Essays in Honor of Burleigh Wilkins, “When I can no longer do research or teach my world will have come to an end; and I hope to return to the Eastern Shore where it all began.”
A graveside service will be held on Sunday, November 22nd at 11:15 a.m. at Johnson’s Cemetery, Johnsontown with the Rev. Clarence Bowen officiating.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at foxandjamesfh.com Arrangements by Fox and James Funeral Home, Eastville.