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Kimon (Kim) Lycos (1933–1995)

by Paul Thom

Kimon Lycos died peacefully in Melbourne on 5 September. He gave 23 years of service to ANU, including two years as Head of the Philosophy Department. During his Headship the Department took on some of its enduring characteristics - an engagement with both the continental and the analytical traditions, a vision of philosophy as occupying a central position among the humanities, and a deep commitment to pedagogy.

Kim Lycos came to the Philosophy Department in 1965. He inspired successive generations of students by his classes on Greek philosophy. He pioneered the study of Marx and Freud, as well as the study of recent French philosophy, in the Department. He was responsible for many innovations in the Department's teaching practice. He took early retirement in 1988.

His publications include influential work on phantasia in Plato and Aristotle, and a book, Plato on Justice and Power. He co-edited John Anderson's papers on literature and aesthetics. He contributed regularly to Ancient Philosophy Conferences, where he was a quietly dominant figure.

He will be remembered as a convivial and ever-youthful friend, a cultivated man with a deep love of literature and the arts. He spent his life talking philosophy, and for him philosophy discussion passed easily from Homer to Maria Callas, taking in Plato and Derrida on the way. He was never doctrinaire, but he conveyed a passionate sense of philosophy's importance and was able to make his interlocutors think, and think again. By example he reminded us of the ancient ideal of the philosophic life, and conversation with him brought us a little closer to living such a life. The world is diminished by his loss.

Original publication

Citation details

Paul Thom, 'Lycos, Kimon (Kim) (1933–1995)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


Alexandria, Egypt


5 September, 1995 (aged ~ 62)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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