Sunday, November 10, 2013

I'm Related to a Philosopher! Edwin Proctor Robins (1872-1899)

I'm been filing and organizing my mother's genealogical data and I came across a list of people buried in various Prince Edward Island (Canada) cemeteries. One of the tombstones in the Lower Bedeque United Church Cemetery says, "In Memory Of / Edwin Proctor Robins, / Born At / Central Bedeque / July 2, 1872. / Died at / Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y. / April 19 1899. / Mors Janua Vitae [Death is the gate of [everlasting] life]" [Edwin Proctor Robins].

This was intriguing. I know I am related to all the Robins (Robbins) descendents from Prince Edward Island but I'd never heard of Edwin Proctor Robins. His great-grandfather, Robert Robbins, is a United Empire Loyalist who came to PEI from New Jersey when the American Revolution ended. Edwin Proctor Robins and I are fourth cousins, three times removed. Why did he die at Cornell University?

I still don't know how he died and why he was so young (26 years old) but I did find a book he published on Some Problems of Lotze's Theory of Knowledge. I think the book was first published in 1900—a year after he died. Sounds like Edwin Proctor Robins might have been an epistemologist. Does anyone know anything about my relative or about Lotz's Theory of Knowledge?