Kaikhosrov D. Irani

 
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Biography

 

Prof. Irani is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York, after teaching there for 41 years. He was Chairman of the Department for nine years; and the Director, and Executive Director of the Program for the History and Philosophy of Science and was responsible for the development of the Program and its execution and teaching. He was also the Director of the Academy of Humanities and Sciences for 12 Years.

His original field of teaching and research, which he still continues, is Philosophy of Science.

Prof. Irani is one of those rare individuals whose unique background and interests allows him to understand the works of both Albert Einstein and Emanuel Kant and to successfully apply this kind of knowledge to his chosen field of the Philosophy of Science. His research and publications have been in two areas: Conditions of Acceptance in Scientific Theories; and The Reality Problem in Quantum Mechanics. In the last twenty five years he has worked in the area of History and Philosophy of Ancient Thought -- Religious, Moral,  Mythic, and Technological. Towards the end of these years, he formulated what he calls his "original contribution to philosophy" - namely, the theory of "Domains of Belief".

Among the awards he has received  are: The City College citation for distinguished teaching in 1960, the Outstanding Teachers Award in 1984,  the Award of the Society of Indian Academics in America in 1991, for service to the cause of Education. He also received the award for service to the cause of Zoroastrianism from the World Zoroastrian Organization in 1991. The Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America Lifetime Achievement Award, 1994.

He was singularly honored by the establishment of the K D. Irani Chair of Philosophy, at The City College of New York, through an anonymous contribution of $2,000,000, by one of his students, in 1999.

As a philosopher one may expect him to be an ivory tower type. Far from this, and greatly influenced by his father,  he has involved himself in the life of the Zoroastrian community. During 1993-95 Prof. Irani served as the President of ZAGNY (Zoroastrian Association of Greater New York) and has been on numerous Boards of ZAGNY and has arranged seminars and conferences under the ZAGNY umbrella. He has also arranged the first and second Gatha Conferences held in the UK and Los Angeles and the first Yasht Conference in New Rochelle, NY.. From the time of the inception of the Zoroastrian temple in New York, Prof. Irani has conducted classes for adults on the subject of Zoroastrianism. His common sense and ethical approach to problems has helped him shed light on many complex problems that arise within the North American Zoroastrian community.

Kaikhosrov Dinshah Irani was born on May 1, 1922 in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India. He was the elder of two sons to Dinshah Jijibhoy Irani and Banu Mithibai Sethna. He studied Chemistry, then Physical Chemistry and then Physics. During the war years, he studied Law and briefly practiced at his father's old law firm.

In 1947 he moved to the United States to continue his studies in Princeton University, where he was taught by Albert Einstein. Upon completion of his studies, he began teaching at City College of New York, where he taught philosophy for the following 41 years.

At the law firm where he was practicing , he met another young lawyer named Piroja - who was to become his wife in 1953. The couple have resided in New York ever since.


We gratefully acknowledge Lovji D. Cama for making this biography available for presentation at this web site.

 

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