Zeno Vendler Biography

Zeno Vendler (1921 – January 13, 2004) was an American philosopher of language, and a founding member and former director of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Calgary. His work on lexical aspect, quantifiers, and nominalization has been influential in the field of linguistics.

Vendler was born and raised in Hungary, where he learned to speak both Hungarian and German. He studied there until he began to train as a Jesuit priest in Maastricht. Vendler later went to Harvard University to study philosophy, and earned his doctorate in 1959 with a dissertation entitled "Facts and Laws." After holding several teaching positions at various American universities, he became a professor at the University of Calgary, where he was one of the founding members of the Department of Philosophy. After leaving the University of Calgary in 1973, he taught at several other schools, including Rice University and the University of California, San Diego.

He was married twice—his first wife was poetry critic Helen Hennessy Vendler—and had two sons. Vendler died on 13 January 2004 at the age of 83.