Ted Cohen, AB’62, a philosopher whose agile intellect and wry humor made him a campus legend, died March 14 after a brief hospitalization. He was 74.

A memorial service was held April 12 at the Quadrangle Club.

Over a 50-year career, Cohen, a professor in Philosophy, turned his eye to a vast range of subjects that included jokes, baseball, television, photography, art, and the philosophy of language and formal logic.

Cohen’s Jokes: Philosophical Thoughts on Joking Matters (University of Chicago Press, 1999) offered a lively and accessible take on how and why jokes work. In Thinking of Others: On the Talent for Metaphor (Princeton University Press, 2008), he argued that the ability to think of one thing as another is an essential human capacity that makes sound moral judgment possible.

Widely praised for his engaging writing style, Cohen won the 1991 Pushcart Prize for his essay “There Are No Ties at First Base.” Among other professional honors, he served as president of the American Philosophical Association and the American Society for Aesthetics. He chaired the Department of Philosophy from 1974 to 1979 and won the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1983.

Cohen also made his mark as the longtime moderator of the University’s famed Latke-Hamantash Debate—though not an impartial one. “The hamantash is a very, very good thing of its kind,” he argued in the 1976 debate. “The latke, however, is a perfect thing. Now that I’ve laid the conclusion out, perhaps its transparent correctness is already evident to you.”