Gruber, Howard E(rnest) 1922-2005

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Gruber, Howard E(rnest) 1922-2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born November 6, 1922, in Brooklyn, NY; died of pneumonia January 25, 2005, in New York, NY. Psychologist, educator, and author. Gruber was an expert on the processes of cognition and was well known for his book Darwin on Man: An Introduction to Scientific Creativity (1974; second edition, 1981), in which he analyzed Darwin's thought processes in developing the theory of evolution. After completing his undergraduate work at Brooklyn College in 1943, he earned his doctorate from Cornell University in 1950. His first academic post was at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. After teaching there for two years, he taught at the University of Colorado, where he was an assistant and then associate professor from 1952 until 1963. During the mid-1960s, Gruber was on the faculty at the New School for Social Research (now New School University), where he was also chair of the graduate school psychology department. In 1967 he joined Rutgers University as a professor of psychology and was founder and director of the Institute of Cognitive Studies. The institute was later merged into what is now the university's Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience. Gruber's lifelong interest was in the study of cognition, the process in which humans use their knowledge, observations, and powers of analysis to form thought and theories. When Gruber applied his knowledge of cognitive studies to Charles Darwin, the result was the aforementioned Darwin the Man. The book persuaded many critics that Darwin's powers of reasoning were much more acute than previously believed, and that his scientific methods were more exacting, as well. Gruber also published Evolution of the Mind: The Early Writings of Charles Darwin (1980). In addition to his influential Darwin study, Gruber was also an expert on his mentor, Jean Piaget, coediting The Essential Piaget (1977). Gruber, who published several other books on cognition and psychology, retired from teaching at Rutgers in 1986.



New York Times, February 14, 2005, p. A19.