I’m using my awesome power to drag a comment from a much earlier thread and post it here. Otherwise, it’s greatness would have been lost on everyone but me. The author is one of Cropsey’s most erudite, deeply humane, and modest-to-a-fault students–Joe Alulis:
For a post on July Fourth, it would have been appropriate to note Joseph Cropsey’s patriotism. When I learned of his death on July 3, my first thought was that like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, he was holding out to die on the national holiday. His love of country was unabashed and inspiring for his students. In this way he was like the Andy Griffith character; I associate love of country with the Sheriff of Mayberry not simply because this is typical of the south but because of his decency and common sense. Another similarity between the two, very evident in the eulogies at the Memorial Service in Washington last Wednesday, was Joseph Cropsey’s manners, both classy and also informal and classless. While he had an appropriately high opinion of his own worth and the worth of his activity, thinking and teaching about first things, he was in a way very unassuming and modest, hence the paucity of his publications. As for his writing, where you began, as his students can attest, he was most memorable in his class lectures which week after week, year after year, were consistently the most intellectually engaging and elegant that I have ever heard.