re. Erick Nelson
When I applied for graduate school (Claremont Grad School), I needed some recommendations from former professors. I received great recommendations from two world-class scholars: Stephen Erickson, a highly regarded philosophy professor and department chair at Pomona College; and John Warwick Montgomery, a scholar's scholar with ten earned degrees (see bottom).
December 1, 1980
Erick Nelson was an extremely capable extraordinarily intelligent student of mine at Pomona College approximately ten years ago. He is strongly self-motivated and works both independently and yet with considerable appreciation of the thoughts and guidance of those around him. He was one of the very best students I have had at Pomona College in seventeen years, and I cannot but think he will do exceptionally well as a graduate student in Philosophy.
Talking with him again just a few weeks ago I found him mature and adult, eager to return to an academic environment, and as capable as I remembered him to be. I recommend him most highly for acceptance into the Philosophy program.
Mr. Nelson has a keen, analytic mind. He displays remarkable ability in critical thinking, analogous to that displayed by the Wittgenstein of the Philosophical Investigations. Also, like Wittgenstein, Mr. Nelson operates on the principle that anything that can be said can be said clearly: his writing is a model of lucidity. I believe that he has tremendous potential for doing creative work in the philosophical field.
Remarkably, Mr. Nelson combines with his philosophical skills a professional level of musical ability. Thus (like Phythagoras?), his rational powers are nicely tempered with emotional sensitivity. In short, he displays an invaluable balance of objective and subjective maturation.
(Strongly reommended for doctoral program, rated highest 5% (outstanding) overall potential.)
Here are some blurbs about each:
Philosophy Department Chair, Pomona College (now listed at #5 of best private colleges in the nation). "European philosophy and, in particular, the work of Heidegger and Foucault. Most recently he has been exploring contemporary literature as a reflection of the emerging human condition as we approach the twenty-first century."
John Warwick Montgomery is Professor of Apologetics and Vice-President for Academic Affairs, UK and Europe, Trinity College and Theological Seminary (Indiana); Senior Counsel, European Centre for Law and Justice; and Emeritus Professor of Law and Humanities at the University of Luton (England).
Professor Montgomery holds ten earned degrees, including the LL.B.; LL.M. from Cardiff University, Wales; the A.B. with distinction in Philosophy (Cornell University; Phi Beta Kappa); B.L.S. and M.A. (University of California at Berkeley); B.D. and S.T.M. (Wittenburg University, Springfield, Ohio); M. Phil. in Law (University of Essex, England); Ph.D. (Univeristy of Chicago), and the Doctorat d'Université from Strasbourg, France. Before moving to the United Kingdom, he served on the faculty of the University of Chicago and was Chairman of the Department of History at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada.
Dr. Montgomery is author of over one hundred scholarly journal articles and more than forty books in English, French, Spanish and German. He is internationally regarded both as a theologian (his debates with the late Bishop James Pike, death-of-God advocate Thomas Altizer, and situation-ethicist Joseph Fletcher are historic) and as a lawyer (barrister-at-law of the Middle Temple and Lincoln's Inn, England; member of the California, Virginia, Washington State, and District of Columbia Bars and the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States). He is one of only six persons to have received the Diploma of the International Institute of Human Rights cum laude, and was the Institute's Director of Studies from 1979 to 1981.
Professor Montgomery is honoured by inclusion in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Law, The Directory of American Scholars, Contemporary Authors, Who's Who in France, Who's Who in Europe, International Scholars Directory (editor-in-chief), and Who's Who in the World.