Philosopher and publicist Gáspár Miklós Tamás passes away

Philosopher and publicist Gáspár Miklós Tamás died on Sunday January 15 at the age of 74 after a long illness, according to Hungary Today

Gáspár Miklós Tamás was born on November 28, 1948 in Cluj-Napoca. He graduated in philosophy from the Babes-Bolyai University in 1972. He worked as editor of the Cluj weekly Utunk until 1978, when he moved to Hungary.

From 1979 to 1982, he taught at the Faculty of Humanities of the Eötvös Loránd University as a research associate, but was dismissed for his “opposition attitude.” He was then a visiting professor at Yale University in the United States and taught at English and French universities.

In 1989, he was elected to the one-party parliament in the 14th constituency of Budapest, replacing the MP who had resigned from the constituency. From 1988 to 1990, he was the spokesman of the Hungarian political party Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ), and from 1992 to 1994 he was President of the National Council of the party. From 1990 to 1994, he was MP of the SZDSZ, but he left the party in 2000.

Gáspár Miklós Tamás was a senior research fellow at the Institute of Philosophy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Since 2002, he had been Vice-President of social forum ATTAC Hungary, a scientific and activist portal. After his death, he was commemorated by many, including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán who called him a freedom fighter. Although the two men were no longer active in the same political arena, they still had mutual respect for each other.

In 2005, Tamás was awarded the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary (civilian grade) in recognition of his “outstanding scientific and teaching work, publicity and public activities.” He returned the award in 2016 in protest against the policies of the Fidesz government. In 2020, he was elected Honorary Citizen of Budapest.

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