Joe Crawford is a web developer in Roanoke, Virginia. joe@artlung.com

Professor Pidgeon

Patrick Pidgeon was my Philosophy Professor at San Diego Mesa College in 1987. It was a great class and still ranks among my favorite in-class learning experiences. Pidgeon had a way of dissecting philosophical material, and especially language in a way that was challenging and engaging. It was such a good experience for me that I recommended my Mom take his class. She did, and she very much enjoyed it. In fact, in the year since Leah and I have been back in Roanoke, my Mom probably mentioned Pidgeon and his class half a dozen times.

I have no idea what “tomocracy” is in this drawing.

“Tomocracy” I think would be “governance by drinking” — I’m thinking that the word I missed was actually “autocracy” maybe. And here’s what looks like notes on Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave:”

And here’s a cartoon of what was one of Pidgeon’s explorations of the origins of words and how they apply to meanings now, ruler as a measuring device, ruler as the “standard:”

nine comments so far...

Timocracy could definitely be what I mis-heard. Funny, I was just watching Starship Troopers with Leah and wondering what the form of government was where there was a requirement of service or some other action to be taken before the full rights to participate in government and society would be granted.


I have those same notes from Pat and I took his class twice, with some 15 years in passing between. It is “Timocracy” and he used it to mean “rule by those of worth or honor” and Starship Troopers would be a good example. Plato meant it to describe the rulers of Sparta. Thanks for the memories and the sketches.

David, thanks for writing in! Good memories I have of him.

I’m vaguely remembering your name — did we take his class together? Would have been 87/88.

With utmost sadness I would like to inform you all that, our beloved Mr. Patrick Pidgeon passed away on Feb. 11, 2015. Mr. Pidgeon was a rare and extraordinary character who touched so many lives. He will never be forgotten in my heart and in the hearts of those who realized the valuable role he played in our community and beyond. May he rest in peace.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.