Richard H. Popkin was an influential historian of philosophy. His 1960 work "The History of Scepticism from Erasmus to Descartes"
introduced many historians to a previously unrecognised influence on Western thought in the seventeenth century, the Pyrrhonian
Scepticism of Sextus Empiricus. Popkin was also an internationally acclaimed scholar on Jewish and Christian millenarianism
and messianism. The collection includes over six decades of Popkin’s academic papers and correspondence, as well as his library
of sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth century rare books.
Richard H. Popkin (December 27, 1923 – April 14, 2005) was a philosopher who specialized in the history of early modern anti-dogmatism
and enlightenment philosophy. He was born in Manhattan to Louis and Zelda Popkin, who jointly ran a small public relations
firm. Popkin earned his Bachelor's degree at Colombia University, where he completed his Ph.D. in 1950. During his career
Popkin taught at Iowa State University, the University of Connecticut, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University
of California, Los Angeles. He served as the founding chair of the philosophy department at University of California, San
Diego and twice as the Clark Library Professor at UCLA in 1981-82 and 1997-98. He was a visiting professor at UC Berkeley,
Brandeis, Duke, Emory, and Tel Aviv universities, as well as Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York. Popkin
was also the founding director of the International Archives of the History of Ideas and the first editor and president emeritus
of the Journal of the History of Philosophy.