Dr. C. Noble Stockton

Emeritus Professor of Philosophy



Dr. C. Noble Stockton was born in Illinois. He received his B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy from the University of California, and then his Ph.D. in History and Philosophy from Claremont Graduate School in California. 

He joined the UWRF faculty as part of the Golden Group of 1966 with a joint appointment in History and Philosophy, where he worked with Dr. Eugene Maier. His first office was in a cubicle on the third floor of South Hall; his telephone was on the first floor in the History Office. He quickly became famous for his pipe and love of coffee.

Dr. Stockton taught many classes over the years: History of Philosophy, Intellectual History, Philosophy of History, 18th century Interdisciplinary Studies, Philosophy of Art, Midwestern Regional History and Architecture and UWRF's first class in Women's History. Students appreciated Dr. Stockton's love of discussion and working out ideas. He was often at the coffee house on 2nd Street or one of the meeting places off-campus where students got together to talk about ideas. Dr. Stockton was interested in ideas in many fields, and you would always see him at public lectures and presentations on campus, where he would always ask interesting questions and participate in discussions. In 1989 Dr. Stockton retired to California with his wife Ronnie. They lived in Malibu, Los Angeles and Monterey where they were actively involved with all of the arts and historical societies. Dr. Stockton gave lectures and led tours. Today they live in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington, D.C., where one of their sons lives. (Contributed July 2013 by Dr. John Buschen)

An update from Noble Stockton (January 2013)

Noble Stockton, age 87, who taught History and Philosophy at UWRF 1966-1989, still lives with his wife Ronnie in a retirement home in Arlington VA, convenient to his son Paul (Assistant Secretary of Defense until Jan. 21, 2013) and family.

Granddaughter Ariel, graduating senior at Wellesley, is now in and out of D.C. looking for a job too. D.C. is full of magnificent art and historical exhibits. We just saw, at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, a show of paintings by principal artists of the age depicting the Civil War, also photos of Gettysburg, Antietam, etc., many showing all the dead bodies. Many concerts, for instance by the superb Marine Band, its chamber orchestra, and its chamber ensembles. There's never enough time to do all the stuff we want to do. When the Angel of Death jumps out of the hall closet and yells "Gotcha," Noble will plead, "Please, give me time to clear off my desk?" Meanwhile, he can be reached at cnstockton@sbcglobal.netmail.

Update (January 2010)

I felt an upwelling of nostalgia for dear River Falls when 21 inches of snow fell on the Washington D.C. area the night before our church choir (I sing bass) was scheduled to put on its big Christmas-season concert―“Amahl and the Night Visitors.” The church was incapable of plowing its parking lot, streets were impassable, the snow stopped everything in town except the esteemed members of Congress―I almost said “those idiots”―who were still mucking around with the health bill. So I longed affectionately for the old fellows who faithfully and competently plow the state highway, then the county roads, then finally the tertiary roads in Pierce County. In 1966 we were renting a farm house on a back road outside R.F., and when the old guy finally came chugging up my driveway with his snowplow I gestured through my kitchen window―coffee percolator in one hand, bottle of whiskey in the other hand. He waved, shook his head, and chugged on. Nothing like that in D.C.

Why are Ronnie and I now on the 17th floor of a retirement community in Arlington? Because our children decreed that we have to be close to one of them―we NEED SUPERVISION, they say. So we go where our son Paul and his family go. Last year he was Senior Re-search Scholar at Stanford, this year he’s Assistant Secretary of Defense and right now he’s sending aid to Haiti.

I haven’t quite mastered the intricacies of of tweeting at people, squawking, or nudging people on the internet. But I’ve finally figured out e-mail. I’d love to hear from anybody UWRF-ish at cnstockton@sbcglobal.netmail.


Recent presentations


  • Ph.D. Claremont Graduate School (History)
  • ABD University of California, Los Angeles (Philosophy)
  • M.A. University of California (Philosophy)
  • B.A. University of California (Philosophy)

Served UWRF 1966-1989

Areas of interest

  • History of philosophy
  • Intellectual history
  • Philosophy of history
  • 18th century interdisciplinary studies
  • Philosophy of art
  • Midwestern regional history and architecture
  • Women's history (UWRF's first class on the subject)
Update (April 2009)

In addition to the "crooked politicians from Illinois" talk I gave on election day. I shall be presenting, at Glenwood Inn and Little House Senior Center, a talk titled "So Who Else Discovered America?" with honorable mention of the Celtic ogham inscription at Perot State Park (upstream from La Crosse) and dishonorable mention of the the Kensington, Minnesota, rune stone.

Update (January 2008)

We're fine, although not delighted with being Glenwood Inn Inn-mates.  What have I been doing that might amuse RFers?

Just finished giving a six-class once-a week course, "Great Religions of the World," repeating it first here and then at the Little House senior center.

Next Lincoln's Birthday I'm scheduled to give at the Little House a talk, "Abraham Lincoln: An Illinois Perspective." My great-great-uncle, Judge James H. Matheny (aka "Colonel Jim,") was a close friend of Lincoln between the time that Lincoln arrived in Springfield in 1837 and L's marriage. After Lincoln's shocking and tragic death, biographers converged on "Colonel Jim" for details about Lincoln's life and opinions. Jolly, eloquent, and verbose, "Colonel Jim" told them about Lincoln's chronic depression, his love of Burns, Byron and Shakespeare, his views on religion (which locals called "infidel" and which Lincoln afterwards cleverly hid), his odd marriage (the first time, Lincoln didn't show up for the wedding; while everybody waited, Lincoln was having a nervous breakdown), etc. One wonders how much of what he told the biographers was bare-faced bull-#!*!?

Update (January 2007)

"Noble" says that on retiring in 1989 he moved back to California, abandoned serious philosophical and historical work, and never looked back. His more frivolous activities have included leading art deco architectural tours in downtown Los Angeles, cataloging old pictures at Los Angeles Public Library (he's so old he recognized where they were taken from), writing a guidebook of Victorian architecture in Pacific Grove, CA for a state historic preservation group and organizing their tour, serving on the editorial committee and as book review editor for the quarterly published by the Monterey History and Art Assn.--and he has attained the dubious immortality of the Monterey Public Library's book catalog with his index of documents in a valuable collection at a small private historical library in Monterey.

Since Noble's and Ronnie's very recent move to Menlo Park, half an hour south of San Francisco (to be near their son Paul, research prof at Stanford, and his family), he's enjoying concerts and art exhibitions, unpacking boxes and reading middle-brow 19th century novels. He invites correspondence at cnstockton@sbcglobal.netmail.