Richard Ladd Kirkham (born June 18, 1955) is an American philosopher. Among his published works are the much-cited Theories of Truth (MIT Press, 1992), "Does the Gettier Problem Rest on a Mistake?" Mind (1984. Vol.93, No.372), and "On Paradoxes and a Surprise Exam" Philosophia (1991). Kirkham graduated from Cornell College in 1977 and received his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 1983.
Kirkham is probably best known for his work on analytic theories of truth. In his praised book, Theories of Truth, Kirkham describes the largely overlooked fact that the various theories of truth proposed through the centuries are really not all competitors of each other because they are often intended to answer distinct questions about truth. For example, some have been intended only to provide the extensional necessary and sufficient conditions for truth, while others have been intended to provide a definition of truth, and still others are intended only to explain the linguistic and non-linguistic purposes of statements that predicate truth or falsity. According to MIT Press, this book is their all-time best-selling work in analytic philosophy and nearly half of all English-reading professional philosophers in the world own a personal copy of the book. It has been used as a text in graduate seminars on every inhabited continent and translated into Portuguese.
He is also the author of four articles in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Routledge, 1998).
- Online version: http://www.centenary.edu/attachments/philosophy/aizawa/courses/epistemologyf2008/kirkham1984.pdf
- For examples, see Carlin Romano, If there are philosopher-kings, why not philosopher-journalists? Boston Sunday Globe, 12/5/1993, p. B21 (Boston, MA): "excellent new book" and Frederick F Schmidt, Truth: A Primer Westview Press: 1995.
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