Dr Ralph WalkerBack to People

Subjects: Classics, Classics (and Joint Honours), Classics with Oriental Studies, Philosophy
Department: Philosophy
College appointment: Emeritus Fellow
Officer: Wine Steward
Phone: 01865 276073


I was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School, and then in Canada at Selwyn House School and Trinity College School. I did my BA at McGill University in 1964, and came to Oxford in that year as a Rhodes Scholar. At Balliol I studied for the B.Phil. and the D.Phil. in Philosophy, and was a Junior Research Fellow at Merton from 1968 to 1972, when I came to Magdalen as a Fellow and Tutor. I held that post until I retired in 2011. During that time I also taught for short periods in other countries, including Uganda, Brazil, Poland and (particularly) Czechoslovakia: I was on the Management Committee of the Jan Hus Educational Foundation, concerned with higher education in Czechoslovakia, from 1982.


Despite retirement I currently teach undergraduates (primarily at Magdalen) for History of Philosophy, Kant, Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Ethics. I also take part in teaching the first-year first-year introductions to philosophy, and like to do some graduate teaching on Kant.

Research Interests

Kant; Ethics; Philosophy of Religion; Truth and Justification of Beliefs.

I have held a number of University offices, including: Junior Proctor, 1984-5; Chairman of the General Board 1999-2000; Head of the Humanities Division, 2000-2006; Delegate of Oxford University Press 1993-2003. I was Vice-President of Magdalen in 2008 and 2009.

Selected Publications

Kant: London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978.

Kant on Pure Reason (ed.): Oxford University Press, 1982.

The Coherence Theory of Truth: London, Routledge, 1988.

The Real in the Ideal (ed.): New York, Garland, 1989.

Kant and the Moral Law: London, Orion, 1998.

“Conversational Implicatures”, in S.W. Blackburn, ed., Meaning, Reference and Necessity: Cambridge University Press, 1975.

“Theories of Truth”, in Bob Hale and Crispin Wright, eds, Companion to the Philosophy of Language: Oxford, Blackwell, 1997.

“Induction and Transcendental Arguments”, in R. Stern, ed., Transcendental Arguments: Problems and Prospects: Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1999.

“Kant and Transcendental Arguments”, in P. Guyer, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Kant and Modern Philosophy: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

“Kant on the Number of Worlds”, British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18(5), 2010.

“Kant”, in T. Angier, ed., Ethics: the Key Thinkers: London, Bloomsbury, 2012.