Ralph H. Johnson




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Ralph H. Johnson

Office:  2165 Chrysler Hall North

Phone: (519) 253-3000 ext. 2339

Fax: (519) 971-3681

Area of Specialty: Informal Logic, Theory of Argument, Critical Thinking

  Dr. Johnson graduated with a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Notre Dame in 1972.  He specializes in Informal Logic, Argumentation theory, Critical thinking, 20th Century Anglo-American Philosophy, Wittgenstein, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.  He is currently working on a book about dialectical adequacy, a successor to his book, Manifest Rationality, published by Lawrence Erlbaum in 2000.

Dr. Johnson co-edits the journal Informal Logic. On the backburner is a book (working title: The Philosophy of Rock) in which he intends to provide a philosophical interpretation of rock music and culture, based on experiences he has had teaching a course by that title at various intervals since 1974. Dr. Johnson is slated to retire August 31, 2006 but will remain active as a researcher and scholar. Along with Professor Blair, he holds an SSHRC Strategic Cluster Design Grant which has led to the creation of The Network for the Study of Reasoning.


I love to read, especially contemporary fiction. Among my favourite authors: John Updike, Alistair MacLeod, Joan Barfoot, Michael Connelly, Robert B. Parker. I love the plays of Shakespeare (especially King Lear), and attend the plays at Stratford every year. This year, I look forward to seeing Oliver and Much Ado about Nothing.

I love to listen to music, especially classical. Currently I am in a Chopin phase.  I also am drawn to the music of Bach, Beethoven , Haydn, Schubert and Dvorak. I belong to The Mankind Project (www.mkp.org) — a worldwide organization dedicated to calling men to consciousness and lives of service. I serve as an Elder and Board member in our local community. I exercise (jog, walk or bike) almost everyday. I have been married to my wife Maggie for 38 years; have three children (Mary, Sean and Matthew) and two grandchildren— Brandin, 11, and Ivy Grace b. January 27 2006!