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Biography: Josiah Thompson


Josiah Thompson
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I graduated from Yale in 1957, served in Underwater Demolition Team 21 and then returned to Yale for graduate work in philosophy. I got my MA in 1962 and Ph.D. in 1964 and then was hired by the Philosophy Department. I moved on to Haverford College where I went from Assistant Professor of Philosophy to Associate Professor to Professor of Philosophy during the years 1965 through 1976. During this period, I wrote two books on the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard ["The Lonely Labyrinth" (1967: Southern Illinois University Press) and "Kierkegaard" (1973: Alfred Knopf)] and one on the Kennedy assassination ["Six Seconds in Dallas" (1967: Bernard Geis Associates/Random House)]. In 1978, I quit my job at Haverford as Professor of Philosophy and became a licensed private investigator in San Francisco. This change was described in a final book, "Gumshoe" (1988: Little, Brown & Co.).

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What an incredible career!

I remember studying Kierkegaard in philosophy class in my freshman year in college (copincidentally the year your first book was published).

But why should "Gumshoe" be your final book?

Thanks so much for the welcome, Tim. Why nothing since "Gumshoe"? Two reasons: (1) I didn't have anything to say. (2) I've been working too hard making a living. I'm off for a couple of weeks hiking in Wyoming. After that's done I look forward to joining in some of the discussions which I've already sampled. They're really excellent. Thanks again.

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