Papers of Professor Alan Richard White

Scope and Content

The collection consists mainly of manuscripts and typescripts

Administrative / Biographical History

Alan Richard White was born in 1922 in Toronto of Irish parents and was educated at Middleton College and Presentation College, Cork, and at Trinity College, Dublin, where he obtained a double first in Classics and Philosophy and combined a Boxing Pink with Presidency of the University Philosophical Society. He was deputy lecturer there in 1945/46.

In 1946 he was appointed assistant lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Hull, when the staff of the department consisted solely of Professor T.E. Jessop and himself. He became Professor of Philosophy at Hull in 1961, a post which he retained until his retirement in 1989. He was also Dean of Arts 1969-1971 and Pro-Vice-Chancellor 1976-1979, Visiting Professor at a number of American universities and President of the Mind Association 1972 and of the Aristotelian Society 1979/80.

His first major publication was G.E. Moore (1958), to be followed by Attention in 1964, The philosophy of mind (1967), Truth (1970), Modal thinking (1975), The nature of knowledge (1982), Rights (1984), Grounds of liability (1985), Methods of metaphysics (1987), The language of imagination (1990) and Misleading cases (1991). His work was characterised by a meticulous study of the working of language which led to his interest in the philosophy of law, shown in some of his later works. He retired to Nottingham, where he had been appointed Special Professor in 1986, and he died in 1992.


U DAW/1 Manuscripts and typescripts of philosophical works, circa 1945-1992

U DAW/2 Miscellaneous, 1960-1991

U DAW/3 Published works, 1952-1992

Access Information

Some of the records in this collection contain sensitive personal information. In accordance with data protection legislation, records containing sensitive personal information are not available for public inspection for 75 years if the information relates to adults, or 100 years if the information relates to children. In some circumstances access may be granted for research purposes. To request access or for further information please contact

Access to all other material will be granted to any accredited reader.

Conditions Governing Use

Enid White

Custodial History

Donated by Mrs Enid White on 22 April 1992