|Main interests||Metaphysics, philosophy of language, epistemology|
John Hawthorne is the Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy at Oxford University, though he continues to teach on a visiting basis at Princeton University. In 2013, he will begin teaching part-time at the University of Southern California. He is primarily known for his work in metaphysics and epistemology; his 2006 collection Metaphysical Essays offers original treatments of fundamental topics in philosophy, including identity, ontology, vagueness, and causation.
In his book Knowledge and Lotteries, Hawthorne defends a view in epistemology according to which the presence of knowledge is dependent on the subject's interests (he calls this view 'Subject-Sensitive Invariantism'). Unlike contextualism, Hawthorne's view does not require that the meaning of the word "know" changes from one context of ascription to another. His view is thus a variety of invariantism. However, whether a subject has knowledge depends to a surprising extent on features of the subject's context, including practical concerns. This position can be classed as a form of pragmatism (Hawthorne, 2004: p. 180). The American philosopher Jason Stanley holds a similar view.
Hawthorne has also written on philosophy of language and philosophical logic, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind, and on Leibniz.
Hawthorne is one of the leading figures in metaphysics.
- McGrath, Matthew (6 August 2004). "Knowledge and Lotteries". Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Oxford University Website
- Princeton University Website
- Works by or about John Hawthorne in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
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