Nancy Cartwright (philosopher)

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This article is about the philosopher. For the American actress, see Nancy Cartwright.
Nancy Cartwright
Nancy Cartwright 1990s.jpg
Born (1944-01-24) January 24, 1944 (age 71)
Pennsylvania, United States[1]
Era Contemporary philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Analytic philosophy
Main interests
Philosophy of science Philosophy of economics Philosophy of physics
from the BBC programme In Our Time, 2 July 2009[2]

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Nancy Cartwright, Lady Hampshire, FBA (born January 24, 1944) is a professor of philosophy at the University of California at San Diego and, as of 2012, at the University of Durham, and a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. Cartwright served as the president of the Philosophy of Science Association (2009–10)[3] and as vice-president (2007–8) and president (2008–9) of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association.[4] She is Fellow of the British Academy and member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.[5]


Cartwright earned her BSc from the University of Pittsburgh in mathematics in 1966 and her Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Illinois at Chicago under the direction of Brian Skyrms. Her thesis, completed in 1971, was on the concept of mixture in quantum mechanics. Before taking her current appointments, she taught at the University of Maryland, Stanford University and the London School of Economics. Her research interests include the history and philosophy of science, especially economics and physics, and causal inference and objectivity in science. She has also written on the history of logical positivism. Her approach to the philosophy of science is associated with the so-called "Stanford School" of Patrick Suppes, John Dupré, Peter Galison and Ian Hacking. Cartwright has mentored several students in England and the United States who have gone on to become professional philosophers of science, including Naomi Oreskes, Carl Hoefer, Mauricio Suarez, Andrew Hamilton, Julian Reiss, Roman Frigg, Gabriele Contessa, Anna Alexandrova, Leah McClimans, Jacob Stegenga, and Jeremy Howick. She was also a supervisor of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.[6]

Cartwright was married to the philosopher Stuart Hampshire until his death in 2004.[5] She was also previously married to Ian Hacking.



See also[edit]

Cat, Jordi, "The Unity of Science", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2010 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.).


  1. ^ Brown, Stuart C.; Collinson, Diané; Wilkinson, Robert (1996). "Cartwright, Nancy". Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-century Philosophers. Taylor & Francis. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-415-06043-1. 
  2. ^ "02/06/2009". In Our Time (BBC Radio 4). 2 July 2009. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  3. ^ "Philosophy of Science Association – Governance". Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  4. ^ "Pacific Division Officers & Committees 2007–2008". Retrieved 2010-01-24. ; "Pacific Division Officers & Committees 2008–2009". Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  5. ^ a b "Nancy Cartwright's Homepage". Retrieved 2010-01-24. [dead link]
  6. ^ Owen, Jonathan (2011-03-13). "LSE insider claims Gaddafi donation was ‘openly joked about’". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2011-03-14. 

External links[edit]