Stephen Hetherington

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Emeritus Professor

Stephen Hetherington

Stephen Cade Hetherington

Sydney, Australia
EducationMosman Public School
Neutral Bay Primary School
Fort Street High School
Alma materUniversity of Sydney (1977–1980), B.A. (Honours I), 1981; University of Oxford, New College, B. Phil., 1983; University of Pittsburgh, M.A., 1986, Ph.D., 1987
SpouseParveen Kaur Seehra (m. 1990)
FamilyNorman Hetherington (father)
Margaret Hetherington,
née Purnell (mother)
AwardsFellow Australian Academy of the Humanities (2011)
SchoolAnalytic philosophy
InstitutionsWest Virginia University (1987–1990); University of New South Wales (1990–2021)
Academic advisorsJoseph Lee Camp, Jr.[1]
Main interests
epistemology, metaphysics, Gettier problem

Stephen Cade Hetherington FAHA (born 1959) is an Australian analytic philosopher specialising in epistemology and, to a lesser extent, metaphysics, an emeritus professor in the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of New South Wales, a prolific author, and one of the longest-serving editors-in-chief of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy.


Early life[edit]

The son of the Australian artist, caricaturist, cartoonist, and puppeteer, Norman Frederick Hetherington OAM (1921–2010), and Margaret "Peggy" Hetherington (1923–2022), née Owrid, née Purnell, Stephen Cade Hetherington was born at Sydney in 1959.

He grew up in Mosman, New South Wales, where his father's puppetry collection and workshop were located in the basement beneath the family residence.[2]


He married the artist Parveen Kaur Seehra in 1990.


He attended the opportunity classes (years 5 and 6) at Neutral Bay Public School and, then, attended the academically selective Fort Street High School in Sydney (as had his father, Norman).

He received his tertiary education from the University of Sydney, from New College at the University of Oxford, and from the University of Pittsburgh.


In the four years (1977 to 1980) that he studied at the University of Sydney, Hetherington not only operated marionettes part-time in his father's special, highly successful dental health programme for children ("Smiley's Good Teeth Puppet Theatre"),[5] but also spoke to the children before and after each show. His part in this programme ceased when he went to Oxford to continue his studies.


His first four publications were written while he was still a student; the first two (Hetherington, 1983a; 1984a), written as an undergraduate student, were derived from papers written for his Honours-year coursework at the University of Sydney, and the other two (Hetherington, 1984b; 1988) were written as a post-graduate student during his time at the University of Pittsburgh.

He became a well-respected, prolific author in a wide range of philosophical domains, especially epistemology:

With several monographs and edited collections and more than 100 articles, [Hetherington] has earned an international reputation for his revivification of epistemology. He has also produced several lively works introducing students to the history and current frontiers of epistemology, which have been translated into a number of languages and have been used for teaching in widely dispersed countries — the secret of their success lies partly in the way he includes his own original research, in enlivening the exposition of traditional debates.

— Australian Academy of the Humanities.[6]


He commenced his academic career in 1987, as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at West Virginia University; and in 1990 he transferred to the philosophy department of the University of New South Wales where he remained until his retirement in mid-2021.


From December 2013 until March 2022 he was the editor-in-chief of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, a prestigious English-language philosophy journal continuously published since 1923.

He is also the editor-in-chief of the Cambridge University Press Elements in Epistemology series and the Bloomsbury Publishing Critical Introductions to Contemporary Epistemology series.


In 2011 he was elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (FAHA).[6]


  1. ^ Obituary: Obituary: Joseph Lee Camp Jr., University Times, 7 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Some Holiday Treats for the Children", The (Sydney) Sun-Herald, (Sunday, 11 May 1969), p.128.
  3. ^ B.Phil. dissertation: Epistemic Foundationalism (Hetherington, 1983b).
  4. ^ Ph.D. dissertation: Narcissistic Epistemology (Hetherington, 1987).
  5. ^ See: Woolley, J.M., "Changing Oral Hygiene Attitudes and Habits", International Dental Journal, Vol. 30, No. 3, (September 1980), pp. 249–256. PMID 6160112
  6. ^ a b Fellows: Professor Stephen Hetherington, Australian Academy of the Humanities.


  • Hetherington, S.C. (1983a), "Tooley's Theory of Laws of Nature", Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Vol.13, No.1, (January 1983), pp. 101–106. doi:10.1080/00455091.1983.10715835
  • Hetherington, S.C. (1983b), Epistemic Foundationalism, B.Phil. dissertation, University of Oxford. SOLO catalogue entry
  • Hetherington, S.C. (1984a), "Parsons and Possible Objects", Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol.62, No.3, (September 1984), pp. 246–254. doi:10.1080/00048408412340033
  • Hetherington, S.C. (1984b), "A Note on Inherence", Ancient Philosophy, Vol.4, No.2, (October 1984), pp. 218–223. doi:10.5840/ancientphil1984427
  • Hetherington, S.C. (1987), Narcissistic Epistemology, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. PittCat catalogue entry
  • Hetherington, S.C. (1988), "More on Possible Objects", Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol.66, No.1, (March 1988), pp. 96–100. doi:10.1080/00048408812350271

External links[edit]