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John Hawthorne
Alma mater Syracuse University
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Analytic
Main interests
Metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language

John Hawthorne is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California.[1] He is recognized as a leading contemporary contributor to metaphysics and epistemology.[2]

Education and career[edit]

Hawthorne earned his Ph.D. from Syracuse University, where he studied with William Alston and Jonathan F. Bennett. From 2006-2015, he was the Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy at the University of Oxford. He has also taught at the University of New South Wales, Arizona State University, Syracuse University, Rutgers University, and Princeton University.

Philosophical work[edit]

Hawthorne's 2006 collection Metaphysical Essays offers original treatments of fundamental topics in philosophy, including identity, ontology, vagueness, and causation, which one reviewer called "essential reading for anyone currently engaged in analytic metaphysics".[3]

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').[4] 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. 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.



Edited books[edit]

  • Knowledge, Belief, and God: New Insights in Religious Epistemology (edited with Matthew A. Benton and Dani Rabinowitz, Oxford University Press, 2018)
  • Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics (edited with Theodore Sider and Dean Zimmerman, Blackwell, 2007)
  • Perceptual Experience (edited with Tamar Gendler, Oxford University Press, 2006)
  • Conceivability and Possibility (edited with Tamar Gendler, Oxford University Press, 2002)


  1. ^
  2. ^ "The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics: Hardback: Michael J. Loux". Oxford University Press. 2003-08-28. Retrieved 2013-08-26.
  3. ^
  4. ^ McGrath, Matthew (6 August 2004). "Knowledge and Lotteries". Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. Retrieved 9 December 2012.

External links[edit]


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