Profile: Christopher Hookway

(MA Oxford, B.Phil. East Anglia, Ph.D. Cambridge)

Photo of Chris Hookway

Christopher joined the department in 1995, having taught at the University of Birmingham since 1977. Before taking up his post at Birmingham he was a Research Fellow at Peterhouse Cambridge. He has also spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard University and been Visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. He was President of the Aristotelian Society for 1995-6. From 1998-2000, he held a British Academy Research Readership.

One of his central interests has been American Pragmatism: he has written extensively on Charles S Peirce, and wrote Peirce (1985) for Routledge's Arguments of the Philosophers series, after spending a year as a Fullbright Scholar at Harvard working on Peirce's papers. In 1995, he was President of the Charles S Peirce Society, a leading American organization devoted to the study of American philosophy. His interests in pragmatism have led more recently to an examination of the ideas of William James and John Dewey on rationality, truth and mind. Although much of his current research is not historical, his ideas are shaped by this exposure to the pragmatist tradition. As well as completing a book on the influence of pragmatist ideas on recent philosophy, he has written a book on Scepticism (1990) and papers on epistemic evaluation which try to preserve what is of value in pragmatism. A major interest is in the relations between the evaluations of beliefs studied by epistemologists and the evaluations of actions and agents examined by those working in ethics: he hopes for a general account of norms and evaluations which finds room for both. This project was the focus of his research during his research readership.

Another interest, which was the subject of Christopher Hookway's PhD thesis, is the philosophy of language and mind. This has led to a book on Quine: Language, Experience and Reality (1988) and to an interest in Cognitive Science: he edited a collection on Minds, Machines and Evolution (1984) and co-edited Philosophy and Cognitive Science (1994).


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