Dr Nicholas Waghorn

Director of Undergraduate Studies in Philosophy, Harassment Officer

Dr Waghorn has been Tutor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Philosophy at Blackfriars since 2013. He is also a Fellow and Director of Studies in Philosophy at St. Benet’s Hall. At undergraduate level Dr Waghorn teaches a number of papers. For Prelims/Mods he teaches General Philosophy. For Finals he teaches Knowledge and Reality (102), Philosophy of Mind (104), Philosophy of Religion (107) and certain options for Post-Kantian Philosophy (113) and Early Modern Philosophy (101).

Dr Waghorn’s research interests rest in fundamental questions in metaphysics and value theory (as these appear in both Continental and analytic philosophy), and in their interrelation. In metaphysics, he is interested in the notion of ‘nothing’ and what, if any, sense can be made of it—his research in this area has led him to examine the connected notions of ‘everything’ and ‘something’. He is also currently exploring the realism/anti-realism debate, especially as it bears on the idea of conceptual limits.

In value theory, Dr Waghorn’s main interest is in the meaning of life, with a side-interest in the nature and significance of death. He is particularly concerned with the question of whether life can have ultimate meaning, as opposed to the question of what makes life more or less meaningful. This former question led to his examining certain metaphilosophical ideas.  Finally, in philosophy of religion Dr Waghorn is interested in some of the less frequently discussed divine attributes, such as divine simplicity and divine necessity, and also in arguments for and against the existence of God.

The Harassment Officers are available to advise and assist any student with concerns about harassment or victimisation from another student or from any staff member in the University. Dr Waghorn is a confidential adviser, who can assist students in resolving matters informally where possible, and will support them through a more formal resolution, if necessary.

Publications: Nothingness and the Meaning of Life: Philosophical Approaches to Ultimate Meaning Through Nothing and Reflexivity (Bloomsbury 2014); ‘Metz’ Incoherence Objection: Some Epistemological Considerations’, in Journal of Philosophy of Life, 5:3 (2015);  ‘Can the Demands of the Perfection Thesis Be Trivialised?’, in Stewart Goetz and Joshua Seachris (eds.) God and Meaning: New Essays (Bloomsbury 2016); ‘Critical Notice: T.J. Mawson, God and the Meanings of Life’, in Religious Studies, 53:1 (2017).

Email: nicholas.waghorn@bfriars.ox.ac.uk