Department of Philosophy

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Karl Egerton

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts



I completed my PhD at Birkbeck College, University of London, and before that did my Master's at Christ's College, Cambridge and my BA at UCL. I have previously lectured at Birkbeck and at the University of Hertfordshire; I joined the Philosophy Department at Nottingham in January 2021.

Expertise Summary

My main interest is in metaphysics, specifically its methodology (usually understood as within metametaphysics) and in the history of analytic philosophy, specifically the work of W. V. Quine. I've argued that his ideas are quite different from the way they've been understood by philosophers today, and missing this point leads to a confused methodology.

I also work on the philosophy of fiction (on the interaction between representation and engagement), and other areas of the history of analytic philosophy (such as the work of Susan Stebbing).

Teaching Summary

This year I'm teaching PHIL1012, Reasoning, Argument and Logic and PHIL2054 Intermediate Logic. My teaching experience spans a wide area, including but not limited to:

  • Metaphysics
  • Epistemology
  • Philosophy of Fiction
  • Formal and Philosophical Logic
  • Ethics

I'd welcome enquiries from graduate students interested in topics within the history of analytic philosophy, especially surrounding Quine and Carnap, and from those interested in metametaphysics.

Research Summary

I am currently working on papers across a wide range of areas, with the following the most prominent:

  • I am looking into how we need to view our overall theory if we take explication to be an important philosophical method;
  • I am examining how interactive fictions (such as video games) introduce a distinctive kind of variation in audience engagement;
  • I am looking at some reflections on the methodology of early analytic philosophy from Susan Stebbing, and drawing connections between her work and the Truthmaker Approach to metaphysics.

Recent Publications

Past Research

I have published work on a range of issues within metametaphysics and the history of analytic philosophy. I have argued that the interpretation of W. V. Quine's work that is implicit in the dominant approach to contemporary metaphysics is not well supported either historically or theoretically, and have proposed an alternative understanding of what a 'Quinean approach' ought to look like. I have also engaged with 'Moorean' arguments about existence questions and with challenges from 'easy ontology', arguing that there are ways to avoid these challenges to certain metaphysical approaches.

Future Research

I hope in future to be able to work in more detail on representation in fiction, looking at how the inclusion of games in our theory might affect what we say. I also aim to write in more detail about the prospects for explication as a key method in philosophy.

Department of Philosophy

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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