University of Pittsburgh


John McDowell

Portrait of John McDowell

Distinguished Professor

Department: Philosophy

Degrees: MA, Oxford

Courses Taught: Metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics of Plato and Aristotle; Philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and ethics


John McDowell is University Professor of Philosophy. Before coming to Pittsburgh in 1986, he taught at University College, Oxford. He has held visiting appointments at Harvard University, the University of Michigan, UCLA, and Princeton University. He was the John Locke Lecturer at Oxford University in 1991. A version of his lectures has been published as Mind and World (Harvard, 1994). Several of his papers have been collected in Mind, Value, and Reality (Harvard, 1998) and Meaning, Knowledge, and Reality (Harvard, 1998). His major interests are Greek philosophy, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, metaphysics and epistemology, and ethics. He is a fellow of the British Academy and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Select Publications

• Mind and World (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1994; reissued with a new introduction, 1996). 
• Mind, Value, and Reality [a collection of papers] (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998). 
• Meaning, Knowledge, and Reality [a collection of papers] (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998).
• "Having the World in View: Sellars, Kant, and Intentionality" (the Woodbridge Lectures for 1997), Journal of Philosophy xcv (1998), 431-91.
• "Responses", in Nicholas H. Smith, ed., Reading McDowell: on Mind and World (London and New York: Routledge, 2002), 269-305.
• "Naturalism in the philosophy of mind", in Mario de Caro and David Macarthur, eds., Naturalism in Question (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004), 91-105.

Program Application

  • Students do not apply directly to the CPAS Program
  • Instead, students should apply to one of the cooperating departments (Classics, HPS, or Philosophy) and indicate their interest in the program on their application