Profile Image

Staff Profile

Edit

Career Summary

Biography

In my research I have endeavoured to produce solutions to problems in the following areas:

  • How is the novel predictive success of science to be explained?

The answer I favour appeals to a notion of the independence of theory from data. This is explored in books Science and the Theory of Rationality(Avebury, 1991) and The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Scientific Method (in progress)

  • Is our preference for simple theories in science to be rationally justified?

The answer I favour is “Yes”, and the reasons are defended in Science and the Theory of Rationality.

  • What is the Realism/anti-Realism issue? How is it to be resolved?

The view I favour is that this is to be seen as a thesis about explanatory priority. This is explored in book Realism and Explanatory Priority (Kluwer, 1997)

  • What factors determine personal identity over time?

The view I favour is termed the seat of consciousness view of personal identity. This has been defended in papers.

  • Does the operation of the free market produce ethically acceptable outcomes?

I have argued that the answer to this question is no. This is defended in book The Ethics of Economic Rationalism (UNSW Press, 2003) and Where Did Fair Go? (in progress)

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Melbourne
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Melbourne

Research

Research keywords

  • Ethics and Economics
  • Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of Science

Research expertise

I have published in the following areas: Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Science, Critical Thinking and educational philosophy, Metaphysics, particularly Realism and anti-Realism, Philosophy of Mind, particularly personal identity, and political philosophy, especially as it relates to issues of ethics and economics.

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
220300Philosophy100

Appointments

Visiting Scholar
University of Oxford (United Kingdom)
01/09/1993 - 01/12/1993
Visiting Scholar
University of Oxford (United Kingdom)
01/09/1993 - 01/12/1993
Visiting scholar
University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
01/09/2005 - 01/12/2005
Visiting scholar
University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
01/09/2010 - 01/12/2010

Invitations

John Wright/ curriculumn monitor
Australian Catholic University, Australia (External Reviewer - Departments.)
2003

Administrative

Administrative expertise

I have served as Head of Department of Philosophy, and Convenor of Discipline of Philosophy. I have also served on numerous committees, including Faculty Research committees, Board of Environmental Studies and Faculty steering committees. I have also served on three Appointment committees.

Teaching

Teaching keywords

  • metaphysics

Teaching expertise

I have taught in: History of Philosophy, Philosophy of Language, Logic, Critical Thinking, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Art, Metaphysics and philosophy of Mind.

Edit

Highlighted Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2003Wright JN, The Ethics of Economic Rationalism, UNSW Press, Sydney, Australia (2003) [A1]
2006Wright JN, 'Personal Identity and Consciousness', Iyyun: The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly, 55 235-263 (2006) [C1]
2002Wright JN, 'The Explanatory Role of Realism', Philosophia: Philosophical Quarterly of Israel, 29 35-56 (2002) [C1]
2002Wright JN, 'Some Surprising Phenomena and Some Unsatisfactory Explanations of Them', Recent Themes in the Philosophy of Science: Scientific Realism and Commonsense, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht 139-155 (2002) [B1]

Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Book (3 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2013Wright J, Explaining Science's Success, Acumen Publishing, Durham, 199 (2013) [A1]
2003Wright JN, The Ethics of Economic Rationalism, UNSW Press, Sydney, Australia (2003) [A1]
2003Wright JN, The Story of Philosophy, Social Science Press, Tuggerah NSW 2259 (2003) [A2]

Chapter (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2002Wright JN, 'Some Surprising Phenomena and Some Unsatisfactory Explanations of Them', Recent Themes in the Philosophy of Science: Scientific Realism and Commonsense, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht 139-155 (2002) [B1]

Journal article (10 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2012Wright JN, 'In defence of Kripkenstein: On Lewis' proposed solution to the sceptical argument', International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 20 603-621 (2012) [C1]
2009Wright JN, 'Thinking about Gödel and Turing : Essays on complexity, 1970-2007 [Book Review]', Australian Mathematical Society. Gazette, 36 211-213 (2009) [C2]
2008Wright JN, 'A madman dreams of Turing machines', Gazette of the Australian Mathematical Society, 35 56-57 (2008) [C3]
2006Wright JN, 'Personal identity, fission and time travel', Philosophia, 34 129-142 (2006) [C1]
2006Wright JN, 'Personal Identity and Consciousness', Iyyun: The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly, 55 235-263 (2006) [C1]
2006Wright JN, 'Ethics and the will of the affluent majority', Australian Rationalist, 40-46 (2006) [C2]
2004Wright JN, 'What ever happened to the ideal of equality?', Journal of the Rationalist Society of Australia, 66 26-34 (2004) [C3]
2004Wright JN, 'Review of Einstein's Heroes: Imagining the World Through the Language of Mathematics', Australian Mathematical Society Gazette, 31 263-264 (2004) [C3]
2003Wright JN, 'Newton: The Making of Genius by P Fara', Australian Mathematical Society Gazette, 30 303-304 (2003) [C3]
2002Wright JN, 'The Explanatory Role of Realism', Philosophia: Philosophical Quarterly of Israel, 29 35-56 (2002) [C1]
Show 7 more

Conference (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2004Wright JN, 'Personal Identity and Consciousness', Toward a Science of Consciousness 2004, Tucson, Arizona, USA (2004) [E3]
Edit

Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants8
Total funding$39,805

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2004 (1 grants)

Toward a Science of Consciouness, 7 April 2004 to 11 April 2004$2,380
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor John Wright
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$2,38020042004
GNo:G0183861

2002 (1 grants)

New Perspective on the Relation between History and Philosophy of Science, Paris France 3 - 5 October 2002$1,425
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor John Wright
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$1,42520022002
GNo:G0182301

1997 (1 grants)

Explanation, Evidence and Understanding: An attempt to develop a comprehensive account of scientific explnatin and of the nature and role of evidence in science$2,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor John Wright
SchemeRole
Project GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$2,00019971997
GNo:G0176686

1996 (1 grants)

Explanation, evidence and understanding: An attempt to develop a comprehensive account of the nature of scientific explanation and of the nature and role of ec$7,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor John Wright
SchemeRole
Project GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$7,00019961996
GNo:G0175782

1995 (1 grants)

'Explanation, Evidence and Understanding': An attempt to develop a comprehensive account of the nature of scientific explanation and of the nature and role....$9,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor John Wright
SchemeRole
Project GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$9,00019951995
GNo:G0174941

1993 (1 grants)

Realism and Explanatory Priority: An Attempt to Resolve the Realism/Anti-Realism Debate by Viewing Anti-Realism as the Thesis that the Mental is Explanatorily$9,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor John Wright
SchemeRole
Project GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$9,00019931993
GNo:G0172773

1992 (2 grants)

Realism And Explanatory Priority$8,000
Funding Body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Project Team
Doctor John Wright
SchemeRole
Small GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$8,00019921992
GNo:G0173642

Metaphysical Realisms And Explanatory Priorty$1,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor John Wright
SchemeRole
Project GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$1,00019921992
GNo:G0174247
Edit

Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions1
Total current UoN PhD EFTSL0.35

For supervisions undertaken at an institution other that the University of Newcastle, the institution name is listed below the program name.

Current Supervision

CommencedProposed
Completion
ProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
20062013PhD (Philosophy)Principal SupervisorWords and the World: A Critique of Straight solutions to Kripke¿s Meaning Scepticism

Past Supervision

YearProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
2013PhD (Philosophy)Principal SupervisorThe Moral Theology of Kenneth Kirk, Bishop of Oxford: Studies in its Development, Application and Influence
Edit

Dr John Wright

Work Phone(02) 4921 5182
Fax(02) 4921 6928
Email
PositionSenior Lecturer
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaPhilosophy
Office
MC113,
McMullin Building,
Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan NSW 2308
Australia
URL:www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/john-wright
Linkhttp://www.newcastle.edu.au/school/hss/staffcontact/drjohnwright.html