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Dr John Wright

Senior Lecturer

School of Humanities and Social Science (Philosophy)

Career Summary

Biography

In my research I have endeavored to produce solutions to problems in the following areas: *How is the novel predictive success of science to be explained? The answer I favor 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 favor 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 favor 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 favor 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).

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.

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.

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.


Qualifications

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

Keywords

  • Ethics and Economics
  • Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of Science
  • metaphysics

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
220399Philosophy not elsewhere classified100

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2014 - Senior LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia

Academic appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/09/2010 - 1/12/2010Visiting ScholarUniversity of Cambridge
United Kingdom
1/09/2005 - 1/12/2005Visiting ScholarUniversity of Cambridge
United Kingdom
1/09/1993 - 1/12/1993Visiting ScholarUniversity of Oxford
United Kingdom
1/01/1987 - 1/12/1997Tutor The University of Adelaide
Philosophy
Australia

Invitations

External Reviewer - Departments

YearTitle / Rationale
2003John Wright/ curriculumn monitor
Organisation: Australian Catholic University Description: My role was to review the offerings of the dept of philosophy at the ACU
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (4 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Wright J, Where Did Fair Go?, Australian Scholarly Publishing, North Melbourne, 143 (2014) [A1]
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]
Show 1 more book

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 (9 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 and Consciousness', Iyyun: The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly, 55 235-263 (2006) [C1]
2006Wright JN, 'Personal identity, fission and time travel', Philosophia, 34 129-142 (2006) [C1]
DOI10.1007/s11406-006-9019-7
CitationsScopus - 1Web of Science - 2
2006Wright JN, 'Ethics and the will of the affluent majority', Australian Rationalist, 40-46 (2006) [C2]
2004Wright JN, 'Review of Einstein's Heroes: Imagining the World Through the Language of Mathematics', Australian Mathematical Society Gazette, 31 263-264 (2004) [C3]
2004Wright JN, 'What ever happened to the ideal of equality?', Journal of the Rationalist Society of Australia, 66 26-34 (2004) [C3]
2003Wright JN, 'Newton: The Making of Genius by P Fara', Australian Mathematical Society Gazette, 30 303-304 (2003) [C3]
Show 6 more journal articles

Conference (1 outputs)

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

Summary

Number of grants8
Total funding$39,805

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


20041 grants / $2,380

Toward a Science of Consciouness, 7 April 2004 to 11 April 2004$2,380

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamDoctor John Wright
SchemeTravel Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2004
Funding Finish2004
GNoG0183861
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

20021 grants / $1,425

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

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamDoctor John Wright
SchemeTravel Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2002
Funding Finish2002
GNoG0182301
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

19971 grants / $2,000

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

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamDoctor John Wright
SchemeProject Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start1997
Funding Finish1997
GNoG0176686
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

19961 grants / $7,000

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

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamDoctor John Wright
SchemeProject Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start1996
Funding Finish1996
GNoG0175782
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

19951 grants / $9,000

'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

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamDoctor John Wright
SchemeProject Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start1995
Funding Finish1995
GNoG0174941
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

19931 grants / $9,000

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

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamDoctor John Wright
SchemeProject Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start1993
Funding Finish1993
GNoG0172773
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

19922 grants / $9,000

Realism And Explanatory Priority$8,000

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding bodyARC (Australian Research Council)
Project TeamDoctor John Wright
SchemeSmall Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start1992
Funding Finish1992
GNoG0173642
Type Of FundingScheme excluded from IGS
CategoryEXCL
UONY

Metaphysical Realisms And Explanatory Priorty$1,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamDoctor John Wright
SchemeProject Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start1992
Funding Finish1992
GNoG0174247
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY
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Research Supervision

Current Supervision

CommencedResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2006Words and the World: A Critique of Straight Solutions to Kripke's Meaning Scepticism
Philosophy, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor

Past Supervision

YearResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2013The Moral Theology of Kenneth Kirk, Bishop of Oxford: Studies in its Development, Application and Influence
Philosophy, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor
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News

The Conversation

If democracy is to give everyone a say, equality isn’t an optional extra

December 1, 2014

Dr John Wright, a Senior Lecturer in the University of Newcastle's Faculty of Education and Arts, talks democracy in The Conversation.

The Conversation

Do Australians still believe in the fair go? Views on pay suggest not

October 14, 2014

Dr John Wright, from the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle, sheds light on Aussie's view of fair pay.

Dr John Wright

Position

Senior Lecturer
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area

Philosophy

Contact Details

Emailjohn.wright@newcastle.edu.au
Phone(02) 4921 5182
Fax(02) 4921 6928

Office

RoomMC113
BuildingMcMullin Building
LocationCallaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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