Nicholas Wolterstorff

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Nicholas Wolterstorff
Nicholas Wolterstorff.jpg
Born (1932-01-21) January 21, 1932 (age 87)
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Analytic
Academic advisors Donald Cary Williams [1]
Main interests
Epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, aesthetics, political philosophy
Notable ideas
Reformed epistemology

Nicholas Wolterstorff (born January 21, 1932) is an American philosopher and a liturgical theologian. He is currently Noah Porter Professor Emeritus Philosophical Theology at Yale University. [2] A prolific writer with wide-ranging philosophical and theological interests, he has written books on aesthetics, epistemology, political philosophy, philosophy of religion, metaphysics, and philosophy of education. In Faith and Rationality, Wolterstorff, Alvin Plantinga, and William Alston developed and expanded upon a view of religious epistemology that has come to be known as Reformed epistemology [3] . He also helped to establish the journal Faith and Philosophy and the Society of Christian Philosophers.

Yale University private research university in New Haven, Connecticut, United States

Yale University is an American private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

Aesthetics branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of art, beauty, and taste

Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of art, beauty and taste and with the creation or appreciation of beauty.

Epistemology A branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy concerned with the theory of knowledge.

Contents

Wolterstorff speaking in a conference in South Korea, May 24, 2014 WolterstoffLecture(AMJ).jpg
Wolterstorff speaking in a conference in South Korea, May 24, 2014

Biography

Wolterstorff was born in 1932 to Dutch emigrants in a small farming community in southwest Minnesota. [4] After earning his BA in philosophy at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1953, he entered Harvard University, where he earned his M.A. and PhD in philosophy, completing his studies 1956. He then spent a year at the University of Cambridge, where he met C. D. Broad. From 1957 to 1959, he was an instructor in philosophy at Yale University. Then he took the post of Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College and taught for 30 years. [4] He is now teaching at Yale as Noah Porter Professor Emeritus Philosophical Theology.

Minnesota State of the United States of America

Minnesota is a state in the Upper Midwest and northern regions of the United States. Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U.S. state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. The state has a large number of lakes, and is known by the slogan the "Land of 10,000 Lakes". Its official motto is L'Étoile du Nord.

A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.

Calvin College liberal arts college

Calvin College is a liberal arts college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Founded in 1876, Calvin College is an educational institution of the Christian Reformed Church and stands in the Reformed tradition of Protestantism. Calvin College is named after John Calvin, the 16th-century Protestant Reformer.

He has been a visiting professor at Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, Oxford University, University of Notre Dame, University of Texas, University of Michigan, Temple University, the Free University of Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit), and the University of Virginia. In 2007, he received an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. [5] He has been retired since June 2002.

Harvard University private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 15,250 post graduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning, and its history, influence, and wealth have made it one of the world's most prestigious universities.

Princeton University private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey, United States

Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The institution moved to Newark in 1747, then to the current site nine years later, and renamed itself Princeton University in 1896.

University of Notre Dame Catholic university in South Bend, Indiana, United States

The University of Notre Dame du Lac is a private, non-profit Catholic research university in Notre Dame, Indiana. The main campus covers 1,261 acres (510 ha) in a suburban setting and it contains a number of recognizable landmarks, such as the Golden Dome, the Word of Life mural, the Notre Dame Stadium, and the Basilica. The school was founded on November 26, 1842, by Father Edward Sorin, CSC, who was also its first president.

Professional distinctions

University of Virginia public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

The University of Virginia is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia. The flagship university of Virginia, it is also a World Heritage site of the United States. It was founded in 1819 by Declaration of Independence author and former President Thomas Jefferson. UVA is known for its historic foundations, student-run honor code, and secret societies.

Endowed lectureships

The Gifford Lectures are an annual series of lectures which were established by the will of Adam Lord Gifford. They were established to "promote and diffuse the study of natural theology in the widest sense of the term — in other words, the knowledge of God." A Gifford lectures appointment is one of the most prestigious honors in Scottish academia. The lectures are given at several Scottish universities: University of St Andrews, University of Glasgow, University of Aberdeen and University of Edinburgh. They are normally presented as a series over an academic year and given with the intent that the edited content be published in book form. A number of these works have become classics in the fields of theology or philosophy and the relationship between religion and science.

Thomas Reid Scottish philosopher

Thomas Reid was a religiously trained British philosopher, a contemporary of David Hume as well as "Hume's earliest and fiercest critic". He was the founder of the Scottish School of Common Sense and played an integral role in the Scottish Enlightenment. In 1783 he was a joint founder of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Southern Methodist University private university in Dallas, Texas, United States

Southern Methodist University is a private research university in metropolitan Dallas, with its main campus spanning portions of the town of Highland Park and the cities of University Park and Dallas in Texas, United States. SMU also operates satellite campuses in Plano, Texas and Taos, New Mexico.

Personal life

Nicholas Wolterstorff lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with his wife Claire. He has four grown children. His oldest son died in a mountain climbing accident at age 25. He has seven grandchildren.

Grand Rapids, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Grand Rapids is the second-largest city in Michigan, and the largest city in West Michigan. It is on the Grand River about 30 miles (48 km) east of Lake Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 188,040. In 2010, the Grand Rapids metropolitan area had a population of 1,005,648, and the combined statistical area of Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland had a population of 1,321,557. Grand Rapids is the county seat of Kent County.

Thought

While an undergraduate at Calvin College, Wolterstorff was greatly influenced by professors William Harry Jellema, Henry Stob and Henry Zylstra, who introduced him to schools of thought that have dominated his mature thinking: Reformed theology and common sense philosophy. (These have also influenced the thinking of his friend and colleague Alvin Plantinga, another alumnus of Calvin College.)

Wolterstorff builds upon the ideas of the Scottish common sense philosopher Thomas Reid, who approached knowledge "from the bottom-up". Instead of reasoning about transcendental conditions of knowledge, Wolterstorff suggests that knowledge and our knowing faculties are not the subject of our research but have to be seen as its starting point. He rejects classical foundationalism and instead sees knowledge as based upon insights in reality which are direct and indubitable. [4]

Bibliography

Selected writings

Secondary

See also

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References

  1. Wolterstorff, Nicholas (November 2007). "A Life in Philosophy". Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association. 81 (2). JSTOR   27653995.
  2. 1 2 "Nicholas Wolterstorff". religiousstudies.yale.edu. Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  3. Forrest, Peter (2017). Zalta, Edward N., ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2017 ed.). Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.
  4. 1 2 3 "Nicholas Wolterstorff". The Gifford Lectures. Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  5. "Honorary doctorates", Top researchers, NL: VU.