Catherine Elgin

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Catherine Z. Elgin (born 1948) is a philosopher whose focus is the theory of knowledge and the philosophies of art and science.[1] She holds a Ph.D. from Brandeis University and is currently a professor at Harvard University. She is well known for her several joint works with philosopher Nelson Goodman.

Academic focus

Elgin's work has considered such questions as "what makes something cognitively valuable?" As an epistemologist, she considers the pursuit of understanding to be of higher value than the pursuit of knowledge.[1]

In Considered Judgement, Elgin argues for "a reconception that takes reflective equilibrium as the standard of rational acceptability."[2]


  • With Reference to Reference, 1982
  • Reconceptions in Philosophy and Other Arts and Sciences, 1988
  • Revisionen. Philosophie und andere Künste und Wissenschaften, 1993
  • The Philosophy of Nelson Goodman, v. 1. Nominalism, Constructivism, and Relativism, ISBN 0-8153-2609-2, v. 2. Nelson Goodman's New Riddle of Induction, ISBN 0-8153-2610-6, v. 3. Nelson Goodman's Philosophy of Art, ISBN 0-8153-2611-4, v. 4. Nelson Goodman's Theory of Symbols and its Applications, ISBN 0-8153-2612-2, 1997[3]
  • Between the Absolute and the Arbitrary (Paperback), 1997[4]
  • Considered Judgment, 1999
  • Philosophical Inquiry: Classic and Contemporary Readings, 2007
  • Begging to differ, The Philosophers' Magazine, December, 2012

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Harvard: Catherine Elgin". Harvard University. Retrieved 2009-03-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Considered Judgment". Princeton University Press. Retrieved 2009-03-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Elgin, Catherine (1997). The Philosophy of Nelson Goodman. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-8153-2612-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Between the Absolute and the Arbitrary (Paperback)". Retrieved 2009-03-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>