Timothy Joel McGrew

Updated November 5, 2015





Ph.D. in Philosophy, 1992

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN


M.A. in Philosophy, 1991

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN


B.A. in Philosophy (summa cum laude), 1988

University of Scranton, Scranton, PA


Professional Employment:


Fall 2005 to Summer 2009 and Summer 2015 to present: Professor and Chairman, Department of Philosophy, Western Michigan University


Fall 2009 to Summer 2015: Professor, Department of Philosophy, Western Michigan University


Fall 1999 to Fall 2005: Associate Prof. of Philosophy, Western Michigan University


Fall 1995 to Fall 1999: Assistant Prof. of Philosophy, Western Michigan University


Fall 1992 to Spring 1995: Assistant Prof. of Philosophy, Washington State University


Areas of Specialization:


Epistemology: foundationalism; internalist and externalist theories of epistemic justification; theories of rationality; a priori knowledge; objectivity and relativism; formal and performative self-refutation; perceptual knowledge and the given; metaepistemology


Philosophy of Science: models of explanation; simplicity; probability, falsifiability and rational theory choice; history of science and rational reconstruction; logic, realism and contemporary physics; the mathematics and philosophy of cosmological fine-tuning


Probability Theory: induction and statistical inference; Bayesian confirmation theory; probabilistic models of explanatory reasoning


History of Science: physics in Islam in the middle ages; astronomy and dynamics from Aristotle through Newton; particles, waves and the development of optics (1660-1850); the fall of the ether theory and the advent of relativity


Philosophy of Religion: historical arguments for and against miracle claims; natural theology and atheology; ramified natural theology


Other Areas of Competence:


History of Modern Philosophy: Descartes and the rationalist revolt against scholasticism; the way of ideas; the British empiricists and the revolution in science; controversies regarding innate ideas; the deist controversy in the 18th century


Logic and Philosophy of Logic: history of logic; logical syntax and formal semantics; type theory and logical paradoxes; non-Tarskian semantics and limited self-reference; deviant logics; analyticity; theories of truth; philosophical interpretations of modal and quasi-modal logics


Metaphysics and Philosophy of Mind: freedom and determinism; dualism and the mind/body problem; functionalism and AI; causality, teleology and the existence of God; universals and abstract entities; nominalism, essentialism and quantified modal logic; antirealism and the nature of truth


Professional Publications:




Philosophy of Science: An Historical Anthology.  Co-edited with Marc Alspector-Kelly and Fritz Allhoff. Blackwell, 2009.


Internalism and Epistemology: The Architecture of Reason. With Lydia McGrew. Routledge, 2007.


The Foundations of Knowledge. Littlefield Adams Books, 1995.


Edited Works


Brooke Foss Westcott, The Gospel of the Resurrection (Chillicothe, OH: DeWard, 2012).


Articles and Book Chapters


“The Argument from Silence.” Acta Analytica 29 (2014), pp. 215-28.


“There are Serious Reasons for Belief in the Existence of God.” In Corey Miller and Paul Gould, eds., Is Faith in God Reasonable? (New York: Routledge, 2014), pp. 97-111.


“Faith and Reason in Historical Perspective.” With David Marshall. In Tom Gilson and Carson Weitnauer, eds., True Reason (Grand Rapids: Kregel 2013).


“Natural Theology and the Uses of Argument.” With John DePoe. Philosophia Christi 15 (2013), pp. 299-309.


“Inference, Method, and History.” Southeastern Theological Review 3 (2012), pp.  27-39.


“The Reliability of Witnesses and Testimony to the Miraculous.” With Lydia McGrew. In Jake Chandler and Victoria Harrison, eds., Probability in the Philosophy of Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 46-63.


“Evidence.” In Sven Bernecker and Duncan Pritchard, eds., The Routledge Companion to Epistemology, 2011, pp. 58-67.


“Miracles.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, October 11, 2010.


“The Argument from Miracles.” With Lydia McGrew. In William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland, eds. The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, 2009.


               “Foundationalism, Probability, and Mutual Support.”  With Lydia McGrew. Erkenntnis 68 (2008), pp. 55-77.


“On the Historical Argument: A Rejoinder to Plantinga.” With Lydia McGrew. Philosophia Christi 8 (2006), pp. 23-38.


“A Response to Robin Collins and Alexander R. Pruss.” With Lydia McGrew. Philosophia Christi 7 (2005), pp. 425-43


“Toward a Rational Reconstruction of Design Inferences.” Philosophia Christi 7 (2005), pp. 253-98.


“Has Plantinga Refuted the Historical Argument?” Philosophia Christi 6 (2004), pp. 7-26.


“Confirmation, Heuristics, and Explanatory Reasoning.” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2003), pp. 553-67.


“Probabilities and the Fine Tuning Argument: A Sceptical View.” With Lydia McGrew and Eric Vestrup. Mind 110 (2001): 1027-37. Anthologized in Neil A. Manson, ed., God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science. Routledge, 2003.


“Direct Inference and the Problem of Induction.” The Monist 84 (2001), pp. 153-74. An expanded version of this paper is anthologized in Henry Kyburg and Mariam Thalos, eds., Probability is the Very Guide of Life: The Philosophical Uses of Chance. Open Court, 2003.


“What’s Wrong with Epistemic Circularity.” With Lydia McGrew. Dialogue 39 (2000), pp. 219-39.


“Foundationalism, Transitivity and Confirmation.” With Lydia McGrew. Journal of Philosophical Research 25 (2000), pp. 47-66.


“How Foundationalists do Crossword Puzzles.” Philosophical Studies 96 (1999), pp. 333-50.


“Psychology for Armchair Philosophers.” With Lydia McGrew. Idealistic Studies 28 (1998), pp. 147-57.


“A Defense of Classical Foundationalism.” In Louis Pojman, The Theory of Knowledge: Classical and Contemporary Readings, 2nd ed. (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1998).


“The Simulation of Expertise: Deeper Blue and the Riddle of Human Cognition.” Origins and Design 19 (Summer 1998).


“Internalism and the Collapse of the Gettier Problem.” With Lydia McGrew.  Journal of Philosophical Research 23 (1998), pp. 239-56.


“Physics in Islam.” In Helaine Selin, ed., The Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Kluwer Academic Publications, 1997.


“Collaborative Intelligence.” Internet Computing, May/June 1997.


“Level Connections in Epistemology.” With Lydia McGrew. American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (1997), pp. 85-94.


“The Two Envelope Paradox Resolved.” With Harry Silverstein and David Shier. Analysis 57 (1997), pp. 28-33.


“Two Cheers for Bayes’s Theorem.” Analysis 55 (1995).


“A Postscript to Kuhn.” The Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy, May 1994.


“Unraveling Innate Ideas.” History of Philosophy Quarterly, July 1992.


“The Missing Link: Aquinas and Kant Revisited.” Dialogue, October 1987.




        “Review of Robert Fogelin, A Defense of Hume on Miracles.” Mind 114 (2005), pp. 145-49.


“Review of Albert Casullo, A Priori Justification.” International Philosophical Quarterly 44 (2004), pp. 441-42.


“Review of Richard Swinburne, Epistemic Justification.” Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (2002).


“Review of Michael Huemer, Skepticism and the Veil of Perception.” Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (2002).


“Review of Dean Overman, A Case Against Accident and Self-Organization.” Philosophia Christi (1999), pp. 154-56.


“Review of The Philosophy of W. V. Quine.” Dialogue, April 1988.


Professional Presentations:


“Special Divine Action: The State of the Art and the Uses of History.” Presented at Oxford University, June 2014.


“Rediscovering the History of the Discussion.” Presented at the meeting on Special Divine Action sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, March 2012.


“Science, Doubt, and Miracles.” Presented at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, January 8, 2012.


“New Atheists, Old Atheists, and Old Apologists.” Presented at the Evangelical Philosophical Association meeting, New Orleans, LA, November 20, 2009.


“The Reliability of Witnesses and Testimony to the Miraculous.” With Lydia McGrew. Presented at Formal Methods in the Epistemology of Religion, Leuven, Belgium, June 11, 2009.


“Hume’s Argument Against Miracles: Then and Now.” Hope College, October 3, 2006


“Scholarship as a Vocation,” Hope College, October 3, 2006


“Jeffrey Conditioning as a Model of Synchronic Mutual Support Relations.” With Lydia McGrew. Presented at the Formal Epistemology Workshop, Berkeley, CA, May, 2006.


“Fine-tuning and Normalizability.” Presented at the APA Central Division Meeting, April, 2006, Chicago, IL.


“Has Plantinga Refuted the Historical Argument?” Plenary address presented by invitation to the Pacific Division meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers, Los Angeles, CA, February 28, 2004.


“Infinity and Continuity in Ancient and Medieval Thought.” Presented by invitation to the History of Mathematics Colloquium, Department of Mathematics, Western Michigan University, November 7, 2003.


“On the Rational Reconstruction of the Fine-Tuning Argument.” Presented at the Notre Dame Workshop on the Mathematics and Philosophy of Cosmic Fine-Tuning, April 25, 2003.


“Sherlock Holmes: Mathematician.” Presented by invitation to the WMU chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national math honor society, March 21, 2003.


“Confirmation, Heuristics, and Explanatory Reasoning.” Presented by invitation as the Sievert Lecture to the Department of Philosophy at the University of Iowa, October 25, 2002.


“Palaces of the Mind: the Art of Memory in the Middle Ages.” Presented by invitation to the Honors Program at Ashland University, September 20, 2002.


“A Sensible World: the Critical Tradition in Medieval Science.” Presented by invitation to the Honors Program at Ashland University, September 19, 2002.


“Toward a Rational Reconstruction of Design Inferences.” Presented at the Models of Design symposium at Calvin College, May 2001.


“The Logic of Design Inferences.” Presented by invitation at Ashland University, April 6, 2001.


“Who's Afraid of the Problem of Induction?” Presented by invitation at Ashland University, April 6, 2001.


“Normalizability and Anthropic Coincidences.” With Eric Vestrup. Presented at the Notre Dame Colloquium on Cosmic Fine-Tuning, July 22, 2000.


“Probabilities and the Fine-Tuning Argument.” With Eric Vestrup. Presented at the conference on Design and its Critics at Concordia University, June 24, 2000.


“Probability Theory and the New Paradox of the Lottery.” Comments on Evan Fales, “The Fix is In (You can bet on it): A Lottery Paradox.” Presented at the meeting of the Central States Philosophical Association, October 17, 1998.


“Knowledge and Aesthetic Truth.” Presented to the faculty of Cornerstone College, November 10, 1997.


“In Defense of Dualism.” Presented at the Midwestern Metaphysics Meeting, Notre Dame, August 1997.


“How Foundationalists Do Crossword Puzzles.” Invited lecture at Wayne State University, April 11, 1996.


“Deviant Logics and Quantum Theory.” Presented at the Inland Empire Philosophy Colloquium, April 24, 1993.


“Berkeley and the Limits of Imagination.” Presented at the 44th annual Northwest Conference on Philosophy, November 7, 1992.


“How Not to Save Scientific Realism.” Comments on Mohammed Elsamahi, “Can Scientific Entities Save Realism?” Presented at the 44th annual Northwest Conference on Philosophy, November 6, 1992.


“Conceptual Analysis and the Definition of Knowledge.” Comments on Rudy Garns, “Epistemology and the Concept of Knowledge.” Presented at the annual Southern Society for Philosophy meeting, March 14, 1992.


“Scientific Progress, Relativism and Self-Refutation.” Presented at the 1991 conference of the Tennessee Philosophical Association, November 16, 1991.


“Authorial Intention and Interpretive Autonomy.” Presented at the Vanderbilt University Philosophy Colloquium, September 20, 1991.


“On Frankfurt on Descartes.” Presented at the 1989 conference of the Tennessee Philosophical Association, November 3, 1989.


“On the Logic of Theoretical Inquiry.” Presented at the Phi Sigma Tau Philosophy Forum of the University of Scranton, October 16, 1986.


“Aquinas and Kant: A Quest for Unity.” Presented at the 1986 conference of the Eastern Pennsylvania Philosophical Association at Albright College, April 12, 1986.


Other Professional Activities:


Editorial positions: I am on the board of editors for Religious Studies and Studia Neoaristotelica.


Journal Reviewing: I do ongoing journal referee for several respected journals including British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Dialogue (Canada), Synthese, Journal of Philosophical Research, and Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, and Religious Studies.


Manuscript Reviewing: by invitation, referee of book manuscripts in epistemology and philosophy of science for several publishers including Blackwell, Broadview, Cambridge University Press, Mayfield, and Wadsworth.


Other University Activities:


Chairman of the Department of Philosophy, July 2014 to present.


Director of Graduate Teaching, Fall 2009-2013.


Chairman of the Department of Philosophy, July 2005 to June 2009.


Graduate program recruitment, 2001 to 2013.


Director of Graduate Studies, 2002 to Winter 2005.


College Curriculum Committee, Fall 1998 to Winter 2002.


Honors Thesis Director, Matthew Hillman, Spring 2012. (Thesis completed and defended on time.)


Thesis Director, Tony Givhan, Spring 2000. (Thesis completed and defended on time.)


Thesis Director, Marshall Willman, 1999. (Thesis completed and defended on time.)


Thesis Director, Richard Van Every, 1997. (Thesis completed and defended on time.)


Philosophy Graduate Advisor, Fall 1997 to 2005.

Medallion Scholarship Competition judge, Spring 1997.


Honors and Awards:


Special Divine Action grant from the John Templeton Foundation: American co-PI. January 2014 to present.


ASTRA recipient, 2000-1, 2001-2, 2002-3, 2003-4.


Dean’s Appreciation Award, Western Michigan University, 1998.


Administrative Merit Award, Western Michigan University, 1997.


Administrative Merit Award, Western Michigan University, 1996.


Franklin J. Matchette Award for Excellence in Teaching, Vanderbilt University, 1991.


International Center for Semiotic and Cognitive Studies Grant to attend the International Conference on Willard V. O. Quine’s Contribution to Philosophy, Republic of San Marino, May 21-26, 1990.


University Graduate Fellowship, Vanderbilt University, 1988-1992.


University Award for Excellence in Philosophy, University of Scranton, 1988.


First Place, Phi Sigma Tau essay contest, “Patterns of Interpretation,” University of Scranton, 1987.


Alpha Sigma Nu (National Jesuit Honor Society), elected October, 1986.


Phi Sigma Tau (National Philosophy Honor Society), elected May, 1986; president, Scranton chapter, 1986-1987.