Photo of David Matheson

David Matheson

Philosophy of Life; Epistemology

Degrees:B.A. (New Brunswick), M.A. (Carleton), Ph.D. (Brown)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 1928
Office:3A49 Paterson Hall

Associate Professor

Office Hours:

Email for appointment.

Courses for 2021-22:

  • PHIL 1200:  Meaning of Life
  • PHIL 2003:  Critical Thinking
  • PHIL 3104:  The Roots of Analytical Philosophy
  • PHIL 5850:  Proseminar

Research Interests

My research interests lie in two broad areas: the philosophy of life and epistemology.

My interests in the philosophy of life are focused on meaning as a basic or “final” value in life, the importance of creativity for meaning in life, the relationship between a meaningful life and a life worth living, and how we should respond to philosophical views according to which no lives are ultimately meaningful or worthwhile.

In epistemology, I’m interested in testimony as a source of knowledge and reasonable belief, what’s involved in knowing another person as contrasted with merely knowing about another person, the nature of knowledge-related values, and moral considerations relevant to both knowledge and ignorance.

Some Recent Publications

  • Creativity and meaning in life. Ratio: An International Journal of Analytic Philosophy, 31 (2018): 73-87
  • Review of D. Benatar, The human predicament: A candid guide to life’s biggest questions. The Philosophical Quarterly (advance article online, 2018),
  • An obligation to forget. In S. Bernecker & K. Michaelian, eds., The Routledge handbook of philosophy of memory (London: Routledge, 2017), pp. 364-72
  • The incoherence of soft nihilism. Think: Philosophy for Everyone (A Journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy), 16 (2017): 127-35
  • Testimonial reasons. Erkenntnis: An International Journal of Scientific Philosophy, 81 (2016): 757-74
  • Fundamentality and extradimensional final value. Journal of Philosophy of Life, 5 (2015): 19-32
  • A duty of ignorance. Episteme: A Journal of Individual and Social Epistemology, 10 (2013): 193-205
  • How to be an epistemic value pluralist. Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review, 50 (2011): 391-405
  • Knowing persons. Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review, 49 (2010): 435-53