Dr Waghorn studied Philosophy and Theology as an undergraduate at Oxford University, before taking his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Reading. He then spent a short period tutoring for various colleges of Oxford University, before taking up a position as Lecturer and Director of Studies in Philosophy at St. Benet’s Hall in 2009. He was made PPE Co-ordinator in 2011, and a Fellow of the Hall in 2013. He is also Tutor and Director of Studies in Philosophy at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford.
At undergraduate level Dr Waghorn teaches a number of papers. For Prelims/Mods he teaches the General Philosophy component of the Introduction to Philosophy paper. For Finals he teaches Knowledge and Reality (102), Philosophy of Mind (104), Philosophy of Religion (107) and certain options for Post-Kantian Philosophy (113).
Dr Waghorn’s research interests rest in fundamental questions in metaphysics and value theory (as these appear in both Continental and analytic philosophy), and in their interrelation. In metaphysics, he is interested in the notion of ‘nothing’ and what, if any, sense can be made of it—his research in this area has led him to examine the connected notions of ‘everything’ and ‘something’. He is also currently exploring the realism/anti-realism debate, especially as it bears on the idea of conceptual limits.
In value theory, Dr Waghorn’s main interest is in the meaning of life, with a side-interest in the nature and significance of death. He is particularly concerned with the question of whether life can have ultimate meaning, as opposed to the question of what makes life more or less meaningful. This former question led to his examining certain metaphilosophical ideas.
Finally, in philosophy of religion Dr Waghorn is interested in some of the less frequently discussed divine attributes, such as divine simplicity and divine necessity, and also in arguments for and against the existence of God.
Nothingness and the Meaning of Life: Philosophical Approaches to Ultimate Meaning Through Nothing and Reflexivity (Bloomsbury 2014)