Professor Christopher Hughes
Professor of Philosophy
Professor Hughes received his BA at Wesleyan University, and then his PhD at the University of Pittsburgh. Before coming to London, he taught at Cornell University.
Research interests and PhD supervision
- Philosophical Logic
- Mediaeval Philosophy
- Philosophy of Religion
Prof Hughes' philosophical interests are mainly in metaphysics, philosophical logic, the philosophy of religion, and mediaeval philosophy. (In a way, though, his philosophical interests are all in metaphysics, inasmuch as the problems that occupy him in philosophical logic or philosophy of religion or mediaeval philosophy are problems in metaphysics. In fact, he tends to think everyone’s philosophical interests are all in metaphysics, because metaphysics just is philosophy, but that’s another story…)
In metaphysics, he has worked a good bit on problems having to do in one way or another with identity - for example, on what good criteria of identity for material objects and for events might be, on the identity or otherwise of things existing in different possible worlds or different times, on the identity and persistence of (human) persons, on the possibility of intermittent existence (can anything existing after a thing has gone out of existence be identical to that thing?), and so on. He is also interested in a set of problems concerning time, truth, and necessity, and in particular in the question of whether there is a sense of “necessary” in which only necessary propositions are knowable, or in which only necessary truths are true.
In philosophy of religion, he has done work on natural theology and natural atheology, and on various questions concerning divine attributes, for example: Could God be absolutely simple? Could He be three different persons in one nature? Could He know all the truths there are to know about who or what doesn’t exist?) His work in mediaeval philosophy has primarily centred on Aquinas’s metaphysics - especially, his (hylomorphic) accounts of the metaphysical constitution of material substances and of human beings - and on his philosophical theology, but he also has interests in Augustine (especially, on freedom and necessity), Anselm (especially, on the Trinity), and Ockham (especially, on the truth and knowability of propositions about the open future).
Prof Hughes welcomes enquiries from prospective students who are interested in working with him on topics in metaphysics, philosophical logic, philosophy of religion and medieval philosophy.
For more details, please see his full research profile
Prof Hughes has previously taught on the following modules
- 4AANA004 Introduction to Metaphysics (convenor)
- 6AANB023 Medieval Philosophy
- 6AANB025 Philosophy of Religion
- 7AAN2047 Metaphysics
- 7AAN2045 Medieval Philosophy
- 7AAN2071 Philosophy of Religion
Prof Hughes also supervises BA and MA dissertations, and a number of MPhilStud and PhD research students.