Howard Wettstein



Professor of Philosophy

Contact Information

HMNSS 3212


Ph.D., City University of New York, 1976
B.A., Yeshiva College, 1965

Areas of Interest

Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind, philosophy of religion.


Professor Wettstein has written three books—The Significance of Religious Experience (Oxford University Press, 2012), The Magic Prism: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language (Oxford University Press, 2004) and Has Semantics Rested On a Mistake?, and Other Essays (Stanford University Press, 1991)—and a number of papers in the philosophy of language, for many years the focus of his research. During the last decade an additional focus has been the philosophy of religion; he has published on topics like religious experience, awe, the problem of evil, and the viability of philosophical theology.  He is an Editor of Midwest Studies in Philosophy, and has edited a number of other volumes including Themes From Kaplan (Oxford University Press, 1989, co-edited) and Diasporas and Exiles (University of California Press, 2002).

Selected Publications

     Books and Collections

  • The Significance of Religious Experience, Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • The Magic Prism: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language, Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • Diasporas and Exiles: Varieties of Jewish Identity (editor), University of California Press, 2002.
  • Has Semantics Rested on a Mistake?, And Other Essays, Stanford University Press, 1990
  • Themes from Kaplan, (co-editor) Oxford, 1989
  • Midwest Studies in Philosophy (co-editor), 1977–present

     Selected Articles

  • The Faith of Abraham
  • Having in Mind,”  in Essays on Reference: The Philosophy of Keith Donnellan, Oxford University Press volume on the work of Keith Donnellan, ed. J. Almog and F. Recanati. .
  • God’s Struggles,” in Michael Bergmann, Michael Murray, Michael Rea, eds., (Oxford University Press): Divine Evil?: The Moral Character of the God of Abraham. This paper derives from “Concluding Remarks” I gave at the September 2009 conference at the University of Notre Dame, “My Ways Are Not Your Ways: The Character of the God of the Hebrew Bible.”
  • Forgiveness and Moral Reckoning,” Philosophia, Vol. 38, Issue 3 (2010).
  • The Significance of Religious Experience,” The Modern Schoolman, Vol. 86, nos. 2-3, 2011.
  • Referents and Fixing Reference” in Richard Schantz (editor), Prospects for Meaning (deGruyter, Berlin and New York), 2011.
  • Against Theology” in Robert Eisen and Charles Manekin (eds.) Philosophers and the Bible: General and Jewish Perspectives (University Press of Maryland, 2009).
  • Against Theodicy,” Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, 1999. Reprinted in Judaism, 2001 and in Philosophia, 2003.
  • Doctrine,” Faith and Philosophy, 1997
  • Terra Firma,” The Monist, 1995
  • Frege-Russell Semantics?“, Dialectica, 1990
  • Cognitive Significance Without Cognitive Content,” Mind, 1988
  • Turning the Tables on Frege,” Philosophical Perspectives, 1987
  • “Has Semantics Rested on a Mistake?”, Journal of Philosophy, 1986