Catherine Elgin

Without Religious Certainty, We Can Still Know What Is Right

Catherine Z. Elgin (born 1948)

is a philosopher whose focus is the theory of knowledge and the philosophies of art and science.[1] She holds a Ph.D. from Brandeis University and is currently a professor at Harvard University. She is well known for her several joint works with philosopher Nelson Goodman.


Academic Focus


Elgin's work has considered such questions as "what makes something cognitively valuable?" As an epistemologist, she considers the pursuit of understanding to be of higher value than the pursuit of knowledge.




  • With Reference to Reference, 1982
  • Reconceptions in Philosophy and Other Arts and Sciences, 1988
  • Revisionen. Philosophie und andere Künste und Wissenschaften, 1993
  • The Philosophy of Nelson Goodman, v. 1. Nominalism, Constructivism, and RelativismISBN 0-8153-2609-2, v. 2. Nelson Goodman's New Riddle of InductionISBN 0-8153-2610-6, v. 3. Nelson Goodman's Philosophy of ArtISBN 0-8153-2611-4, v. 4. Nelson Goodman's Theory of Symbols and its ApplicationsISBN 0-8153-2612-2, 1997[3]
  • Between the Absolute and the Arbitrary (Paperback), 1997[4]
  • Considered Judgment, 1999
  • Philosophical Inquiry: Classic and Contemporary Readings, 2007
  • Begging to differ, The Philosophers' Magazine, December, 2012

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