The following areas cover my principal foci of research, publication, and teaching over the past three decades. I began with work in aesthetics but quickly turned to issues in the philosophy of language, especially the role of metaphor and other modes of imaginative thinking in the constitution of meaning and in our reasoning. This led to a greater focus on the importance of empirical research from the burgeoning cognitive sciences as it bears on the nature of mind, thought, meaning, language, and other forms of symbolic interaction. My interest in American Pragmatist philosophy, especially the work of James and Dewey, but also of later thinkers like Putnam and Rorty, grew from my sense that Pragmatism provided the most appropriate broader philosophical perspective for the empirical results of the cognitive sciences that I was exploring. That perspective is non-dualistic, process-oriented, embodied, and fully cognizant of the role of other people and of cultural values and practices in who and what we are. This, in turn, has led me more recently back to the claims of Dewey about the central role of aesthetics in all human meaning, thought, and language, which is the current focus of my research, including recent naturalized approaches to ethics and the origins of moral values and moral judgments.



Mark Johnson | Department of Philosophy | University of Oregon | Eugene, OR 97403-1295
Telephone: 541-346-5548 | Fax: 541-346-5544 | Email: markj [at] uoregon [dot] edu
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