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Tim Oakley Honorary Associate, Philosophy

After completing undergraduate studies in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne, I completed a Bachelor of Philosophy degree at Oxford, and then returned in 1966 to a position at the newly established La Trobe University. I taught there for some forty years, retiring from teaching to become an honorary associate at the end of 2006. At various times I have been a visitor at Oxford University, the University of Dundee, the University of Arizona, and Princeton University.
I have taught in a wide range of areas in philosophy, including philosophy of language, the British Empiricists, philosophy of logic, epistemology, ontology, ethics, the meaning of life, philosophy of science, and critical thinking.
My current research interests are in epistemology and the meaning of life. In the former field, I am particularly concerned with scepticism and the nature of justified belief. Long convinced by sceptical arguments, much of my work has been (and continues to be) devoted to the question of how to deal with that situation. On the latter topic, I have maintained that the central concept requiring explication is meaninglessness.
At various times I have also pursued research on self-respect and self-esteem, duties to oneself, value nihilism, the analytic/synthetic distinction, and the nature of inductive argument.


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