Nathaniel Goldberg Associate Professor of Philosophy

Nathaniel Goldberg

Washington Hall 323
Curriculum Vitae

Professor Goldberg joined Washington and Lee in 2008 as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy. He previously taught at Ohio University and Mount St. Mary’s University. He is past president of the Virginia Philosophical Association and faculty advisor for W&L's chapter of Phi Sigma Tau, the international philosophy honor society.

Professor Goldberg researches at the intersection of epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of language, and has an abiding interest in Kant. In over a dozen articles he has explored how meaning and conceptual change interplay in a Kantian framework. He has synthesized these themes into an original monograph, Kantian Conceptual Geography. He has also begun drafting With Great Power: How Superhero Comics Channel and Challenge Philosophy with Chris Gavaler (W&L, English). Superhero comics channel philosophy because the scenarios that they describe amount to philosophical thought experiments. They challenge philosophy by requiring a theory of meaning for non-sequel images and words and a theory of mind for dozens of contributors over decades of installments.


Ph.D. Philosophy, Georgetown University (2004)
M.A. Philosophy, Tufts University (1999)
B.A. History, Brandeis University (1996) 


Epistemology, Kant, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Language


American Pragmatism (Fall 2016, probaby AY 2018-2019)
Ancient Philosophy
Epistemology: Knowledge and Doubt
Honors Thesis Seminar (Winter 2016)
Intermediate Logic
Introduction to Logic (Fall 2016, Winter 2017)
Kant (probably AY 2017-2018)
Metaphysics: Existence and Reality (probably AY 2017-2018)
Modern Philosophy (Winter 2016, Winter 2017)
Philosophy and Science Fiction (Spring 2017)
Philosophy of Language (probably Winter 2017)
Seminar on a Living Philosopher

Selected Publications


  1. Kantian Conceptual Geography (Oxford University Press, 2015) [Oxford Scholarship Online] [Oxford University Press] [Amazon[Powell's Books].
    Author Meets Critic Symposium at Critique: Discussing the Works of Kant & German Idealism (forthcoming)
    Reviewed in the Notre Dame Philosophical Review (27 August 2015); Philosophical Forum 47 (2016): 79–82; Kantian Review (forthcoming)


  1. "Marvels of Scepticism: René Descartes and Comic Book Sceptics," with Chris Gavaler, Foundations: The International Review of Science Fiction (forthcoming)
  2. "Donald Davidson and the Mind of Swamp Things," with Chris Gavaler, Journal of Popular Culture (forthcoming)
  3. "Economy of the Comic Book Author's Soul," with Chris Gavaler, International Journal of Comic Art (forthcoming)
  4. "Davidson, Dualism, and Truth," Journal for the History of Analytic Philosophy 1 (2012): 0–19
  5. "Interpreting Thomas Kuhn as a Response-Dependence Theorist," International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (2011): 729–52
  6. "Historicism, Entrenchment, and Conventionalism," Journal for General Philosophy of Science 40 (2009): 259–76
  7. "Triangulation, Untranslatability, and Reconciliation," Philosophia 37 (2009): 261–80
  8. "Universal and Relative Rationality," Principia 13 (2009): 67–84 
  9. "Incommensurability, Relativism, Scepticism: Reflections on Acquiring a Concept" with Matthew Rellihan, Ratio 21 (2008): 147–67
  10. "Response-Dependence, Noumenalism, and Ontological Mystery," European Journal of Philosophy 17 (2008): 469–88
  11. "Tension within Triangulation," Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (2008): 367–83
  12. "Do Principles of Reason Have 'Objective but Indeterminate Validity'?," Kant-Studien 95 (2004): 405–25
  13. "E Pluribus Unum: Arguments against Conceptual Schemes and Empirical Content," Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (2004): 411–38
  14. "Is Aristotle's Philosophy of Mind Functionalist?," Philosophical Writings 26 (2004): 47–69
  15. "The Principle of Charity," Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review 43 (2004): 671–83

  16. "Actually v. Possibly the Case: On Davidson's Omniscient Interpreter," Acta Analytica 18 (2003): 143–60
  17. "McTaggart on Time," Logic and Logical Philosophy 13 (2004): 71–76

Book Chapters and Conference Proceedings

  1. "Time to Choose," with Chris Gavaler, Batman, Superman, and Philosophy (Open Court Publishing Company Press, 2016), ch. 13 (pp. 143-52)
  2. "Psychological Eudaimonism and Interpretation in Greek Ethics" with Mark LeBar, in Rachana Kamtekar, ed., Virtue and Happiness: Essays in Honor of Julia AnnasOxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2012): 287–320
  3. "Swampman, Response-Dependence, and Meaning," in Gerhard Preyer, ed. Donald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the Mental (Oxford University Press, 2012): 148-166
  4. "Where Does Knowledge Come From? Quine, Davidson, and Traditional Epistemology," in David Stewart, H. Gene Blocker, and James Petrik, eds., Fundamentals of Philosophy (Prentice Hall), 8th ed. (2012, ch. 18) and 7th ed. (2009, ch. 19, pp. 210–8
  5. "Tension within Triangulation," Proceedings of the Ohio Philosophical Association 5 (2008)
  6. "Response-Dependence, Ethnocentrism, and Incommensurability," Proceedings of the Ohio Philosophical Association 4 (2007)
  7. "Davidson's Return to Kant," in José María Torralba, ed., Doscientos Años Después: Retornos y Relecturas de Kant [Two Hundred Years After: Returns and Re-Interpretations of Kant] (Publication Services of University of Navarra, Spain, 2005): 33–48 

Book Reviews and Notes

  1. Review of Lanier R. Anderson's The Poverty of Conceptual Truth: Kant's Analytic/Synthetic Distinction and the Limits of Metaphysics (Oxford University Press, 2015) in Kantian Review (2016): 146–51
  2. Review of Albert Casullo's Essays on A Priori Knowledge and Justification (Oxford University Press, 2014) in Philosophy in Review 35 (2015): 1–3
  3. Review of David Braine's Language and Human Understanding: The Roots of Creativity in Speech and Thought (Catholic University Press, 2014) in The Review of Metaphysics 68 (2014): 158–9
  4. Review of Daniel Dennett's Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking (W. W. Norton & Company, 2013) in Philosophy Now 101 (Mar/Apr 2014)
  5. Review of Maria Cristina Amoretti and Gerhard Preyer's (eds.) Triangulation: From an Epistemological Point of View (Ontos, 2001) in the Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (14 Oct 2011) 
  6. Review of Roger Gibson's Cambridge Companion to Quine (Cambridge University Press, 2004) and Quintessence: Basic Readings from the Philosophy of W. V. Quine (Harvard University Press, 2004) in The Review of Metaphysics 58 (2005): 660–2
  7. Review of Predrag Cicovacki's Between Truth and Illusion: Kant at the Crossroads of Modernity (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2002), in The Review of Metaphysics 57 (2004): 832­­–3
  8. Review of Marc Lange's An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics (Blackwell Publishing, 2002), in The Review of Metaphysics 57 (2004): 631–3
  9. Review of Meir Buzaglo's Logic of Concept Expansion (Cambridge University Press, 2002), in The Review of Metaphysics 57 (2003): 141–3
  10. Inaugural Editor's Note, Eudaimonia: The Georgetown Philosophical Review 1 (2004): 4