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Timothy Joel McGrew is Professor of Philosophy, and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Western Michigan University. His research interests include Epistemology, the History and Philosophy of Science, and Philosophy of Religion. He is a specialist in the philosophical applications of probability theory.[1]



McGrew graduated from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Philosophy (summa cum laude, 1988). He went on to earn an MA (1991) and a PhD (1992) in philosophy at Vanderbilt University.

He taught as an assistant professor at Washington State University for three years (1992-1995), before joining Western Michigan University in 1995, where he held an assistant professorship for four years (1995-1999), then an associate professorship for six years (1999-2005). He became a full professor, and chairman of the Department of Philosophy at Western Michigan University in 2005, a position that he presently holds.[2]

Research interestsEdit

In Epistemology, McGrew works on foundationalism, internalist and externalist theories of epistemic justification, theories of rationality, a priori knowledge, objectivity and relativism, formal and performative self-refutation, perceptual knowledge and the given, and metaepistemology. His interests in Philosophy of Science include models of explanation, simplicity, probability, falsifiability and rational theory choice, history of science and rational reconstruction, logic, realism and contemporary physics, and the mathematics and philosophy of cosmological fine-tuning.

In Probability Theory, McGrew has published on induction and statistical inference, Bayesian confirmation theory, and probabilistic models of explanatory reasoning.

His interests in the History of Science include physics in Islam in the middle ages, astronomy and dynamics from Aristotle through Newton, particles, waves and the development of optics (1660-1850), and the fall of the ether theory and the advent of relativity.

In Philosophy of Religion, McGrew focuses on historical arguments for and against miracle claims, natural theology and atheology, and ramified natural theology.

Personal lifeEdit

McGrew has been married to Dr Lydia McGrew for over 30 years, and they have three children. He is a chess master[3] and was the Michigan Chess co-champion in 2006, and his daughter Bethel was one of the top thirty female blitz players in the USA.[4] He was one of the commentators online who discovered the missed draw in the second game of the 1997 match between Garry Kasparov and Deep Blue.[5]


Besides numerous articles and book chapters, McGrew has published and/or edited four books:

  • Philosophy of Science: An Historical Anthology. Co-edited with Marc Alspector-Kelly and Fritz Allhoff. (Blackwell 2009)
  • Internalism and Epistemology: The Architecture of Reason. With Lydia McGrew. (Routledge 2007)
  • The Foundations of Knowledge. Littlefield Adams Books, 1995.
  • Brooke Foss Westcott, The Gospel of the Resurrection. Editor. (Chillicothe, OH: DeWard, 2012)


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  3. ^ David Kramaley, Chessable review: How Chessable can help you become a Chess Master, 5 July 2016
  4. ^ Top Blitz Women, US Chess Federation, May 2016
  5. ^ Weber, Bruce (1997-05-07). "Wary Kasparov and Deep Blue Draw Game 3". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-09.