Mihnea Capraru

assistant professor

Mihnea Capraru is an assistant professor of philosophy at Nazarbayev University, having received his PhD from Syracuse University in 2015. His research is in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and philosophy of cognitive science, while his teaching interests also encompass logic, metaphysics (including action theory), and general philosophy of science.

Selected Publications

“Note on the individuation of biological traits”
Journal of Philosophy, 115:215–221, 2018

“Objective truth in matters of taste”
Philosophical Studies, 173:1755–1777, 2016

“A counterexample to variabilism”
Analysis, 76:26–29, 2016

“Stained glass as a model for consciousness”
Philosophical Explorations, 18:90–103, 2015

“A new source of data about singular thought”
Philosophia, 41:1159–1172, 2013

Courses taught at Nazarbayev University

  • PHIL 360 Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence
  • PHIL 342 Philosophy of Biology
  • PHIL 240 Formal Logic
  • PHIL 223 Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL 124 Knowledge and Reality

Other websites

Donovan Cox


Donovan Cox received his PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Spring of 2020, defending a dissertation titled Socratic Piety, Reciprocity, and the Last Elenchos of Plato’s Euthyphro. The project was supervised by Vanessa de Harven (chair), Melissa Mueller, Ernesto Garcia, and Jyl Gentzler of Amherst College. Prior to coming to Nazarbayev University, Donovan taught at the University of Hartford. His interest in pedagogy and promoting greater public access to philosophy led him to leave academia for a time to teach high school philosophy at the Loomis Chaffee School, a boarding preparatory school in Windsor, Connecticut.

Though he specializes in Ancient philosophy, especially Plato, his philosophical interests range far beyond what he has written on to date, and include: ancient scepticism, Hume, Peirce, various topics in ethics like moral internalism and moral particularism, epistemology generally, philosophical pedagogy, and the impact of philosophy and philosophical education on public discourse.

Current Projects

  • “The Anomaly of the Last Elenchos of Plato’s Euthyphro”
  • “Socratic Reciprocity: Collective Self-Improvement through Rational Inquiry”
  • “Esteem, Honor, and the Folly of Commemorating Whole Persons”

Courses Offered

PHIL 210 Introduction to Ethics

Matthew S. Heeney

assistant professor

Matthew Heeney is from California. He did his PhD at Columbia (2020), and works on agency, mind, and ethics.


“Perceptual transparency and the temporal structure of experience,” Philosophical Studies 178 (6): 1829-1844. 2021.

“Diachronic agency and practical entitlement,” European Journal of Philosophy 28 (1): 177-198. 2020.

Jim Hutchinson

assistant professor

Jim Hutchinson is from Ontario, Canada. He did his Ph.D at UC Berkeley, and visited IU Bloomington, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Toronto, Mississauga before coming to Nazarbayev University.

He is currently thinking mostly about epistemology, the philosophy of logic, and meta-ethics. He finds Frege very helpful for thinking about these things.


“Why Can’t What is True Be Valuable?” In: Synthese 198, pp. 6935–6954. 2019.

“Frege on the Generality of Logical Laws”. In: European Journal of Philosophy 28, pp. 410–427. 2020.

“Frege’s Critical Arguments for Axioms”. In: Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102, pp. 516–541. 2021.

“Metaphysical Separatism and Epistemological Autonomy in Frege’s Philosophy and Beyond”. In: British Journal for the History of Philosophy 30, pp. 1096–1120. 2022.

Vladimir Krstic

Vladimir Krstic finished a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Auckland
under the supervision of John Bishop and Fred Kroon. Jordi Fernández (University
of Adelaide) and Andy Egan (Rutgers) examined my dissertation.

Before Auckland and Astana, Vladimir lived in Belgrade, Serbia. He has an
Honours degree in Theology from the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Theology,
and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Belgrade, Faculty of

Vladimir worked as a lecturer and tutor at the University of Auckland for
four years part-time and as a high-school teacher in Belgrade for eight years

Current Research

Vladimir Krstic’s current research lies at the intersection of philosophy of
mind, cognitive science (experimental philosophy), philosophy of language, and
philosophy of deception. He proposes and defends novel theories of lying (the
‘Violation’ account) and deception (the ‘Manipulativist’ view) that, he argues,
not only explain general instances of lying and deception better than their
rivals but also generate a much less problematic theory of self-deception.

According to the Violation account, liars need not intend to deceive
their addressee, and they may lie by asserting what they believe is true. What
constitutes lying is deliberately representing an illegitimate assertion as
legitimate. In this way, liars violate the norms of assertion (their assertion
is illegitimate) and of sincerity (they present it as legitimate), thus the name

According to the Manipulativist account of deception, deception is
constituted not by misleading the victim in order to receive practical benefit,
as standardly thought; rather, deception is constituted by covert manipulation
of the victim on part of the deceiver.



Krstić, V. (Under Contract). Self-Deception. Cambridge: Cambridge University


Peer-Reviewed (English)

Forthcoming. Lying: Revisiting the Intending to Deceive Condition. Analysis.

Forthcoming. Fearful Apes or Nervous Goats? Another Look at Functions of Dispositions. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

2022. On the Connection between Lying, Asserting, and Intending to Cause Beliefs. Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

2022. Bald-Faced Lies, Blushing, and Noses that Grow. (with A. Wiegmann) Erkenntnis (Online First): 1–24.

Forthcoming. Lying, Tell-Tale Signs, and Intending to Deceive. Dialectica.

2022. Sworn Virgins of the Balkan Highlands. (with Marija Brujić). Traditiones 50: 113–130.

2021. On the Function of Self-Deception. The European Journal of Philosophy 29: 846–863.

2020. Indifferent Lies, a Reply to Rutschmann and Wiegmann. Philosophical Psychology 33: 757-771;

2020. Transparent Delusion_final draft. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11: 183–201.

2019. Deception (Under Uncertainty) as a Kind of Manipulation. (with Chantelle Saville). Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97: 830-835;

2019. ‘Can you lie without intending to deceive? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100: 642–660;

Sukhoverkhov A. V., DeWitt D., Manasidi I. I., Nitta K., Krstić V. 2019. Lost In Machine Translation: Contextual Linguistic Uncertainty. Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics 18: 129–144.

2018. Knowledge-Lies Re-examined. Ratio 31: 312–320;

2016. Students’ responses to scenarios depicting ethical dilemmas: a study of pharmacy and medical students in New Zealand. (with Marcus Henning, Phillipa Malpas, Sanya Ram, Vijay Rajput, Matt Boyd, and Susan Hawken). Journal of Medical Ethics 42: 466–473;

Peer-Reviewed (Serbian and Croatian)

Krstić, V. 2013. Ogled o povjerenju, vjeri i znanju. Obnovljeni život 68: 201–215 [Croatian].

Krstić, V. 2012. Buberovo Učenje o Odnosu i Susretu – Dekonstrukcija Osnova Personalizma. Luča 1–2: 43–68. [Serbian].

Krstić, V. 2011. Misaono Formiranje Martina Bubera. Arhe 8: 63–81 [Serbian].

Book Reviews

2022. Review of Jörg Meibauer (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Lying (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 689. Linguistische Berichte 270: 225–236.

Non-Peer Reviewed Entries

Philosophy in Kazakhstan, The Cocoon goes global.


As an Assistant Professor (Lecturer)

Ethics; Critical Thinking; Knowledge and Reality (face-to-face and online) (Nazarbayev University) 2020-2021
Mind, Knowledge, and Reality (University of Auckland) Semester 1 in 2015, 2017

As an Invited Lecturer

Philosophy of Action (University of Auckland) Semester 1 in 2014

The Philosophy and Ethics of Lying and Deception (Northeastern University) 2020, 2021

As an Instructor

Ethics (face-to-face and online) (Nazarbyev University) 2019-2020

As a Graduate Teaching Assistant

Critical Thinking (face-to-face and online) (UoA) 2014 – 2018

Critical Thinking (face-to-face), Massey University Semester 1 and 2, 2016

Philosophy and Theories of Human nature (UoA) Semester 2, 2015

As a Full Time High School Teacher

Religious Studies (Belgrade) 2004 – 2012

Christopher Noonan


Ted Parent

assistant professor

Ted Parent is an assistant professor of philosophy. He earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from UNC–Chapel Hill in 2009, and was previously on the philosophy faculty at Virginia Tech and at Vanderbilt University. Mainly, he writes on philosophy of mind, ontology & metaontology, and philosophical logic.

Select Publications

(2022). [edited with Tamás Demeter and Adam Toon] Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations. New York & London: Routledge.
(2017). Self-Reflection for the Opaque Mind: An Essay on Neo-Sellarsian Philosophy. New York & London: Routledge.
(2015). “Rule Following and Metaontology,” Journal of Philosophy, 112(5): 247-265.
(2014). “Ontic Terms and Metaontology, or: On What There Actually Is,” Philosophical Studies 170(2): 199-214.
(2007). “Infallibilism about Self-Knowledge,” Philosophical Studies, 133(3): 411-424.

Courses taught at Nazarbayev University

PHIL 124: Knowledge and Reality
PHIL 141: Critical Thinking
PHIL 223: Philosophy of Science

Siegfried Van Duffel

associate professor

Siegfried Van Duffel was trained as a philosopher and completed a Ph.D. in law at Ghent University (Belgium). Before coming to Nazarbayev University, he taught ethics and Political Theory at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands) and the University of Hong Kong. He also held post-doc positions at the National University of Singapore and the Center of Excellence in Philosophical Psychology, Morality and Politics of the University of Helsinki and was visiting associate professor at Huafan University and National Taiwan University.

Siegfried’s main research interest is cultural differences, which is why he felt it necessary to leave Europe and continue living and working in a non-Western society. His current project is to complete a book on human rights and cultural differences. The aim of this book is to describe human rights theories as an aspect of the culture in which they were developed. He also hopes to do comparative empirical research on intuitions related to human rights. His work was published in international peer-reviewed journals such as The Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, The Journal of Political Philosophy, The Monist, and The European Journal of Philosophy.

Selected Publications

“Adequacy Constraints for a Theory of the Nature of Rights.” In Mark McBridge (ed.), New Essays on the Nature of Rights. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2017.

“Human Rights.” In Andrew Fiala (ed.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Political Philosophy, pp. 641-664. London: Bloomsbury, 2015.

“Conciliarism.” In Michael T. Gibbons, et al. (eds.), The Encyclopedia of Political Thought. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.

“Natural Rights to Welfare.” European Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 21(4), 2013, pp. 641-664.

“Moral Philosophy.” In Dinah Shelton (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Human Rights Law, pp. 32-53. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013

“In Defence of the Will Theory of Rights.” Res Publica, Vol. 18, Issue 4 (2012), pp. 321–331.

“The Nature of Rights Debate Rests on a Mistake.” Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 93, Issue 2 (2012), pp. 104-123. • Reprint in Horacio Spector and Brian Bix (eds), Rights: Concepts and Contexts. Ashgate, 2012.

“Distributive Justice Before the Eighteenth Century.” History of Political Thought Vol. 32, Issue 3 (2011), pp. 449-64. (with Dennis Yap)

“From Objective Right to Subjective Rights: The Franciscans and the Will and Interest Conceptions of Rights.” In Virpi Mäkinen (ed), The Nature of Rights: Moral and Political Aspects of Right(s) in Late-Medieval and Early-Modern Philosophy, pp. 65-93. Acta Philosophica Fennica, 2010.

“The Dependence of Libertarianism on the Notion of Sovereignty.” Critical Review Vol. 21, Issue 1. (2009) pp. 117-124.

“Een kritische inleiding tot libertarisme.” Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte Vol. 99 Issue 1. (2007), pp. 53-66.  [in Dutch]

“Sovereignty as a Religious Concept.” The Monist Vol. 91, Issue 1. (2007) pp. 126-143.

“Natural Rights and Individual Sovereignty.” Journal of Political Philosophy Vol. 12, Issue 2 (June 2004), pp. 147-162.

“Libertarian Natural Rights.” Critical Review Vol. 16, Issue 4 (winter 2004), pp. 353-375.

“How to Study Human Rights and Culture (Without Becoming a Relativist).” Philosophy in the Contemporary World Vol. 11, Issue 2 (autumn-winter 2004), pp. 1-6.

“A Plea for Theory in Rethinking Human Rights.” International Legal Theory Vol. 9, Issue 1 (Fall 2003), pp. 135 165.


Siegfried has comprehensive experience in teaching political theory, (including the history of western political thought) and ethics (normative and applied ethics, as well as the history of ethics). He has also taught comparative science of religion, post-colonial studies. His other teaching interests are cultural psychology, philosophy of action, and comparative science of cultures.

List of Courses Taught at NU

  • Ethics
  • Global Justice
  • Human Rights and Cultural Differences
  • Social Contract Theory (Hobbes to Kant)
  • Introduction to Political Theory
  • Freshman seminar