School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations

Prof Max Cresswell

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science & International Relations

Phone: 04 463 6902
Location: Room 721, Murphy Building, Kelburn Pde, Kelburn Campus

Prof Max Cresswell


BA (University of New Zealand)

MA (University of New Zealand)

PhD (University of Manchester)

LitD (Victoria University of Wellington)

Max has recently been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in honour of his work and for advancing the humanities.


Teaching Experience

My teaching at the Victoria University of Wellington was principally in logic, which I have taught at all levels. The VUW intoductory logic course typically had over 100 students and the intermediate course around 40. The advanced course had between one and six students. I have taught courses on Greek Philosophy at all levels, covering the Presocratics and the metaphysical views of Plato and Aristotle. In the 70s I shared a course on 19th century philosophy in which I covered Whewell, Mill and Bradley; and from 1997-1999 I taught an intermediate epistemology course in which I covered Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Berkley, Hume, Reid, Mill and Bradley. At Massey University in 2001 I will be teaching a course in business ethics, and assisting in a first-year practical ehtics course, and contributing some lectures on Locke to a higher level political theory course. At the University of Massachusetts (Fall semesters from 1989-1992) I taught courses on modal logic and ancient philosophy, and graduate seminars on propositional attitudes, ontological commitment in natural language, meaning and use, and selected topics in semantics. I have lectured in the semantics of propositional attitudes at Konstanz (1983) and on the philosophy of language at Cambridge (1992). At Colby College in 1996 I taught an introductory and an intermediate logic course. In January-March 2000 I taught and advanced undergraduate philosophy of language course at the University of California, Davis.

Administrative and Miscellaneous Experience

I spent three terms as chairperson of my department at VUW, in 1975, from 1985-1988 and from 1993-1996. I served on the VUW Fellowship Committee 1979-1988. In 1967 I was Secretary of the NZ Division of the Australasian Association of Philosophy and in 1968 President of that division. I was a member of the council of the Association for Symbolic Logic for a three-year term from 1 January 1977, was President of the Australasian Association for Logic from August 1890 until August 1981, and President of the Australasian Association of Philosophy from August 1985 until August 1986. I have also been the New Zealand member of the Institut International de Philosophie.


  • (with G.E. Hughes) An Introduction to Modal Logic, London, Methuen, 1968
  • Logics and Languages, London, Methuen, 1973
  • (with G.E. Hughes) A Companion to Modal Logic, London, Methuen, 1984
  • Structured Meanings: The Semantics of Propositional Attitudes, Bradford Books/ MIT Press, 1985
  • Semantical Essays: Possible Worlds and Their Rivals, Dordrecht, Kluwer
  • Entities and Indices, Dordrecht, Kluwer, 1990
  • Language in the World, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994
  • Semantic Indexicality, Dordrecht, Kluwer, 1996
  • A New Introduction to Modal Logic, (with G.E. Hughes) London, Routledge,
  • 1996

More details on publications, articles, unpublished talks