John Kwak is pursuing a Ph. D. in philosophy at USC, with special emphasis in the philosophy of language. His research is on the relationship between linguistic competence and semantic content, or more simply, between understanding and meaning. In particular, he is interested in identifying traditional assumptions that have been made about the relationship between the two, asking whether these assumptions can be questioned, and exploring what new options in theories of meaning may open up when we do.
John received a B.A. in accounting and philosophy from Claremont McKenna College (1998) and an M.A. in philosophy of religion and ethics, and another in New Testament studies, from Biola University (2004). He has TA'd and taught at Biola University, the University of Rochester, and now here at USC in subjects ranging from ancient Greek language to the history of modern philosophy to logic.
When not philosophizing, John enjoys spending time with his wife, Kelly, and two baby girls, Jace and Cleo, improving his speed times at solving the Rubik’s Cube, and playing table tennis. And he's very appreciative of the opportunity to join the esteemed ranks of the TAFs and is eager both to contribute and receive!