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About Anna Vaughn

Anna Vaughn, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences at Sacred Heart University. Dr. Vaughn joined Sacred Heart University in 2017. She is a transplant to Connecticut from the Mountain West and while she misses the mountains (and her family!) she loves the fall leaves, crisp breezes, and walks with her little boy. She is very excited to join the Sacred Heart community.

Dr. Vaughn is primarily a historian of Early Modern philosophy (the period between Descartes and Kant) and the philosophy of perception. Her current research investigates the nature of sense perception, particularly the tension between passively receiving sensations and active cognitive processing in the context of Locke's discussion of the Molyneux problem. The Molyneux problem is a thought experiment posed by William Molyneux to Locke about whether someone born blind, but suddenly able to see, could recognize objects he or she had previously known only by touch.

Philosophy is a conversation. The trends we see in contemporary philosophy arise within a historical context, often informed by scientific discovery. Dr. Vaughn’s approach to researching and teaching philosophy is to highlight this conversation by emphasizing the historical and thematic connections between philosophical ideas.


September 2023 - Present Associate Professor Philosophy, Sacred Heart University Philosophy, Theology & Religious Studies, College of Arts and Sciences
2017 - August 2023 Assistant Professor, Sacred Heart University Department of Philosophy, Theology & Religious Studies
2016 - 2017 Visiting Lecturer, Connecticut College

Curriculum Vitae



2019 - 2020 University Research and Creative Grant (URCG)
Sacred Heart University
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Honors and Awards

  • Steffensen Cannon Fellow, August 2015-May 2016
  • University Teaching Assistantship Fellow, August 2014-May 2015
  • Philosophy Department Tanner Fellow, August 2013-May 2014
  • Stockham Medal for Conspicuously Effective Teaching (Nominated)
  • ASUU Research Travel Funding, October 2015
  • Graduate Research Travel Assistant Award, University of Utah Graduate School, July 2015
  • Graduate Student Stipend, American Philosophical Association, April 2015
  • Graduate Research Travel Assistant Award, University of Utah Graduate School, April 2015 and July 2015
  • University of Utah New Student Fellowship, 2002-2003
  • SHU Tenure and Promotion 2023


  • Magic v. Science in the Scientific Revolution
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Perception
  • Philosophy through Letters
  • Early Modern Philosophy


2016 Ph.D., University of Utah ‐ Philosophy
2006 - 2008 Transferred - Ph.D., University of Virginia ‐ Philosophy
2005 M.A., University of Utah ‐ Philosophy
2001 B.A., Summa Cum Laude, Utah State University ‐ English Literary Theory and Philosophy

Contact Information

Phone: 203- 371-7730

College of Arts and Sciences 
Humanities Center of Acad Bldg HC*221K


Research Works (4)

Dissertations (1)

Presentations (1)