I am a philosopher at the University of Guelph, in the very pleasant
city of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
(It’s pronounced “gwelf.”) My academic training was at
the University of
Toronto and the University of
Pittsburgh where I completed my PhD under the direction of Robert Brandom.
- Fall 2016
- PHIL 3250 (Philosophy of Language)
- Winter 2017
- PHIL 4390, (Selected Topics in Philosophy III) cross-listed
with PHIL 6940 (Selected Topics II)
In addition to chairing the department I am an Executive
Editor (there are 12) of the Canadian Journal of
These days I’m interested in (and collaborating with
Juhani Yli-Vakkuri on) the semantics and
pragmatics of distributed utterances: utterances that
are (more than usually) spread out in time or space, or made partly by one
speaker and partly by another. (The simplest example is a slow utterance of
“Now I’m starting my sentence, and now I’m finishing
it.”) From the standpoint of formal semantics, a change in time or
location is handled the same as a change in speaker: as an intra-sentential
change in a context parameter. Kaplan’s “Logic of
Demonstratives” can be modified to handle such phenomena, although there
are interesting issues that arise in the modified system concerning validity and
utterance-truth. As concerns pragmatics, however, a change in speaker is a very
different thing from a change in time or location. My view is that we use
so-called “scare quotes” to mimic the effect of such a change.
These cases challenge our conception of assertion in some interesting ways.
Aside from that work, I continue to pursue my interest in the theory of
concept possession, in particular the challenges to it posed by the phenomena
first highlighted in Benson Mates’s famous examples of multiple embeddings
in attitude verbs.
(519) 824–4120 ×53221
Dept of Philosophy
University of Guelph
Canada N1G 2W1
MacKinnon Bldg. This room is behind the departmental staff
TBA for Fall 2016