Key Research Interests and Expertise

Researches:Chomsky; the borders between philosophy, linguistics and cognitive science; issues about truth and representation; history and philosophy of science and mathematics.

Research Projects

Philosophy of Language

My principal research focus is in the philosophy of language, with a particular accent on the relation between syntactic theory and (i) traditional philosophical debates about the nature of the proposition and (ii) the role of context in communication. My monograph (The Unity of Linguistic Meaning).

Philosophy of Linguistics

My work in this area can be divided into two overlapping areas. Firstly, there are a bunch of issues in Chomsky interpretation and the history of the field. My monograph on Chomsky (Chomsky: A Guide for the Perplexed) deals with these issues at length, as do a number of my papers. Secondly, I am concerned to clarify and defend internalism about language and  a deflationary attitude towards knowledge of language.

The Concept of Truth

More or less independent of this work, I have kept up an interest in the concept of truth. I think something is profoundly mistaken about deflationism, although I don’t want to commend any of the standard alternatives. My thought is that the concept of truth allows us to indulge in different kinds of metarepresentational thinking rather than it being merely some generalisation device. I have elaborated on this theme in a number of papers.

Philosophy of Science

I have a keen interest in a range of issues in the philosophy of science, especially the cognitive basis of science and the correct understanding of the notion of naturalism. I defend what I term meta-scientific eliminativism, a grand term for the simple thought that successful science typically leaves behind or is anyhow unconstrained by our given categories of understanding. This attitude animates much of my work in the philosophy of linguistics.

Philosophy of Cognitive Science

Here I am concerned with the clarification of the notions of modularity, nativism, and computation. I think that the first and the last notions should be understand in much more abstract a way than is typical among philosophers. As for nativism, I think it amounts to not much more than the adoption of a biophysical perspective on the given phenomenon, i.e., it is not a epistemological thesis.

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