I'm a philosopher of logic, mathematics and language interested in incompleteness, anti-reductionism, pragmatism, notions like simplicity, aspect perception, computability and meaning, as well as political philosophy and aesthetics. I take an historical analytic approach to the interplay between logic and philosophy, I care about normative dimensions of truth, and I think Emerson, Thoreau, Wittgenstein, J.L. Austin and ordinary language philosophy have a lot to teach us about experience, ethics, gender, social relations, and what matters. I am lately thinking about philosophy of emerging media and the deep seas of words in our lives.
Professor of Philosophy
745 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
I joined the faculty in 1996 as an Associate Professor of Philosophy and was promoted to Full Professor in 2006.
CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK, GRADUATE CENTER
I became Assistant Executive Director of the Graduate Program in Philosophy.
CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK
I was Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy. I participated in a Mellon Grant to support underrepresented minorities to go on to PhD's in Philosophy. Many of them became very well known--see end of my CV.
MA and PhD
I worked with Stanley Cavell, Burton Dreben, Warren Goldfarb, Charles Parsons, Hilary Putnam and Jack Rawls. My MA thesis was on the notion of the Sensus Communis in Kant's 3rd Critique. My dissertation was on Wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics and rule-following.
LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS
My junior year I studied History and Philosophy of Science with Eli Zahar, John Watkins, John Worrall and Ernest Gellner. I became a rabid Feyerabendian about "method" and read everything Kuhn ever wrote, but I remained a serious student of Hilary and Ruth Anna Putnam. This helped me resist the temptations of wooden views of concepts as "wholly internal" to theories.
I wrote an honor's thesis with Ruth Anna Putnam on the theory of meaning and philosophy of mind: Putnam, Kripke, Lewis and Thomas Nagel. I was taught a great deal by Ifeanyi Menkiti, Owen Flanagan, Ken Winkler, Alasdair MacIntyre and, in the math department, by Donna Beers.
BU MELLON SAWYER SEMINAR, 2016-2019
Humanities and Technology at the Crossroads: Where Do We Go From Here?
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has generously supported me and my colleagues James E. Katz (BU Division of Emerging Media) and Russell Powell (BU Philosophy) in running a series of faculty development seminars in Boston over three years.
Our idea is to develop new philosophy for thinking about everyday life in a computationally connected world. My belief is that the humanities are more foundational than ever: for computer science and mathematics, sociology and communication, and politics.
Click on the poster to see our Website.
I'm happily on my 2019-2020 sabbatical, with the generous support of the BU Humanities Center and Boston University. I'm writing a book called The Cultural Search (a phrase of Turing's) looking at the notions of forms of life and symbolic forms in everyday life. Before I go, I have lots to do. Ran several conferences (posters below); teaching a Master Class for post-docs on Frege and Kant; finishing two books on Wittgenstein's non-extensionalist philosophy of mathematics; co-organizing with Louise Antony and Susanne Sreedhar the Mentoring Project for Pre-Tenure Women in Philosophy (http://www.bu.edu/philo/people/faculty/mentoring-project/), founded by Louise and Ann Cudd.
I lectured at the Einstein Forum in Berlin July 4-6, 2019 and gave the Vienna Circle Lecture July 25-27, 2019 at the meeting on Gödel's Legacy (https://kgs.logic.at/goedels-legacy/ and https://www.univie.ac.at/ivc/). I keep track of speaking engagements on my CV, available below.
You can find an old website of mine on Google Sites:
Click on posters for links:
BU Putnamfest 2/3-4/19
BU Cavellfest 2/9-10/19
BU Chodatfest 2/11/19:
6/17-19 SSHAP Boston