My primary research interests are in the philosophy of language, pragmatics and the philosophy of mathematics (CV; e-mail). I am based at NYU, and visit the Institut Jean Nicod in Paris from time to time.
I have developed a theory of conversational exculpature, a pragmatic process that accounts for a range of linguistic phenomena, including loose talk and certain kinds of metaphor. Intuitively, conversational exculpature pragmatically subtracts some information from what the speaker literally says. This makes it the opposite of conversational implicature, which pragmatically adds information to what is literally said.
My dissertation is about the ways in which our beliefs cohere, and the ways in which they can come apart. According to the theory I propose, the contents of our beliefs are linked together in a web of questions. This conception of belief allows us to account for inconsistency and failures of logical omniscience without having to subdivide our beliefs into isolated fragments.
When it’s rainy out or I can’t sleep, I enjoy trying my hand at translating Dutch children’s poetry into English.
Thanks to Erik van Bemmelen at Breakfast Media for the picture.