Research Interests

My primary area of research is the philosophy of language, though I also work in the philosophy of mind.  In philosophy of language I am interested in the relationship between natural language and thought, and this interest has led me into the thickets of the ongoing debates concerning the relation between semantics and pragmatics.  Some of my recent papers utilize formal models of conversation to account for semantically puzzling phenomena such as faultless disagreement, and the felicitous denial of presuppositions.  I am slowly putting together a book applying formal dynamic models of conversation to the problem of negative existentials.  In the philosophy of mind I am (still) a defender of the so-called subset account of the realization of mental properties by physical properties.  Though my research concerns rather technical issues in analytic philosophy, I have taught general introductory philosophy courses for two decades and I am concerned to develop pedagogical strategies that make philosophy accessible to ordinary college students.  To this end I am currently putting together an anthology of papers written by professional philosophers, but written specifically for undergraduate students who have no background in philosophy.    (The text is titled Philosophy for Us, and will be published by Cognella in 2016.)  When not trying to figure out what analytic philosophy is all about, I enjoy messing about with my kids Leo and Maia, and riding my bike.