“The twenty-first century is seeing a hyperintensional revolution.”

(Nolan 2014, 149)

My Research

Most of my research centers around issues of hyperintensionality. Roughly, a context is said to be hyperintensional iff it does not respect (classical) logical equivalence (Cresswell 1975, 25). Traditionally, hyperintensionality is seen as an epistemological phenomenon: paradigmatic examples of concepts that create hyperintensional contexts are knowledge and belief. But in recent years, this orthodoxy began to crumble. Philosophers have argued that hyperintensionality affects concepts from different fields across the discipline, ranging from ethics (e.g. permission, see Fine 2014) to metaphysics (e.g. dispositions, see Jenkins & Nolan 2012).

Consequently, my research touches on different fields of philosophical logic, ranging from deontic logic over formal epistemology to modal logic. What unifies my research is a strong interest in truth-maker semantics as an approach to hyperintensional semantics. The idea of truth-maker semantics is that we can give the semantic content of a statement by saying what makes the statement true and what makes it false: by giving its truth-makers and false-makers. This idea traces back to early work by Bas van Fraassen (1969), but recently Kit Fine has independently re-discovered truth-maker semantics as a promising approach to hyperintensional semantics (Fine 2016). In my work, I use truth-maker semantics to tackle technical and philosophical problems in logic, epistemology, and metaphysics.

Besides my interest in hyperintensionality, I also have a standing interest in the philosophy of mathematics, especially mathematical structuralism. Roughly, mathematical structuralism is the view that mathematics is not concerned with the “internal nature” of its objects, but rather with how these objects “relate to each other” (Resnik 1997, Shapiro 1997). In my work, I am mainly interested in foundational questions of mathematical structuralism.

 

My Projects

  • Truth-Maker Bayesianism

    The aim of this project is to develop Bayesian epistemology and philosophy of science in the framework of truth-maker semantics. The aim is to show that the resources of truth-maker semantics can help us deal with problems affecting Bayesianism.

  • Structural Properties (with Georg Schiemer)

    The aim of this project is to get a better understanding of what it means for a mathematical property to be a structural property.

  • Predicational Theories of Ground

    The aim of this project is to develop a (formal) theory of metaphysical grounding using a relational predicate rather than an operator to formalize ground.