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Professor Ian Rumfitt

BA, DPhil
Senior Research Fellow since 2016
My current research is in the philosophy of language. I want to reconsider the general relationship between truth and meaning, a central theme of philosophy from the 1960s until the 1980s, but one which has fallen into abeyance since. My approach is to explicate meaning in terms of its connections with belief and action and then to explain truth in terms of meaning (thereby reversing the predominant order of explanation). This approach casts new light on such diverse topics as the semantic paradoxes and the special characteristics of mathematical discourse.
  • Background

    • Professor of Philosophy, University of Birmingham (from 2013 to 2016)
    • Professor of Philosophy, Birkbeck College, University of London (from 2005 to 2013)
    • Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy, University College, Oxford (from 1998 to 2005)
    • Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Michigan (from 1993 to 1998)
    • Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Keele (from 1992 to 1993)
    • Junior Research Fellow in Philosophy, Balliol College, Oxford (from 1989 to 1992)
  • Research interests

    • Philosophy of language
    • Philosophy of logic
    • Philosophical logic
    • Metaphysics
    • Philosophy of mathematics
    • History of analytic philosophy (especially Frege and Ramsey)
  • Publications

    • The Boundary Stones of Thought (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2015), pp.xv + 344
    • 'Truth and meaning'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volumes 88 (2014): 21-55
    • 'Asserting and excluding'. In The Library of Living Philosophers XXXI: Michael Dummett (Chicago: Open Court 2007), 639-93
    • 'Yes and No'. Mind 109 (2000): 781-823
    • 'Truth conditions and communication'. Mind 104 (1995): 827-62
    • 'Content and context: the paratactic theory revisited and revised'. Mind 102 (1993): 429-54
  • Teaching and Supervision

    • I shall be giving graduate seminars in both the philosophy of mathematics and the philosophy of language for the Oxford Philosophy Faculty during the academic year 2016-17.