Logic and language

Including the nature of meaning and propositions, formal semantics, metasemantics, pragmatics, syntax, semantic paradoxes, theories of truth, and the foundations of mathematics

The logic and language group brings together researchers working in these core areas of philosophy. Specific interests include Godel's results, theories of truth deflationism, semantic paradoxes, the applicability of mathematics, theoretical syntax, pragmatics, proof theory, and non-classical logic.

Research questions

Research questions our group is currently working on include:

  • What is the nature of propositions? Are these structured entities or rather sets of worlds?
  • What is the meaning of referential terms such as names, descriptions, indexicals, and demonstratives?
  • What is the relation between semantic values and various types of content?
  • What is the meaning of epistemic and deontic modal expressions?
  • Is there a common meaning to the many uses of 'if' clauses, and if so, what is it?
  • How should we construe possible worlds for the purpose of possible worlds semantics?

  • What are we trying to model when we assign meanings to expressions: Processes in the brain? Social conventions? Speaker intuitions? Something else? 


Core faculty working on logic and language include:

Research interests table spacer
Research interests
Professor Matthew Chrisman

Metaethics, philosophy of language, epistemology, political philosophy.

Dr Bryan Pickel Metaphysics, philosophy of language, history of analytic philosophy.
Dr Brian Rabern  Philosophy of language, formal semantics, philosophical logic.
Dr Anders J. Schoubye  Philosophy of language, formal semantics, pragmatics, formal epistemology, logic, philosophy of mind.
Dr Wolfgang Schwarz Formal epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, logic

Other staff and post-docs with an interest in logic and language include:

Research interests table spacer
Research interests
Dr Guy Fletcher Metaethics, ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of language.
Dr Inna Kupreeva  Ancient philosophy and science, ancient and mediaeval logic.
Dr Aidan McGlynn Epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, feminism.
Professor Mike Ridge Ethics, political philosophy, action theory, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language.
Dr Nick Treanor Metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind and language.
Professor Ronnie Cann (Linguistics) Theoretical linguistics especially dependency theory and word grammar, English syntax, lexical semantics, syntactic change
Professor Caroline Heycock (Linguistics) Syntactic theory, syntactic variation and change, Germanic, Japanese.
Professor Alex Lascarides (Informatics) Theoretical and computational linguistics, semantics, pragmatics, logic and knowledge representation.
Professor Geoff Pullum (Linguistics) General linguistic theory, English grammar, philosophy of linguistics, prescriptivism.
Dr Paul Schweizer (Informatics) Philosophical logic, the computational paradigm, conceptual foundations of cognitive science and artificial intelligence, philosophy of mind and language.
Professor Mark Steedman (Informatics) Computational linguistics; spoken intonation; spoken language processing

Postgraduate study 

MSc Philosophy

PhD and MSc by Research programmes

Meetings and events

The philosophy of language group meets once a month to discuss readings and work in progress. Contact Bryan Pickel for more details.

Philosophy of language reading group

Bryan Pickel 

You may also be interested in the Language at Edinburgh lunches: regular poster sessions on language-related topics from PPLS and Informatics. There is also a wide range of linguistics reading groups and seminars.

Language at Edinburgh lunches

Seminars and reading groups in Linguistics and English Language