•  5
    Structural realism and generative linguistics
    Synthese 199 (1-2): 3711-3737. 2021.
    Linguistics as a science has rapidly changed during the course of a relatively short period. The mathematical foundations of the science, however, present a different story below the surface. In this paper, I argue that due to the former, the seismic shifts in theory over the past 80 years opens linguistics up to the problem of pessimistic meta-induction or radical theory change. I further argue that, due to the latter, one current solution to this problem in the philosophy of science, namely st…Read more
  •  8
    Linguistics as a science has rapidly changed during the course of a relatively short period. The mathematical foundations of the science, however, present a different story below the surface. In this paper, I argue that due to the former, the seismic shifts in theory over the past 80 years opens linguistics up to the problem of pessimistic meta-induction or radical theory change. I further argue that, due to the latter, one current solution to this problem in the philosophy of science, namely st…Read more
  •  72
    A Puzzle concerning Compositionality in Machines
    Minds and Machines 30 (1): 47-75. 2020.
    This paper attempts to describe and address a specific puzzle related to compositionality in artificial networks such as Deep Neural Networks and machine learning in general. The puzzle identified here touches on a larger debate in Artificial Intelligence related to epistemic opacity but specifically focuses on computational applications of human level linguistic abilities or properties and a special difficulty with relation to these. Thus, the resulting issue is both general and unique. A parti…Read more
  •  33
    This is a teaching guide companion to the main article published in Philosophy Compass. It offers insights into how one might go about designing a course in the philosophy of linguistics at advanced undergrad/graduate level. Readings and possible core questions are included.
  •  29
    Semantics, Metasemantics, Aboutness (review)
    Philosophical Quarterly 69 (277): 871-874. 2019.
    Semantics, Metasemantics, Aboutness. By Simchen Ori.
  •  81
    This article surveys the philosophical literature on theoretical linguistics. The focus of the paper is centred around the major debates in the philosophy of linguistics, past and present, with specific relation to how they connect to the philosophy of science. Specific issues such as scientific realism in linguistics, the scientific status of grammars, the methodological underpinnings of formal semantics, and the integration of linguistics into the larger cognitive sciences form the crux of the…Read more
  •  22
    The Social Evolution of Human Nature: From Biology to Language (review)
    Philosophical Quarterly 69 (277): 874-877. 2019.
    The Social Evolution of Human Nature: From Biology to Language. By Smit Harry.
  •  57
    Formal Semantics and Applied Mathematics: An Inferential Account
    Journal of Logic, Language and Information 29 (2): 221-253. 2020.
    In this paper, I utilise the growing literature on scientific modelling to investigate the nature of formal semantics from the perspective of the philosophy of science. Specifically, I incorporate the inferential framework proposed by Bueno and Colyvan : 345–374, 2011) in the philosophy of applied mathematics to offer an account of how formal semantics explains and models its data. This view produces a picture of formal semantic models as involving an embedded process of inference and representa…Read more
  •  77
    Infinity and the foundations of linguistics
    Synthese 196 (5): 1671-1711. 2019.
    The concept of linguistic infinity has had a central role to play in foundational debates within theoretical linguistics since its more formal inception in the mid-twentieth century. The conceptualist tradition, marshalled in by Chomsky and others, holds that infinity is a core explanandum and a link to the formal sciences. Realism/Platonism takes this further to argue that linguistics is in fact a formal science with an abstract ontology. In this paper, I argue that a central misconstrual of fo…Read more
  •  75
    The ontology of words: a structural approach
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (8): 877-911. 2019.
    ABSTRACTWords form a fundamental basis for our understanding of linguistic practice. However, the precise ontology of words has eluded many philosophers and linguists. A persistent difficulty for most accounts of words is the type-token distinction [Bromberger, S. 1989. “Types and Tokens in Linguistics.” In Reflections on Chomsky, edited by A. George, 58–90. Basil Blackwell; Kaplan, D. 1990. “Words.” Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume LXIV: 93–119]. In this paper, I present a novel accoun…Read more
  •  41
    Inferentialism and Structuralism: A Tale of Two Theories
    Logique Et Analyse 61 (244): 489-512. 2018.
    This paper aims to unite two seemingly disparate themes in the philosophy of mathematics and language respectively, namely ante rem structuralism and inferentialism. My analysis begins with describing both frameworks in accordance with their genesis in the work of Hilbert. I then draw comparisons between these philosophical views in terms of their similar motivations and similar objections to the referential orthodoxy. I specifically home in on two points of comparison, namely the role of norms …Read more
  •  68
    Why Philosophers should do Semantics : a Reply to Cappelen
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (1): 243-256. 2019.
    In this paper, I address a series of arguments recently put forward by Cappelen Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8: 743–762 to the effect that philosophers should not do formal semantics or be concerned with the “minutiae of natural language semantics”. He offers two paths for accessing his ideas. I argue that his arguments fail in favour of the first and cast some doubt on the second in so doing. I then proffer an alternative conception of why exactly philosophers should continue to do forma…Read more
  •  92
    On the plurality of times: disunified time and the A-series
    South African Journal of Philosophy 32 (3): 249-260. 2013.
    In this paper, I investigate the nature of the metaphysical possibility of disunified time. A possibility that I argue presents unique problems for those who adhere to a strict A-theory of time, particularly those A-theorists who propose a presentist view. The first part of the paper discusses various arguments against the coherence of the concept of disunified time. I attempt to discount each of these objections and show that disunified time is indeed a possible and consistent topology of time.…Read more
  •  40
    Scientific modelling in generative grammar and the dynamic turn in syntax
    Linguistics and Philosophy 39 (5): 357-394. 2016.
    In this paper, I address the issue of scientific modelling in contemporary linguistics, focusing on the generative tradition. In so doing, I identify two common varieties of linguistic idealisation, which I call determination and isolation respectively. I argue that these distinct types of idealisation can both be described within the remit of Weisberg’s :639–659, 2007) minimalist idealisation strategy in the sciences. Following a line set by Blutner :27–35, 2011), I propose this minimalist idea…Read more
  •  43
    The foundations of linguistics : mathematics, models, and structures
    Dissertation, University of St Andrews. 2016.
    The philosophy of linguistics is a rich philosophical domain which encompasses various disciplines. One of the aims of this thesis is to unite theoretical linguistics, the philosophy of language, the philosophy of science and the ontology of language. Each part of the research presented here targets separate but related goals with the unified aim of bringing greater clarity to the foundations of linguistics from a philosophical perspective. Part I is devoted to the methodology of linguistics in …Read more