•  321
    Arbitrary reference
    Philosophical Studies 158 (3): 377-400. 2012.
    Two fundamental rules of reasoning are Universal Generalisation and Existential Instantiation. Applications of these rules involve stipulations such as ‘Let n be an arbitrary number’ or ‘Let John be an arbitrary Frenchman’. Yet the semantics underlying such stipulations are far from clear. What, for example, does ‘n’ refer to following the stipulation that n be an arbitrary number? In this paper, we argue that ‘n’ refers to a number—an ordinary, particular number such as 58 or 2,345,043. Which o…Read more
  •  99
    Existential instantiation is a rule of inference that allows us infer, from the proposition that there are some p things, the proposition that a is a p thing. What role does 'a' play here? According to one account, recently defended by Breckenridge and Magidor, we use 'a' to refer to a p thing. I argue that this cannot be right. I propose an alternative account, according to which we use 'a' to refer to a supposedly p thing.
  •  91
    There is an account of modal operators that is both elegant and powerful and that deserves to be called the standard account. There are, however, some epistemic uses of modal operators which seem to be counterexamples to the account – they pose what I call the objectivity problem. It is often thought that the objectivity problem can be fixed by a certain kind of modification to the standard account. I argue that this kind of modification cannot work. Then I argue that the problem posed for the s…Read more
  •  69
    The Meaning of "Look"
    Dissertation, New College, University of Oxford. 2007.
    My main aim is to clarify what we mean by ‘look’ sentences such as (1) below – ones that we use to talk about visual experience: (1) The ball looked red to Sue This is to help better understand a part of natural language that has so far resisted treatment, and also to help better understand the nature of visual experience. By appealing to general linguistic principles I argue for the following account. First, we use (1) to talk about an event. Second, we use the verb ‘look’ to specify the kind o…Read more
  •  26
    Has Smith Solved the Moral Problem?
    Acta Analytica 34 (4): 463-472. 2019.
    Michael Smith attempts to solve the moral problem by arguing that our moral beliefs constitute a rational constraint on our desires. In particular, Smith defends the ‘practicality requirement’, which says that rational agents who believe that an action is right must have some desire to perform that action. We clarify and examine Smith’s argument. We argue that, for the argument to be sound, it must make two crucial assumptions about the rational agent in question: that facts about her desires ar…Read more
  •  1
    Visual Experience: A Semantic Approach
    Oxford University Press. 2018.
    I develop a theory of what we mean by the 'look' sentences that we use to describe our visual experiences, and on that basis develop a new adverbial theory of what it is to have a visual experience with a certain character.