I'm a lecturer in philosophy at the University of EdinburghI have recently finished my Ph.D. in philosophy at the Australian National University. My dissertation project entitled Monsters and communication: The semantics of contextual shifting and sensitivity was on foundational issues in compositional semantics and context-dependence, under the supervision of David ChalmersJonathan Schaffer and Daniel Nolan---more specifically, it focused on puzzles that arise when context-sensitive expressions are embedded in various shifty environments, and the dialectic between three main reactions to the puzzle: two-dimensionalism, relativism, and linguistic environmentalism (for the details see the summary)

My research interests center around language, logic, and semantic information. This includes interest in indexicality and context-dependence, modal and epistemic logics, two-dimensionalism, dynamic semantics, the semantics of names, variables, quotation, and epistemic discourse, and the semantic paradoxes. At a more general level I'm interested in issues in semantic metatheory, including the exact theoretical relationship between natural language semantics and the broader theory of communication.

I'm also interested in all the traditional philosophical problems and so spend a lot of time thinking about various puzzles and paradoxes having to do with truth, knowledge, minds, and the world.

  • The antinomy of the variable: renewed and resolved [w/ B. Pickel] (submitted)
  • Semantic gadgetry and index propriety [w/ A. Egan] (revising)
  • How to Dummett a Frege-Geach (in progress)

keywords: brian rabern, rabern, context, index, rayburn, anu, monsters, variables, shifting, sensitivity, logic, philosophy

the golden triangle of the variable