Contact: jan​.plate&gmail​.c​om (replace the ampersand with ‘@’)

From summer 2017 I'll be scientific collaborator at the University of Italian Switzerland, working with Kevin Mulligan on an SNF-funded project entitled 'Connectives, Predicates, and Priority'. Before that (until the end of 2016), I have been postdoc at the Institut de philosophieof the university of Neuchâtel, and before that I was postdoc at the Philosophische Seminar of the University of Tübingen. My main research interest is the metaphysics of properties and relations. In a recent paper ('Logically Simple Properties and Relations'), I show how the distinction between logically simple and logically complex attributes can be drawn on the background of a (moderately) coarse-grained conception of attributes and states of affairs. More recently I've been trying to extend this approach to other distinctions, such as that between intrinsic and extrinsic attributes. 

I've obtained my PhD at the end of 2012 from Washington University in St. Louis with a thesis on Essence and Ontology, supervised by Thomas Sattig.


  1. Logically Simple Properties and Relations, Philosophers' Imprint 16(1), pp. 1-40 (2016).
  2. An Analysis of the Binding Problem, Philosophical Psychology 20(6), pp. 773-92 (2007).
  3. Faces and Brains: The Limitations of Brain Scanning in Cognitive Science (co-authored with Christopher Mole et al.), Philosophical Psychology 20(2), pp. 197-207 (2007).

Work in Progress

  1. Against Relational Primitivism  Taking as my starting-point a recent paper by MacBride ('How Involved Do You Want to Be in a Non-Symmetric Relationship?'), I formulate a view that I call 'relational primitivism' and then argue against this view, as well as against a more radical version of it.
  2. In Defense of Relational Roles  I defend a version of 'positionalism' (in particular, an analysis of polyadic predication that is crucially based on relational roles) against the objections raised by Kit Fine in his paper 'Neutral Relations'.