joseph salerno

Associate Professor of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy, Saint Louis University
3800 Lindell Blvd., Adorjan Hall. Rm. 130
Saint Louis, MO 63108, USA 
salernjr AT slu DOT eduPhone: (314) 977 3149
Fax: (314) 977 3696


Curriculum Vitae | Teaching | SLU Dept.


 Joe Salerno (Ph.D., Ohio State University, 1999) is associate professor at St Louis University. He was a visiting researcher at the Jean Nicod Institute in Paris (2010-2011) and research fellow at the RSSS philosophy program at Australian National University in 2008.  He is the editor of New Essays on the Knowability Paradox and a special issue of Synthese titled Knowability and Beyond.  Current research includes papers on modal epistemic paradoxes and epistemic modals. 


Non-Final Drafts

  • Knowability and Beyond.  (ed.), Special issue of Synthese 173, No 1, 2010.
  • "The Knowability Paradox" in S. Bernecker, and D. Pritchard (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Epistemology, Routledge, 2010.   
  • New Essays on the Knowability Paradox (ed.), OUP, 2009.  20 new essays on the paradox, including some unpublished stuff by Alonzo Church.  
  • "Knowability Noir: 1945-1963' to appear in Salerno J. (ed.) New Essays on the Knowability Paradox, Oxford University Press, 2010.  The paper is an account of the early history of Fitch's knowability paradox. It evaluates an unpublished debate between Fitch and his anonymous referee (Alonzo Church) for a JSL submission in 1945. Their debate foreshadows some recent discussion and helps to explain what the knowability result is doing in Fitch's 1963 paper. 
  • "Referee Reports on Fitch's 'A Definition of Value' " J. Salerno and  J. Murzi (eds.), to appear in Salerno J. (ed.) NEKP, OUP, 2010.  An edition of a pair of anonymous referee reports authored by Alonzo Church in 1945.  They mark the earliest known discussion of the modal epistemic result known as Fitch's knowability paradox.  They will be printed in their entirety with the kind permission of Alonzo Church, Jr.  Here is a link to the archival documentation page.  The editors' appendix to the reports is here.
  • "Counterfactuals and Context" with B. Brogaard, Analysis 68:1, 2008.  We discuss what we take to be a contextual fallacy in the standard logic of counterfactuals.
  • "Remarks on Counterpossibles" with B. Brogaard, in Johan van Benthem, Vincent F. Hendricks, John Symons, and Stig Andur Pedersen, (eds.), Between Logic and Intuition: David Lewis and the Future of Formal Methods in Philosophy, Synthese Library, forthcoming.   The paper defends a non-vacuous reading of counterpossible conditionals.
  • "Why Counterpossibles are Non-Trivial" with B. Brogaard, The Reasoner 1:1,  2007.  Here we provide several reasons for favoring a non-vacuous reading of counterpossibles: besides preserving some familiar pre-theoretic intuitions, such a treatment explains the non-triviality of counterfactual philosophy and facilitates a modal analysis of essence.
  • "Anti-realism, Theism and the Conditional Fallacy" with B. Brogaard, Noûs, 39:1, 2005. Here we disagree with Plantinga and Rea that the best way to be an anti-realist is to be a theist. We argue, however, that without a massive revision of classical logic, the anti-realist will have to embrace an unwelcome form of idealism. 
  • On Frege, Wadsworth Publishing Co., 2001. The book (98 pp.) was written to introduce Frege's philosophy of language and logic to intro students. 


  • "Epistemic Modal Eavesdropping: a straight solution to a relativist challenge" presented at the Epistemology Brown Bag Series at Northwestern University, October 24th, 2012.
  • "Indicative conditionals and embedded epistemic modals" presented to the 1st Milano-Paris Workshop on Mind and Language, in Milan Italy on May 28, 2011.
  • "Embedded Epistemic Modals", presented to the Metaphysics and Logic Group, Goethe University of Frankfurt, April 19, 2011.
  • “Some Modal Epistemic Disagreements" presented to the CPR workshop at the Jean-Nicod Institute, Paris France, February 28, 2011.
  • “Epistemic Modals in Action" presented to the KnowJust research group at the Institut Jean-Nicod, Paris France, January 28, 2011.
  • “Epistemic Modals: Relativism and Ignorance” presented at the Midwest Epistemology Workshop, Saint Louis University, September 25, 2009. 
  • “Relativism and Ignorance” Themes from Crispin Wright, workshop at Australian National University, July 16, 2009.
  • “Embedded Epistemic Modals” present to the Australasian Association of Philosophy, Melbourne, Australia, July 2009.  
  • “Embedded Epistemic Modals” RSSS Philosophy Seminar, Australian National University, May 21, 2009. 
  • “Propositions as Hyperintensions” with B. Brogaard, Hyperintensionality and Impossible Worlds, workshop at Australian National University, Nov. 26, 2008.  
  • “Must and Can” presented to the American Philosophical Association, Philadelphia, December, 2008.
  • "A New Paradox of Happiness" presented to the Philosophy Department at  the University of Auckland, New Zealand, August 8, 2008. 
  • "A New Paradox of Happiness" presented to the Philosophy Department at Victoria University, Wellington NZ, August 7, 2008.
  • "A New Paradox of Happiness" presented to the Philosophy Department at the University of Otago, Dunedin NZ, August 6, 2008.
  • "Must and Can" presented to the Australasian Association of Philosophy, Melbourne, July 11, 2008.
  • "A New Paradox of Happiness" presented to the Philosophy Society, Australian National University, May 20, 2008.
  • "Must and Can" Epistemology at the Beach, ANU-Kioloa, Australia, February 15, 2008. [pics]
  • "Counterpossibles, Impossible Worlds and Essence" with B. Brogaard,  discussed at the Arizona Ontology Conference, January 2008.  Organizer: L. A. Paul.  [pics]
  • "Counterpossible Conditionals" RSSS Philosophy Seminar, Australian National University, November 8. 
  • "Counterpossible Conditionals", University of Sydney, October 17. 
  • "Counterpossible Conditionals", presented to the IPHST at Université Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, October 8, 2007. 
  • "Remarks on Counterpossibles", with B. Brogaard, 1st Synthese Annual Conference, Copenhagen, October 3, 2007.  Program Committee: Johan van Benthem, Vincent F. Hendricks, John Symons, and Stig Andur Pedersen
  • "Remarks on Counterpossibles," with B. Brogaard, Epistemology Workshop, University of Edinburgh, May 15, 2007.   Other speakers: Ram Neta, Duncan Pritchard, and Jonathan Schaffer.
  • "Who Discovered Fitch's Paradox and Why Won't it Go Away?", Pacific Division of the APA. March 24, 2006.
    Commentator: Ali Kazmi.
  • "Tracking and Safety: Some Counterexamples". Pacific Division of the APA, March 2004.
    Commentator: Steven Luper. 

Other Activities

  • Commentary on Salvatore Florio and Julien Murzi's "Paradox of Idealization" at the Eastern APA, Baltimore 2007.  
  • Commentary on Pascal Engel's "Pragmatic Encroachment and Epistemic Value" to be given at the Epistemic Value Conference at the University of Stirling, August 20, 2006.  [Pics]
  • Commentary on Jon Cogburn's "Moore Problems with Anti-realism". Central Division of the APA. Chicago, April, 2006. 
  • Commentary on Mylan Engel's "Contextualism and the Problem of Semantic Ignorance". Illinois Philosophical Association. November 5, 2005. 
  • Panel discussant for the Kline Conference on Knowledge, Closure and Lotteries at University of Missouri-Columbia, October 31-November 1, 2003. [Pics]












Books and Volumes


Brain on Philosophy 

My Other Websites


Coombs Bldg, ANU


St Louis Arch

Earth's Largest Optical Illusion 

Really, It's height is not greater than its width!