Ryo Tanaka

JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Tokyo

I am a researcher in philosophy based at the University of Tokyo, Japan (JSPS postdoctoral fellow, History and Philosophy of Science Lab). My current research project is entitled, "Moral obligation to explicate semantic rules of the language one speaks."

My current appointment at the University of Tokyo will end in March 2024, and I am currently searching for a next job in academia.

Before starting my current job, I was a graduate student in philosophy at the University of Connecticut, U.S.A., where I obtained a Ph.D. in the Summer of 2021. Before that, I did BA and MA in philosophy at Kyoto University, Japan (my master's thesis was on Wilfrid Sellars). During my MA studies, I also spent a semester as a research student at the National University of Singapore.

In my dissertation, I explored philosophical issues concerning lexical semantic knowledge and its expression in action (please see "research" page for more details). My current research project is an attempt to bring descriptive issues that I addressed in the dissertation into practical, specifically, ethical, contexts.

I am also an affliated member of the ECOM (Expression, Communication and the Origins of Meaning) research group at Uconn.

Academic Interests

My academic interests include philosophy of language (esp. foundational issues about meaning), philosophy of mind (esp. concepts and intentionality), action theory, epistemology, and meta-ethics (esp. semantics and pragmatics of normative language).

I also have interests in the history of philosophy, including Western early modern philosophy (esp. Locke, Hume and Kant), and the history of 'analytic' philosophy (esp. Frege, Logical positivism, Quine and Sellars).


  • Please refer to my researchmap page (https://researchmap.jp/ryotanaka?lang=en) to see the most up-to-date list of publications and presentations (part of the info may only appear in Japanese).

  • Publication: "Hume on Non-human Animals, Causal Reasoning, and General Thoughts" has been accepted for publication at the Southern Journal of Philosophy (Sep, 2020)

  • Japanese Translation of Robert Brandom (2011), Perspectives on Pragmatism has been published from Keiso Shobo (I translated and wrote expository summaries for Chapters 3 and 7)

  • Conference Presentation (Online): "Two-layer Theory of Knowledge of Meaning," the 10th European Congress for Analytic Philosophy (https://ecap10.sites.uu.nl), Aug 23-28, 2020

  • I am the recipient of the Ruth Garrett Millikan Graduate Research Fellowship for Summer of 2020.

  • (Several talks that I had been originally scheduled to give during the summer of 2020 were postponed to 2021, due to the global outbreak of COVID19)

  • Conference Presentation: “Knowledge of Meaning?: Reconciling the Epistemic Intuitions and Empirical Theories of Linguistic Understanding," SOPhiA 2019, University of Salzburg, Austria, Sep 18-20, 2019.

  • Invited Talk: "Does Linguistic Understanding Require Knowledge of Meaning?" at the 7th Nagoya Meta-Philosophy Workshop, Aug 9, 2019.

  • Invited Talk: “Do We ‘Know’ Meaning?” at Workshop on Philosophy of Language at Tokyo University, July 24.

  • Conference Presentation: “Knowledge of Meaning?: Reconciling the Epistemic Intuitions and Empirical Theories of Linguistic Understanding,” Forum for Young Philosophers, Tokyo, July 13, 2019.

  • I received a 2019 summer graduate research fellowship from the ECOM research group (UConn) for my project, "Knowledge of Meaning: Reconciling the Epistemic Intuition about Meaning and Empirical Theories of Linguistic Understanding."

  • Conference Presentation: "Normativity of Linguistic Meaning and Theory of Linguistic Understanding" at the Annual Meeting for Japan Association for Philosophy of Science, June 14, 2019.

  • Conference Presentation: "Semantic Knowledge as Expressive Know-How" at the Fourth Conference on Contemporary Philosophy in East Asia @National Chengchi University (Taiwan), August 9, 2018.




Twitter (Japanese): https://twitter.com/ryotanaka29

Twitter (English): https://twitter.com/tanakaryo29

My CV is available upon request.