Ryo Tanaka

Department of Philosophy, University of Connecticut

I am a PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of Connecticut, USA. I am also a member of the ECOM (Expression, Communication and the Origins of Meaning) research group at Uconn. My dissertation is on the nature of semantic knowledge (please see "research" page for more details).

Before coming to Connecticut, I did BA and MA in philosophy at Kyoto University, Japan. During my MA studies, I also spent a semester as a research student at National University of Singapore.

My academic interests include philosophy of language (esp. foundational issues on meaning), philosophy of mind (esp. questions on 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).

My CV is available upon request.


  • 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.

Contact: ryo.tanaka[at]uconn.edu