I received my PhD from the University of Chicago and I am now an Assistant Professor at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow. My research interests focus on the history of analytic philosophy and its relevance for contemporary philosophy of language, thought, and logic. I also have an active interest in ethics.
In recent years I have worked especially on how best to understand a number of common distinctions in the philosophy of language, including the distinctions between: 1) mere signs and meaningful sign; 2) syntax and semantic; 3) word-meaning and sentence-meaning; 4) force and content; 5) speaker’s meaning and linguistic meaning. In each case, I have been guided by the Austinian idea that “the total speech act in the total speech act situation is the only actual phenomenon which, in the last resort, we are engaged in elucidating.” This dictum, as I understand it, denies that the full-blown phenomenon of language can be reconstructed from a number of prior and independent conceptual ingredients. The “total speech act in the total speech act situation” can indeed be elucidated through various distinctions, including those mentioned above. But the notions thus distinguished can fulfill their elucidatory function only if they are construed in a manner that presupposes the unitary notion under elucidation.
My recent research projects originated from a long-standing interest in Wittgenstein. Wittgenstein and a number of Wittgensteinian philosophers (such as Elizabeth Anscombe, Stanley Cavell, Cora Diamond, and John McDowell) have largely contributed to shaping my sense of how progress can be made in philosophy.