Welcome to my Academic Website

Version 2I 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 have recently completed a dissertation on the relationship between word-meaning and sentence-meaning. I present there detailed interpretations of how the Context Principle was construed by Bentham, Russell, Frege, and early Wittgenstein, and I defend in my own voice (with some possible emendations) the views I attribute to Frege and early Wittgenstein.

I have also been working on the relationship between signs and meaningful signs, the relationships between syntax and semantics, and the relationships between force and content. I find Wittgenstein’s Tractatus particularly useful for challenging widespread assumptions in contemporary discussions of these topics.

My work in these areas, as well as my work on the Context Principle, is guided by the Austinian contention 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. I believe that an implicit commitment to this idea is already at work, to a certain extent, in the philosophy of Frege and early Wittgenstein–and to a much fuller extent, in the philosophy of later Wittgenstein.

My recent research projects originated form a long-standing interest in Wittgenstein, which first brought me to the University of Chicago. 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.