Paul M. Pietroski
paul.pietroski@rutgers.edu
Dept. of Philosophy
106 Somerset St. (5th Floor)
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

CV        
PAPERS

I teach at Rutgers University, as a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Center for Cognitive Science. My primary research interests lie at the intersection of philosophy, linguistics, and psychology.

For a while now, I've been thinking about how grammatical structure is related to linguistic meaning, and how
words are related to concepts. Events and Semantic Architecture (OUP, 2005) was an initial progress report. In various papers, often collaborative, I have defended a nativist approach to the study of human languages and an internalist conception of what these languages are. In a recently published book--Conjoining Meanings: Semantics without Truth Values (OUP, 2018)--I argue that meanings are instructions for how to build concepts of a special kind. A sequel (The Vocabulary of Meanings) is in the works. A recurring theme is that with regard to how words are used and understood, representational format matters a lot, and so theorists should distinguish meanings from any format-neutral contents that get represented or communicated.

I received my B.A. from Rutgers College in 1986, did my graduate work at MIT, and joined the department of philosophy at McGill University in 1990. Causing Actions (OUP, 2000) reflected my initial interests in philosophy of mind and philosophy of science. From 1998 to 2017, I taught in the departments of linguistics and philosophy at the University of Maryland, where I am Professor Emeritus. In returning to my alma mater, I moved from one of the fourteen Big Ten schools to another; yet I never attended a Big Ten school, and I had never before been hired by one. Seems appropriate for a philosopher who thinks about language.

When time permits, I spend a lot of time here, sometimes doing other things.



Some Recent or Upcoming Talks
(If you find the slides useful, feel free to use them, and likewise for these older talks)

Fostering Liars
    Rutgers-Bochum Workshop
(April 2018, slides .pptx)
    Topoi Conference (June, 2018)
Confronting Existential Angst
    NYU Semantics Group (March 2018,
handout.pdf)
Most Meanings and Minds
    Rutgers Cogsci Proseminar (October 2017, slides
.pptx)
    Simon Frasier University produced a video of a similar 2014 talk
        ("Mostly Framing")
for Linguistics and Cognitive Science.
Meaning Internalism and Natural History
    Weinberg Institute for Cognitive Science,
    Univ. of Michigan (April 1, 2017
.pptx, .pdf)
Meanings, Concepts, and Natural Kinds: What Were People Thinking?
    Rutgers Anniversary (Nov. 10, 1766+250,
.pptx .pdf)
Locating Human Meanings: Less Typology, More Constraint
    Rutgers Workshop (October 2015, .pptx  .pdf)
Semantic Internalism
 
    Univ. of Arizona (October 2015,
.pptx  .pdf)
   
Also in Panopto form, thanks to the Arizona linguistics department.
Form and Composition
    Higginbotham Lecture at USC (2014).
    For this talk, in honor of Jim, a handout.