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Michael Devitt
Position: Distinguished Professor
Campus Affiliation: Graduate Center
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. Harvard University

Research Interests

  • Philosophy of Language
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Metaphysics
  • Current projects include:
  • the philosophy of linguistics
  • foundational issues in semantics
  • the semantics of definite descriptions and demonstratives
  • semantic externalism
  • contemporary debates about scientific realism

Courses Recently Taught

  • Linguistic Pragmatism (Fall 2010)
  • Psychological Reality of Language (Fall 2008, Fall 2006)
  • Animal Cognition (Spring 2008)
  • Meaning (co-taught with Stephen Neale) (Fall 2007)
  • Philosophy of Biology (Spring 2007)
  • Reference (Spring 2006, 2004)
  • Meaning (Spring 2005)
  • Scientific Realism (Spring 2010, Fall 2004, Fall 2001)
  • Psychological Reality of Language (Fall 2003, Spring 2001)
  • Naming and Necessity and Its Background; co-taught with Saul Kripke (Spring 2002)

Representative Publications

Designation. New York: Columbia University Press, 1981, xiii, 311 pp.

Realism and Truth. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1984, ix, 250 pp. (Princeton: Princeton University Press). 2nd edn revised, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1991, xii, 327pp. Reprinted "with a new afterword," Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997, xii, 371pp.

Coming to Our Senses: A Naturalistic Program for Semantic Localism. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996, x, 338pp.

"Meanings Just Ain't in the Head." Method, Reason and Language: Essays in honour of Hilary Putnam, George Boolos, ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1990), pp. 79-104. Reprinted in Croatian in Filozofskim Istrazivanjima 45 (1992), pp. 425-45.

"A Shocking Idea about Meaning." Revue Internationale de Philosophie, a special issue devoted to Hilary Putnam, in press.

"The Metaphysics of Truth." In The Nature of Truth, Michael Lynch, ed. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (2001).