Professor Paul Elbourne
College appointment: Tutorial Fellow in Philosophy
Academic position: Professor of the Philosophy of Language
I read Greats and took an MPhil in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology at Oxford before doing my PhD at MIT. There I followed the interdisciplinary PhD programme in semantics, which involves training in linguistics and philosophy. Before coming to Magdalen, I taught at Marlboro College, New York University, and Queen Mary, University of London.
I give undergraduate tutorials and classes in General Philosophy, Moral Philosophy (Mill), Ethics, Practical Ethics, Knowledge and Reality, General Linguistics, Wittgenstein, and the Philosophy of Logic and Language. At the graduate level, I teach formal semantics and the philosophy of language.
My main research interests lie in natural language semantics and the philosophy of language. I also have interests in ethics.
- 2022 Weather predicates, binding, and radical contextualism. Mind & Language 37(1): 56–72.
- 2021a Evidence for generalized quantifier semantics in the interpretation of the English neuter singular pronoun. Natural Language Semantics. 29(4): 579–600.
- 2021b Presupposition, assertion, and definite descriptions. Linguistics and Philosophy 44(6): 1215–1253.
- 2020 Literal vs enriched meaning: It’s raining. In The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Semantics, edited by Daniel Gutzmann, Lisa Matthewson, Cécile Meier, Hotze Rullmann, and Thomas Ede Zimmermann. Wiley.
- 2019 Vagueness, contextualism, and ellipsis. Semantics and Pragmatics 12(22): 1–16.
- 2018 Definite descriptions and negative existential quantifiers. Philosophical Studies 175(7): 1597–1612.
- 2016a Incomplete descriptions and indistinguishable participants. Natural Language Semantics 24(1): 1–43.
- 2016b Multi-sentential category mistakes. Inquiry 59(5): 542–558.
- 2013 Definite Descriptions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- 2011 Meaning: A Slim Guide to Semantics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- 2010a The existence entailments of definite descriptions. Linguistics and Philosophy 33(1): 1–10.
- 2010b On bishop sentences. Natural Language Semantics 18(1): 65–78.
- 2010c Why propositions might be sets of truth-supporting circumstances. Journal of Philosophical Logic 39(1): 101–111.
- 2008a The argument from binding. Philosophical Perspectives 22: 89–110.
- 2008b Demonstratives as individual concepts. Linguistics and Philosophy 31(4): 409–466.
- 2005 Situations and Individuals. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
- 2001 E-type anaphora as NP-deletion. Natural Language Semantics 9(3): 241–288.