Recent News

If you’ve been following my travels, you’ll get some sense that this has been a busy year. I’ve done lots of writing on my book, and I’ve managed to give lots of talks, both in the US and in Argentina, as well as at home. I haven’t posted here for nearly a year–writing elsewhere has been a higher priority. However, this weekend, I’ve made a few changes to the website which means that I might post here a little more often.

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I love the way I’ve met so many different people through working in logic, that I’ve made good friends, good colleagues, good teachers and mentors. I’ve been part of an enterprise that’s larger than any one person. I have been shaped by that community, and have had the opportunity to made some small mark on it myself. Logic, like any other academic discipline, has a history. The activities of doing logic — of studying, researching and teaching — are spread out through time.

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Working in philosophical logic, I love the opportunity to learn from so many people through history, and not only to learn, but to pass on a tradition, and to have the opportunity to extend the tradition, and to refine it a little, in passing it on. It’s been a delight to learn from some great figures, the historical figures through their writing, and my contemporaries in person, both as face-to-face teachers (while a student, I learned logic from Sheila Oates-Williams, Neil Williams, Rod Girle, Ian Hinckfuss, and Graham Priest), but the learning doesn’t stop when you finish your degree.

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In the previous entry I explored the connection between proofs and necessity. Here, I want to spend a little time exploring the other side of the logical street, the connection between models and possibility. As I have already explained, one core insight from 20th Century work in logic is the fundamental duality between proof theory and model theory. You can define logical notions like validity by way of proofs (a valid argument is certified by the existence of some proof) or by way of models (an argument is shown to be invalid by the existence of some model which serves as a counterexample).

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The next two thoughts are motivated by the two complementary aspects of contemporary research in logic, proof theory and model theory. As I try to emphasise to my students, there are two broad ways you can define logical concepts like validity. Following the way of proofs, an argument is valid if there is some proof leading from the premises to the conclusion. Following the way of models, an argument is valid if there is no model in which the premises are true and the conclusion is not.

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Recent Writing

  • (with Francesco Berto) “Negation on the Australian Plan,” to appear in the Journal of Philosophical Logic. Abstract  pdf
  • “Truth Tellers in Bradwardine's Theory of Truth,” pages 143-154 in Modern Views of Medieval Logic, edited by Christoph Kann, Benedikt Loewe, Christian Rode and Sara L. Uckelman, Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales—Bibliotheca. Peeters Publishers, 2018 Abstract  pdf
  • “Generality and Existence I: Quantification and Free Logic,” to appear in the Review of Symbolic Logic. Abstract  pdf
  • “Two Negations are More than One,” article to appear in Graham Priest on Dialetheism and Paraconsistency, edited by Can Başkent, Thomas Macaulay Ferguson. Abstract  pdf
  • Proof Theory, Rules and Meaning: book manuscript in progress. Abstract

Recent & Upcoming Presentations

Recent & Upcoming Classes


about

I’m Greg Restall, and this is my personal website. I teach philosophy and logic as Professor of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne. ¶ Start at the home page of this site—a compendium of recent additions around here—and go from there to learn more about who I am and what I do. ¶ This is my personal site on the web. Nothing here is in any way endorsed by the University of Melbourne.

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