Hello! I’m Greg Restall, and this is my personal website. I am a Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews, and I like thinking about – and helping other people think about – logic and philosophy and the many different ways they can inform each other. I am known for work on substructural logics, logical pluralism, and, more recently, connections between proof theory and philosophy. I use this site to post news items and the occasional thought, and to serve as a repository of my writing, presentations and teaching.


News

Earlier this month I got a lovely package in the mail. A Chinese translation of my intro logic text. My colleague and friend Min Xu completed his translation of my text, and it’s now available.

A page spread of the beginning of Chapter 5 of a Chinese translation of a logic text
The beginning of Chapter 5.

Another month, and another pile of books I’ve managed to read. This month’s reading started on the Isle of Iona, where we had a short Easter break. On the last day on the island, and then on the ferry journeys back to the “mainland”, I finished The Life of St Columba, who served as the Abbot of Iona and, as legend has it, brought Christianity to Scotland, from Ireland, dying in 597.

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I’ve just emerged from two intense days of proof theory. Three of my graduate students, Sophie Nagler, Viviane Fairbank and Francisca Silva, organised a two-day workshop on proof theory and its connections to philosophy and other fields.

A group of 22 people, standing in front of a closed white arched door in a large stone building
Some of the workshop participants at the end of a busy day of proof theory.

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Books Read: March 2024

7 April 2024

Lately, I’ve been keeping track of my book reading, and to help focus my reflection (and as an aid to my own memory), I have taken to writing a few lines for each book I complete. March was a particularly good book-reading month, and since I’ve not posted anything on this website for more than year, I thought I’d share last month’s reading notes.

First, over March I read a few books that are broadly philosophical:

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A few months ago, Anna Day, Eloise Hickey, Mark Rothery, and James Cafferky from the Undergraduate Philosophy Journal of Australasia gave me an opportunity to ramble on about my early days as a mathematics and philosophy student in the 1980s and 1990s, my current research interests, and what I’m thinking about now. They asked thoughtful questions and managed to edit the interview into something coherent.

Check it out, if only for the photos of me in my teens and twenties, then stay for the philosophy.


A Brush with Fame

26 January 2023

In my PY1012 Reasoning lecture this evening, I used a slide with a photo of Sally Haslanger and a short section from her book Resisting Reality to give an example of an argument to a universal generalisation. (I’ve been teaching reasoning using examples from throughout the philosophical canon.)

After class a young student came up to me, all excited, asking: do you know Professor Haslanger!? (I had described her as a colleague.) I explained that yes, we’d met and I’d known her for some time. She reacted as if I had been in the presence of a rock star, and that she was now a little bit closer to true greatness as a result. When I said I loved Sally’s work, and then added that Kate Manne had been a student of mine at the University of Melbourne before she went to MIT to study with Sally, the student was absolutely beside herself.

It’s a delight to exploit my own personal contacts with colleagues and friends, to help a student feel a little closer to what she truly treasures in the sometimes humdrum matter of teaching intro reasoning.


I grew up in Australia: my university training and my initial academic positions took place in the explicitly secular institution of the Australian university. So, it’s an uncanny experience to arrive in St Andrews to become a part of a university in a town marked by martyrdom, in which the Chaplaincy plays a central and visible role. University functions, including graduations, are opened with prayers in Latin. There are regular services in Chapel, including graduation services, and many involve an procession of academics, in robes. The separation of “church” and “state” is nowhere near as sharp here in St Andrews as it was in Australia. The university is explicitly pluralist, and the chaplains work very hard to make space for students of all faiths and none. And at the same time, this place owns its Christian heritage.

So, it was to my surprise – and my trepidation – that I was invited to preach the sermon at the Sunday chapel service at the start of this new semester. I seem to have survived the experience of doing something in my work context that is far outside the everyday responsibility of my academic role as a Professor of Philosophy.

Recent Writing

Introduction to Classical Logic Greg Restall, translated by Xu Min. Huazhong University of Science & Technology Press, 2024. Abstract
Reflections on Brady's Logic of Meaning Containment (to appear in The Australasian Journal of Logic) Abstract PDF
Proofs with Star and Perp (to appear in New Directions in Relevant Logics) Abstract PDF
Greg Restall and Shawn Standefer, “Collection Frames for Distributive Substructural Logics,” Review of Symbolic Logic, (2023) 16:4, 1120-1157. Abstract PDF
The Philosophical Significance of the Paradoxes (to appear in the Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Logic) Abstract PDF
Looking at Logic(s), Chapter 4 in What are They Thinking? Conversations with Australian Philosophers, edited by Daniel Nellor, Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2023. Abstract PDF
Review of Jc Beall, The Contradictory Christ, Religious Studies, 59, (2023), 556–559. Abstract PDF

Recent Presentations

What ‘No’ Does, Arché Day 2024; 28 June 2024. COMING SOON
Natural Deduction Proof for Substructural, Constructive and Classical Logics, Leeds Logic Seminar; 1 May 2024.
λμ: Relating Constructive, Classical and Substructural Logics, LANCOG Group, Center of Philosophy, University of Lisbon; 16 April 2024.
λμ: Relating Constructive and Classical Logics, Arché Workshop: Proofs, Rules and Meanings; 11 April 2024.
Finitude, Eternity, Love, the Good and Martin Hagglünd’s ‘This Life’, The Logos Institute for Analytical and Exegetical Theology, University of St Andrews; 3 November 2023.
The Semantics and Psychology of Negation: The Australian Plan, Negation as Failure, and Card Selection Tasks, University of Stirling Philosophy Seminar; 19 October 2023.
The Semantics and Psychology of Negation: The Australian Plan, Negation as Failure, and Card Selection Tasks, Arché Metaphysics and Logic Seminar; 20 September 2023.

Recent Classes

Proof Theory, Nordic Logic Summer School 2024; June 2024.
PY4612: Advanced Logic, the University of St Andrews; January 2024.
PY2010: Intermediate Logic, the University of St Andrews; September 2023.
PY4601: Paradoxes, the University of St Andrews; January 2023.
PY1012: Reasoning, the University of St Andrews; January 2023.
PY3100: Reading Philosophy 1—Texts in Language, Logic, Mind, Epistemology, Metaphysics and Science, the University of St Andrews; September 2022.
PY4638: Philosophy of Religion, the University of St Andrews; September 2022.

about

I’m Greg Restall, and this is my personal website. I am the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews, and the Director of the Arché Philosophical Research Centre for Logic, Language, Metaphysics and Epistemology I like thinking about – and helping other people think about – logic and philosophy and the many different ways they can inform each other.

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