Masses of Formal Philosophy

Vincent Hendricks and John Symons are working on a sequel to their book Formal Philosophy, in which philosophers who use “formal methods” talked about their work, their motivations, and their take on the state of philosophy. For the sequel, they are opening things up for others to take an “interview” with five questions, to appear in the next book, Masses of Formal Philosophy. I’m not sure what the criteria Vincent and John are using for selecting answers for appearing in the book – but I am thinking about their five questions. Here they are:

  1. Why were you initially drawn to formal methods?

  2. What example(s) from your work (or the work of others) illustrates the role formal methods can play in philosophy?

  3. What is the proper role of philosophy in relation to other disciplines?

  4. What do you consider the most neglected topics and/or contributions in late 20th century philosophy?

  5. What are the most important open problems in philosophy and what are the prospects for progress?

These look like interesting questions to think about. Maybe I’ll post some draft answers here first, for feedback, and if I’m happy with the result, I’ll post it off to Vincent and John for consideration. If you work in this area, you might consider doing the same thing.

What do you think? Does it sound like a good idea?


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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