About & CV

Website photo

The art is by Dr. Renée Bolinger.

About

I am a Visiting Assistant Professor in Philosophy at the University of Iowa. I started in philosophy in junior high by reading Plato’s Republic on a road trip to Houston. I later took symbolic logic as a college freshman and fell in love with the subject. I committed shortly thereafter to the lifelong study of philosophy.

I specialize in metaphysics, history of analytic philosophy, philosophy of logic, and philosophy of mathematics. My unifying research question is What is logic? In developing an answer to this question, I leverage the logic-first, logic-last framework for philosophical research known as logical atomism, whose paradigmatic form and practice is outlined in Russell’s 1918 lectures. The archetype for logical atomist philosophizing is Whitehead and Russell’s 1910 Principia Mathematica. As a logical atomist, I philosophize with the archetypical example that Principia set for us firmly in mind.

Curriculum Vitae

My extra-curricular activities include live-tweeting philosophy texts and recording philosophical texts as public-domain audio books for LibriVox—I am up to 43 hours and counting.

Education

  • 2018 PhD, Philosophy, University of Iowa
    • M.S., Mathematics, University of Iowa
  • 2013 B.A. with honors, Philosophy, George Washington University
    • B.Sc., Mathematics, George Washington University

Areas of Research Specialization

  • Metaphysics (especially: theories of truth—truth maker theory—abstract objects—modality)
  • History of Analytic Philosophy (esp. Russell—Wittgenstein—Frege)
  • Philosophy of Logic (esp. free logic—inclusive logic—type theory)
  • Philosophy of Mathematics (esp. nature of proof and computation—mathematical practice—Logicism)

Areas of Teaching Competence

  • Ancient Philosophy (including: Greek—Jain)
  • Ethics (inc. Ethics and Technology—Meta-Ethics)
  • Symbolic Logic (inc. Mathematical—Modal—Non-Classical)
  • Informal Logic (inc. Critical Thinking—Decision Theory)
  • Philosophy for Computer Scientists (inc. Nature of Computing—Philosophy of Computer Science)

Blog: A Logician & A Snake

This website also hosts my blog, A Logician & A Snake. Here I archive and share mostly thoughts on the history of analytic philosophy, logic and philosophy of logic, foundations and philosophy of math, and metaphysics and modal logic.

The blog name is an allusion to the story in Bereishis (a.k.a. Genesis 3). I am the logician. The snake stands in for philosophical temptations: temptations to dogmatic answers, to captivating ideas, and to the need for certainty. These are the sort of philosophical temptations discussed at length and in different ways by Russell and Wittgenstein. Professional philosophers like anyone else struggle with these philosophical temptations. I do some struggling in my blog. If you are there reading, then you are along for the ride.