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David Boylan

David Boylan

Fellow, Texas Tech University

Philosophy of language, Philosophical logic, Epistemology

I've worked on various topics in philosophy of language, philosophical logic and epistemology. I have a long standing interest in ability and know-how, specifically, what we can learn about these notions from how we talk and reason about them. 

I plan to work on various projects while at the Center. One project is about the epistemic dimensions of ability. Whether we can do certain things, like opening safes, winning lotteries and defusing bombs, depends on what we know. I aim to give an account of this kind of subjective ability. Another project, co-authored with Ginger Schultheis, is about the actuality entailments of ability. Saying I was able to catch the bus communicates that I did actually did catch the bus. But why would that be? After all, we can do many things which we don't do. Surprisingly, we think the answer supports a conditional analysis of ability.

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, German Research Foundation