Matthew Mandelkern

Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
32 Vassar Street, 32-D808
Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

email: mandelk@mit.edu

Here is my CV.

I'm a graduate student in philosophy at MIT. I work mainly on the philosophy of language, semantics, and pragmatics, with interests in epistemology, meta-ethics, philosophical logic, and ancient philosophy. I co-organize the Linguistics and Philosophy Reading Group.

I study how we communicate information: how our abstract representations of the world interact with our concrete practices of conversation. I focus on three phenomena. The first is the language of epistemic modality. In my dissertation, I give a new account of how we use epistemic modal claims to negotiate about what possibilities are treated as live in a conversation. The second is practical language: how we talk and think about abilities, freedom, and luck. The third is semantic presupposition: why, and how, does some content escape operators which otherwise cancel entailments, and what does this tell us about the structure of language and thought?