Matthew Mandelkern

Department of Linguistics and Philosophy
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, 32-D808
Cambridge, MA 02139, USA


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 the way that information is communicated: how abstract representations of the world interact with concrete practices of conversation. I focus on two phenomena. The first is the language of epistemic modality. In my dissertation, I propose an account of epistemic modal claims according to which they are performatives which we use to negotiate what possibilities are treated as live in a conversation. The second is semantic presupposition: why, and how, does some content filter through entailment-canceling operators, and what does this tell us about the structure of language and thought?


“A Note on the Architecture of Presupposition”
     2016. Semantics and Pragmatics, 9(13). [abstract] [handout] [pdf]

“I Believe I Can φ”
     Matthew Mandelkern, Ginger Schultheis, and David Boylan.
     2015. Proceedings of the 20th Amsterdam Colloquium. 256-265. [abstract] [handout] [pdf]

Work in Progress:

“Dissatisfaction Theory”
      [abstract] [extended abstract] [handout]

“Parsing and Presuppositions in the Calculation of Local Contexts”
      with Jacopo Romoli
      [abstract] [pdf]

“A Solution to Karttunen’s Problem”
      [abstract] [extended abstract]

“Epistemic Modals and the Common Ground”

“‘Knows Might…’”

Teaching Resources:

“Gödel's First Incompleteness Theorem”
      [handout] (for Paradox and Infinity (24.118), spring 2016).

“Dimensions of Content”
      [handout] (For Language, Information, and Power (24.192), fall 2015).

“Virtue in the Nicomachean Ethics
      [handout] (For Classics of Western Philosophy (24.01), spring 2014).