about



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. Beginning in October 2017, I'll be a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at All Souls College.

I work mainly on the philosophy of language, with interests in a variety of related topics in philosophy, as well as related work in linguistics and cognitive science. At MIT, I co-organize the Linguistics and Philosophy Reading Group.

More specifically, 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?