Mark McCullagh

Photo of Mark McCullagh
Associate Professor; Chair of Department
MacKinnon 347


My academic training was at the University of Toronto and the University of Pittsburgh where I completed my PhD under the direction of Robert Brandom.


Much of my work concerns an epistemological question: What is it to understand a word—to “possess the concept” it expresses? My view is that the sort of understanding you need to have, in order to do something with a word, depends on what you want to do with it—what type of speech act you’re trying to perform, or what sort of sentence you’re using the word in. So there’s really no answer to the epistemological question, put that baldly. But there are illuminating things to be said about the relations among different kinds of understanding.

Recently I have examined these questions as they show up in theories of quotation and in theories of concept possession. I'd be happy to discuss supervising any students interested in those topics or more generally, topics in philosophy of language (and some areas of epistemology).


Recent publications:

  • “Kinds of monsters and kinds of compositionality.” Forthcoming. Analysis.
  • Russellianism unencumbered.” Philosophical Studies 174 (2017): 2819-43.
  • “Use, mention and incorporation.” Forthcoming 2017 in Semantic and pragmatic aspects of quotation, edited by Paul Saka and Michael Johnson. Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Williamson on modality, co-edited with Juhani Yli-Vakkuri. London: Routledge, 2017.

More information on publications