University of California, Riverside

College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Department of Philosophy
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Philos. Dept.

Main Research Areas:

History & Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic; Early Analytic Philosophy; Neo-Kantianism

Areas of Competence:

Mathematical Logic; Philosophy of Science; Philosophy of Technology

Other Areas of Interests:

Aesthetics; Late Modern Philosophy (19th-20th Century)


Short Description:

My research over the last 2-3 decades falls into several overlapping areas: the philosophy of mathematics (logicist and structuralist views, the transformation of mathematical methodology, with special focus on Dedekind's role in it); the history and philosophy of logic (the nature of logic, the emergence of metalogic, and its impact on philosophy); early analytic philosophy (Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Tarski). More recently, I have made forays into some related areas as well: 19th/20th-century philosophy more broadly (Cassirer, partly Peirce and Husserl); general philosophy of science (conceptions of explanation and understanding, Thomas Kuhn's work); and meta-philosophy (the varieties of analysis, conceptual engineering, and the role of philosophical history).

A central strand in my research concerns the radical transformation of mathematics in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the related reconfiguration of "logic" and of "a priori reasoning", and the ways in which both shaped Western philosophy in decisive ways. (I view this as part of studying the "dynamics of reason".) The rise of analytic philosophy provides a clear case in point (Frege, Russell, etc.). But other examples are certain forms of neo-Kantianism (Helmholtz, the Marburg School), pragmatism (Peirce, in particular), and phenomenology (Husserl, both early and late). Yet another development that I see as related in noteworthy ways, but haven't explored in as much detail yet, is the emergence of historical epistemology in French philosophy (Bachelard, Cavailles, etc.).

In all of my research, I combine considerations of historical figures and developments with contributions to current debates. Thus I don't make a strict distinction between doing history of philosophy (or of logic, mathematics, and science) and doing systematic philosophy. I am also often interested in connections between questions arising out of the sciences and broader questions about language, thought, and reality (involving the notions of symbol, structure, abstraction, articulation, explanation, objectivity, infinity, etc.). More on the side, I like to think about questions in aesthetics (the significance of asthetic judgments, in music, mathematics, and everyday life) and the philosophy of technology (issues concerning digital and other recent technologies, in particular).


Current Research:


  • "The Notion of Articulation and its Philosophical Significance", colloquium talk (in progress)


  • "Frege's Meta-Metaphysics", for a collection of essays on meta-metaphysics (in progress)

  • "Dedekind's Logicism: A Reconsideration and Contextualization", for a collection of essays on the varieties of logicism (in progress, based on conference talks)

  • "Logicism", for the series Cambridge Elements: Philosophy of Mathematics, Cambridge University Press (long essay/booklet, in progress)

  • "Frege, Cohen, and the Dynamics of Reason: An Early Parting of the Ways" (with P. Keller), journal article, special issue on Neo-Kantianism (in progress, based on conference talks)

  • "Cassirer's Dynamic Structuralism and its Roots in the Marburg School" (with P. Keller), for a collection of essays on Neo-Kantianism (in progress, based on conference talks)

  • "Dedekind Abstraction Explained and Defended" (with O. Linnebo), journal article (in progress, based on conference talks)


  • The Marburg School and Twentieth-Century Philosophy: Reconsidering the Dynamics of Reason (with Pierre Keller), Routledge (monograph, in process)

  • Frege, Dedekind, and their Legacies: Essays in the History and Philosophy of Mathematics (collection of my essays, in progress)

Editions & Translations:

  • Rudolf Carnap, Collected Works, Vol. III: Pre-Syntax Logic, 1927-1934 (bilingual edition), E. Reck, G. Schiemer, and D. Schlimm, eds. and trans., Oxford University Press (in progress)

Further Ongoing Projects:


  • "Why Philosophical History? On Processes, Practices, and Projects", for a collection of essays on historiography and meta-philosophy (in preparation, based on a conference talk)

  • "Thomas Kuhn, Philosophical History, and the Context of Articulation", for a collection of my essays (in preparation, based on a conference talk)

  • "Carnap, Deleuze, and Conceptual Engineering" (with A. Ganesh), journal article (in preparation, based on conference talks)

  • "Philosophy as Explication: On Quine's Russellian and Carnapian Heritage" (with S. Morris), journal article (in preparation, based on conference talks)

  • "Frege's Project: Descriptive Analysis or Pragmatic Explication?", for a collection of my essays (in preparation, based on conference talks)


  • Metalogic and Metaphilosophy: Essays in the History of Analytic Philosophy (another collection of my essays, in preparation)

  • Richard Dedekind: The Philosophical Mathematician (monograph, in preparation)


  • Metalogic for Non-Mathematicians (in preparation)

Editions & Translations:

  • Historiography, Meta-Philosophy, and the Formation of Canons (with Sandra Lapointe) (collection of essays, in preparation, based on a workshop)

  • Paul Bernays, Essays in the Philosophy of Mathematics, Volumes I-II (bilingual edition), W. Sieg & W.W. Tait, eds., S. Awodey, B. Buldt, G. Heinzmann, E. Reck, D. Schlimm, R. Zach, et al., trans., Oxford University Press (in progress)


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