Academic Bio

I work mainly in metaphysics and the philosophy of logic and language. My interests in these areas are wide-ranging, but I am especially fascinated by several issues concerning the semantics and logic of notions of ground, as well as of various kinds of first- and higher-order quantifiers.

I studied philosophy and some sociology in Hamburg and Leeds. My MA thesis, written in Leeds between in 2006/7, under the supervision of Peter Simons, concerns a topic from the history of analytic philosophy (though its aims are systematic and historical to equal extent). It examines and compares Bernard Bolzano's and Gottlob Frege's respective attempts at a solution to the so-called Paradox of Analysis.

I also wrote my PhD thesis in Leeds, between 2007 and 2011, under the supervision of, at one time or another, Joseph Melia, John Divers, and Robert Williams. Its topic is ontological commitment and second-order quantification. In my thesis, I argue against the thesis of Ontological Collapse that every second-order theory incurs the same ontological commitments as some purely first-order paraphrase of it. I hold that second- (and higher-) order quantification is not reducible to first-order quantification, and that relatedly, a complete account of reality must make use of higher- as well as first-order quantification: it must say not only what there is, but what there is for things to be.

From 2011 to 2014 I was employed in a French-German project on philosophical and linguistic issues about nominalization, which was generously funded by the DFG and the ANR. The French group was led by Friederike Moltmann, the Hamburg-based German part was led by Benjamin Schnieder.

In 2012, I was awarded the Wolfgang-Stegmüller-Prize for my PhD thesis. A slightly revised and extended version of it has just been published by Klostermann under the title On What There Is For Things To Be.

In June 2014, I took up my new "own position" (Eigene Stelle) financed by the DFG to work on my project The Logic and Metaphysics of Ground. You can find out all you need to know (and probably a lot more) about that project here.