Professor Stephen Neale B.A. PhD.

Department of Philosophy
Distinguished Research Professor

Contact details

ERI Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Stephen Neale is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Linguistics and holder of the John H. Kornblith Family Chair in the Philosophy of Science and Values at the Graduate Centre, City University New York (CUNY). His main research interests are in Philosophy of Language and the interface between Philosophy of Language and Linguistics, but he has also written on philosophy of mind, cognitive science, logic and truth.


  • PhD. in Philosophy, Stanford University, 1988.
  • B.A., University College London.


Before joining CUNY in 2007, Professor Neale held positions at Rutgers, University of California, Berkeley, Birkbeck College, London and Princeton. He has also held visiting positions at Stanford, Oxford, London, Stockholm, Oslo, and Island. He has been awarded Fellowships by the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller foundation and the National Endowment for Humanities and he has served as an advisor for the Department of Justice.

Postgraduate supervision

Professor Neale will co-supervise PhD students at Birmingham with other members of staff.


In Philosophy of Language, Professor Neale is famous for his work on Russell's theory of descriptions, the slingshot argument, Gricean accounts of meaning, Donald Davidson, quantification, pronouns, demonstratives, anaphora, and many other linguistic phenomena. He has also investigated philosophical problems to do with interpretation, context, content, structure, and representation. In addition to Philosophy of Language, he has research interests in Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Logic, History of Analytic Philosophy, and Philosophy of Law.



  • Facing Facts (OUP, 2002)
  • Descriptions (MIT Press, 1993)
  • Special Issue: 100 Years of 'On Denoting', ed. by Stephen Neale, Mind 114, 2005.

Selected articles:

  • "Term Limits Revisited". Philosophical Perspectives 22, 2008: 375-442.
  • "Pronouns and Anaphora". In Devitt and Henley (eds.): The Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Language (Blackwell, 2006).
  • "A Century Later". Mind 114, 2005: 809-871.
  • "Pragmatics and Binding". In Scabo (ed.): Semantics versus Pragmatics (OUP, 2005).
  • "This, That, and the Other". In Bezuidenhout and Reimer (eds.): Descriptions and Beyond (OUP, 2004).
  • "Meaning, Truth, Ontology". In Kotatko, Pagin, and Segal (eds.): Interpreting Davidson (CSLI, 2001).
  • "On Representing". In Hahn (ed.): The Library of Living Philosophers: Donald Davidson (Open Court, 1999).
  • "Grain and Content". Philosophical Issues 9, 1998: 353-358.
  • "Slingshots and Boomerangs", with Josh Dever. Mind 106, 1997: 143-268.
  • "The Philosophical Significance of Gödel's Slingshot". Mind 104, 1995: 761-825.
  • "The Place of Language", with Michael Morris. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 94, 1994: 215-227.
  • "Term Limits". Philosophical Perspectives 7, 1993: 89-123.
  • "Paul Grice and the Philosophy of Language". Linguistics and Philosophy 15, 1992: 509-559.
  • "Indefinitive of Descriptions: In Defence of Russell", with Peter Ludlow. Linguistics and Philosophy 14: 171-202.
  • "Descriptive Pronouns and Donkey Anaphora". Journal of Philosophy 87, 1990: 113-150.  
  • "Meaning, Grammar, and Indeterminacy". Dialectica 41, 1987: 301-319.