Professor Ian Rumfitt BA, MA, DPhil (Oxon.)

Department of Philosophy
Professor in Philosophy

Contact details

Room 220
ERI Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My main research interests are in philosophy of logic, philosophy of language and philosophy of mathematics. My latest book The Boundary Stones of Thought (OUP, 2015) investigates conflicts between rival logical systems and how they might be rationally resolved.


  • BA, MA, DPhil (Oxon.)


I studied philosophy at Balliol College, Oxford and at Princeton University. I have taught it at Keele University (1992-93), the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (1993-98), University College, Oxford (1998-2005), and Birkbeck College, University of London (2005-2013). I took up my post at Birmingham in September 2013. 


I regularly teach undergraduate and postgraduate modules on Philosophical Logic, Formal Logic, the Philosophy of Language, and the Philosophy of Mathematics.

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome enquiries from prospective students with projects in the philosophy of language, philosophical logic or the philosophy of mathematics.


I recently completed a lengthy investigation into how conflicts between rival logical systems might be resolved rationally. The results are reported in my latest book, The Boundary Stones of Thought (OUP, 2015). My next large project will be in the philosophy of language: I am interested in what it is for utterances and inscriptions to have the content they have, and about the relationship between content and truth-conditions.

Other activities

School Postgraduate Admissions Tutor



  • The Boundary Stones of Thought: An Essay in the Philosophy of Logic (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2015).


  • ‘Dummettian pragmatism’.  Forthcoming in Proceedings of the British Academy
  • ‘Vagueness and intuitionistic logic’.  Forthcoming in Alexander Miller, ed., Logic, Language, and Mathematics: a Festschrift for Crispin Wright (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2015)
  • ‘Objects of thought’.  Forthcoming in Gary Ostertag, ed., Meanings and Other Things: Essays in Honor of Stephen Schiffer (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015)
  • ‘Determinacy and bivalence’.  Forthcoming in Michael Glanzberg, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Truth (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2015)
  • ‘Against harmony’.  Forthcoming in Bob Hale, Alexander Miller, and Crispin Wright, eds., A Companion to the Philosophy of Language, 2nd edition (Oxford: Blackwell, 2015)
  • ‘Truth and meaning’.  Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, vol. 88 (2014): 21-55.
  • ‘Wittgenstein versus Brouwer on the infinite and the law of excluded middle’.  Grazer Philosophische Studien 89 (2014): 95-110
  • ‘Old Adams buried’. Analytic Philosophy 54 (2013): 157-188.
  • ‘Michael Dummett’s “Truth”’.  Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Virtual Issue 1 (2013): 99-105
  • ‘Sense and evidence’. The Monist 96 (2013): 177-204
  • ‘A neglected path to intuitionism’. Topoi 31 (2012): 101-109
  • ‘Inference, deduction, logic’. In John Bengson and Marc A. Moffett, eds., Knowing How: Essays on Knowledge, Mind and Action (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp.333-359.
  • ‘Ramsey on truth and meaning’.  In Benjamin Morison and Katerina Ierodiakonou, eds., Episteme, etc: Essays in Honour of Jonathan Barnes (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2011), pp.213-45
  • ‘What is logic?’  In Zsolt Novák and András Simonyi, eds., Truth, Reference, and Realism (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2011), pp.123-73
  • ‘Truth and the determination of content: variations on themes from Frege’s Logische Untersuchungen’.  Grazer Philosophische Studien 82 (2011): 3-48 )(also published in B. Schnieder and M. Schulz, eds., Themes from Early Analytic Philosophy: Essays in Honour of Wolfgang Künne (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011), pp.3-48)
  • ‘Ricky Ponting and the judges’. Analysis 70 (2010): 205-210
  • ‘Logical necessity’.  In R.L.V. Hale and A. Hoffmann, eds., Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2010), pp.35-64
  • ‘Meaning and possibilities: the semantic justification of logical laws’.  Inaugural Lecture delivered in the University of London, 25 June 2008.  Published as a pamphlet by Birkbeck College
  • ‘Coordination principles: a reply’. Mind 117 (2008): 1059-1063.
  • ‘Knowledge by deduction’. Grazer Philosophische Studien 77 (2008): 61-84 (also published in F. Lihoreau, ed., Knowledge and Questions (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2008), pp.61-84)
  • ‘Asserting and excluding: steps towards an anti-realist account of classical logic’. In Randall E. Auxier and Lewis Edwin Hahn, eds., The Philosophy of Michael Dummett (Library of Living Philosophers volume XXXI) (Chicago: Open Court, 2007), pp.639-693.
  • ‘Meaning and Understanding’. In Frank Jackson and Michael Smith, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Analytical Philosophy (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2005), pp.427-453.
  • ‘Plural terms: another variety of reference?’ In José Luis Bermudez, ed., Thought, Reference, and Experience: Themes from the Philosophy of Gareth Evans (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2005), pp.84-123.
  • ‘Singular terms and arithmetical logicism’ (contribution to a symposium on Bob Hale and Crispin Wright, The Reason’s Proper Study).  Philosophical
    44 (2003): 193-219
  • ‘Contingent existents’.  Philosophy 78 (2003): 461-81
  • ‘Savoir faire’. The Journal of Philosophy 100 (2003): 158-166
  • ‘Unilateralism disarmed: a reply to Dummett and Gibbard’. Mind 111 (2002): 305-321
  • ‘Hume’s principle and the number of all objects’. Noûs 35 (2001): 515-541
  • ‘Concepts and counting’. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 102 (2001): 41-68
  • ‘Semantic theory and necessary truth’.  Synthèse 126 (2001): 283-324
  • ‘“Yes” and “No”’. Mind 109 (2000): 781-823
  • ‘Frege’s logicism’. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society supp. vol. 73 (1999): 151-180
  • ‘Presupposition’.  In Edward Craig, ed., The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1998) vol. 7, pp.672-75
  • ‘Meaning and understanding’.  In Edward Craig, ed., The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1998) vol. 6, pp.226-29
  • ‘The categoricity problem and truth-value gaps’. Analysis 57 (1997): 223-235
  • ‘The vagaries of paraphrase: a reply to Holton on the counting problem’. Analysis 56 (1996): 246-50
  • ‘Sentences, names and semantic values’. The Philosophical Quarterly 46 (1996): 66-72
  • ‘Truth wronged: critical notice of Crispin Wright, Truth and Objectivity’. Ratio (new series) 8 (1995): 100-107
  • ‘Truth conditions and communication’. Mind 104 (1995): 827-862
  • ‘Frege’s theory of predication: an elaboration and defense with some new applications’. The Philosophical Review 103 (1994): 599-637. Reprinted in Michael Beaney and Erich Reck, eds., Gottlob Frege: Critical Assessments of Leading Philosophers, Volume IV, Frege’s Philosophy of Thought and Language (London: Routledge, 2005), pp.127-60
  • ‘Content and context: the paratactic theory revisited and revised’. Mind 102 (1993): 429-454.