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


Professor in Philosophy

Department of 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 forthcoming book The Boundary Stones of Thought investigates conflicts between rival logical systems and how they might be rationally resolved. I joined the Philosophy department at Birmingham in September 2013.


  • 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. 


In the autumn term of 2013, I am teaching a module for second-year undergraduates entitled Truth, Necessity, and Consequence, as well as the Philosophy of Language module for MA students. In the winter term of 2014, I shall teach a Philosophy of Mathematics module for finalists.

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 forthcoming book, The Boundary Stones of Thought. 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 (at press with OUP: to appear in 2014).

Selected articles:

  • ‘A puzzling inference’. Forthcoming in Lee Walters and John Hawthorne, eds., Conditionals, Probability and Paradox: Themes from the Philosophy of Dorothy Edgington (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2014)
  • ‘The Liar without truth’. Forthcoming in Bradley Armour-Garb, ed., The Relevance of the Liar (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2014)
  • ‘Determinacy and bivalence’. Forthcoming in Michael Glanzberg, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Truth (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2014).
  • ‘Objects of thought’. Forthcoming in Gary Ostertag, ed., Meanings and Other Things: Essays in Honor of Stephen Schiffer (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • ‘The logic of boundaryless concepts’. Forthcoming in Alexander Miller, ed., Logic, Language, and Mathematics: a Festschrift for Crispin Wright (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2014).
  • ‘Truth and meaning’. Forthcoming in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, sup. vol. 88 (2014).
  • ‘Old Adams buried’. Analytic Philosophy 54 (2013): 157-188.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘Coordination principles: a reply’. Mind 117 (2008): 1059-1063.
  • ‘Knowledge by deduction’. Grazer Philosophische Studien 77 (2008): 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.
  • ‘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
  • ‘“Yes” and “No”’. Mind 109 (2000): 781-823
  • ‘Frege’s logicism’. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society supp. vol. 73 (1999): 151-180
  • ‘The categoricity problem and truth-value gaps’. Analysis 57 (1997): 223-235
  • ‘Sentences, names and semantic values’. The Philosophical Quarterly 46 (1996): 66-72
  • ‘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
  • ‘Content and context: the paratactic theory revisited and revised’. Mind 102 (1993): 429-454.

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