Herman Wright Cappelen

Professor of Philosophy
Image of Herman Wright Cappelen
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Visiting address Blindernveien 31 Georg Morgenstiernes hus 0313 OSLO
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For more (and more up-to-date) information about me, see my personal homepage 

I am a philosopher at the University of Oslo. I have a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, from Oxford. I have PhD in Philosophy from UC Berkeley. 

Before moving to Oslo in 2015, I held an Arche Chair at the University of St Andrews for 8 years, and was director of Arche Philosophical Research Centre for 4 years. I still have a part-time position (as Professor of Philosophy) at St Andrews and will be there for 4 weeks each year. Before St Andrews I worked at Oxford University and was a fellow of Somerville College.

Since 2007 Deirdre Wilson and I have directed the Linguistic Agency component of  CSMN at the University of Oslo. I am also a Co-Director of ConceptLab and in the period 2016-2021 I am the PI of the 5-year Toppforsk project on Conceptual Engineering

I am the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Inquiry.

Since 2008 I am a fellow of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

For discussion of my work and related literature see my  Google scholar page.  Here is an interview in 3am:Magazine where I discuss some of my work. Here is an interview where I discuss my book Philosophy without Intuitions and here is a link to a video recording of a debate between Paul Boghossian and me. 

I work in philosophy of language, philosophical methodology, and related areas in epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind. My six monographs provide a good overview of what I am interested in:

  • Insensitive Semantics (w. E. Lepore, Blackwell 2004) is about the ways in and extent to which meaning and interpretation is context sensitive. It is also about what contexts are and what it is to be in on. The book develops and defends two now influential theories: semantic minimalism and speech act pluralism.
  • Language Turned on Itself (w. E. Lepore, Oxford University Press 2007) is about meta-linguistic discourse and various form of quotation – how language can be used to talk about language.
  • My third book,  Relativism and Monadic Truth (w J. Hawthorne, Oxford University Press 2009) is an argument against relativism about truth and in favor of the view that truth is a monadic property.
  • My fourth book,  Philosophy without Intuitions (Oxford University Press 2012) is about the nature of philosophy and philosophical methodology. The book argues that contemporary meta-philsophers go wrong by assuming that appeals to intuitions play an important role in philosophy: it is not true that philosophers rely extensively (or even a little bit) on intuitions as evidence. At worst, analytic philosophers are guilty of engaging in somewhat irresponsible use of 'intuition'-vocabulary. While this irresponsibility has had little effect on first order philosophy, it has fundamentally misled meta-philosophers: it has encouraged meta-philosophical pseudo-problems and misleading pictures of what philosophy is.
  • My fifth book,  The Inessential Indexical (w. J. Dever, Oxford University Press 2014) is an exploration and defense of the view that perspectivality is a philosophically shallow aspect of the world. We argue that there are no such things as essential indexicality, irreducibly de se attitudes, or self-locating attitudes. Our goal is not to show that we need to rethink these phenomena, to explain them in different ways. Our goal is to show that the entire topic is an illusion—there's nothing there.
  • My sixth book, Context and Communication: Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy of Language (w. J. Dever, Oxford University Press, 2016) is the first of four introductions to philosophy of language, all co-authored with Josh Dever. We have set out to write a series of introductions to philosophy of language, each one covering an important topic, each one of which would be a way into the field as a whole. These books aim to provide systematic introductions to important questions, data, theories, and arguments.
  • I am one of the editors of The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology (Oxford University Press, 2016) 

More recently, my interests have turned to a topic I call 'Conceptual Engineering' and I have finished a monograph on this topic:Fixing Language: Conceptual Engineering and the Limits of Revision.  I am also working on an edited volume (with David Plunkett and Alexi Burgess), and several articles on that topic. 

For a full CV and online versions of published papers, see my personal webpage

Publications

  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2017). How to Combine Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism, In Jonathen Jenkins Ichikawa (ed.),  The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism.  Routledge.  ISBN 1138818399.  chapter.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2017). Progress And Disagreement in Philosophy: An Optimistic Perspective, In Guiseppina D'Oro (ed.),  The Cambridge Companion To Philosophical Methodology.  Cambridge University Press.  ISBN 9781107547360.  chapter.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2017). Why Philosophers Shouldn't Do Semantics. Review of Philosophy and Psychology.  ISSN 1878-5158.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright & Dever, Josh (2017). Empathy and transformative experience without the first person point of view (a reply to L. A. Paul)<sup>1</sup>. Inquiry (Oslo).  ISSN 0020-174X.  60(3), s 315- 336 . doi: 10.1080/0020174X.2017.1262018
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright & Dever, Joshua (2017). Empathy Is Not Self-Centered. Inquiry (Oslo).  ISSN 0020-174X.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2015). Filosofi i Norge i Fremtiden: Gi opp Dyrehagemodellen og bruk alle resurser på ekspertise grupper. Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift.  ISSN 0029-1943.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2014). Reply to Bengson, Chalmers, Weatherson, Weinberg. Philosophical Studies.  ISSN 0031-8116.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2014). Reply to Boghossian, Brogaard, and Richard. Analytic Philosophy.  ISSN 2153-9596.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2014). X-Phi Without Intuitions?, In Anthony Booth & Darrell Rowbottom (ed.),  Intuitons.  Oxford University Press.  ISBN 978-0-19-960919-2.  chapter.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2013). NONSENSE AND ILLUSIONS OF THOUGHT. Philosophical Perspectives.  ISSN 1520-8583.  27(1), s 22- 50 . doi: 10.1111/phpe.12031
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright & Hawthorne, John (2011). Reply to Glanzberg, Soames and Weatherson. Analysis.  ISSN 0003-2638.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2010). Against Assertion, In Herman Wright Cappelen & Jessica Brown (ed.),  Assertion: New Philosophical Essays.  Oxford University Press.  ISBN 019957300X.  Kapittel.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright & Brown, Jessica (2010). Assertion: An Introduction, In Herman Wright Cappelen & Jessica Brown (ed.),  Assertion: New Philosophical Essays.  Oxford University Press.  ISBN 019957300X.  Innledende kapittel.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2008). Content Relativism, In Manuel García-Carpintero (ed.),  Relative Truth.  Oxford University Press.  ISBN 9780199234950.  Chapter 12.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2008). The Creative Interpreter. Philosophical Perspectives.  ISSN 1520-8583.  22(1)
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2007). Semantics and Pragmatics: Some Central Issues, In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (ed.),  Context-Sensitivity and Semantic Minimalism.  Oxford University Press.  ISBN 978-0-19-921331-3.  Introduction.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright & Hawthorne, John (2007). Locations and Binding. Analysis.  ISSN 0003-2638.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright & Lepore, Ernest (2007). Relevance Theory and Shared Content, In Noel Burton-Roberts (ed.),  Pragmatics.  Palgrave Macmillan.  ISBN 9781403986986.  chapter 6.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright & Lepore, Ernest (2007). Reply to Kent Bach, John Hawthorne, Kepa Korta & John Perry, and Rob Stainton. Philosophy and phenomenological research.  ISSN 0031-8205.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright & Lepore, Ernest (2007). The Myth of Unarticulated Constituents, In Michael O'Rourke & Corey Washington (ed.),  Situating Semantics: Essays on the Philosophy of John Perry.  MIT Press.  ISBN 9780262151184.  chapter.

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  • Cappelen, Herman Wright & Dever, Joshua (2016). Context and Communication. Oxford University Press.  ISBN 978-0-19-876991-0.  208 s.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright; Hawthorne, John & Szabó Gendler, Tamar (ed.) (2016). The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology. Oxford University Press.  ISBN 978-0-19-966877-9.  736 s.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright & Lepore, Ernest (2015). Liberating Content. Oxford University Press.  ISBN 978-0-19-964133-8.  320 s.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright & Dever, Joshua (2013). The Inessential Indexical: On the Philosophical Insignificance of Perspective and the First Person. Oxford University Press.  ISBN 978-0-19-968674-2.  208 s.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2012). Philosophy Without Intuitions. Oxford University Press.  ISBN 978-0-19-964486-5.  256 s.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright & Brown, Jessica (ed.) (2010). Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.  ISBN 019957300X.  320 s.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright & Hawthorne, John (2009). Relativism and Monadic Truth. Oxford University Press.  ISBN 978-0-19-956055-4.  160 s.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright & Lepore, Ernest (2007). Language Turned On Itself: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Metalinguistic Discourse. Oxford University Press.  ISBN 978-0-19-923119-5.  184 s.

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  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2017). "Conceptual Engineering”: what it is and its role in philosophical methodology.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2017). Action Without Me.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2017). Conceptual Engineering Workshop.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2017). Conceptual engineering: Central Issues and Challenges.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2017). Explication and Conceptual Engineering: their role in philosophical methodology.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2017). The No Assertion view.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2017). Why philosophers shouldn’t appeal to intuitions (and what they should do instead).
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2017). test.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2016). 6 Lectures on Philosophy Without Intuitions.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2016). Author Meets Critics Session on Inessential Indexical.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2016). ConceptLab Opening Conference: Fixing Language.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2016). Conceptual Engineering.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2016). Does Society Need Philosophy?.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2016). Fixing Language.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2016). Fixing Language.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2016). Omstrukturer akademia!. Dagbladet.  ISSN 0805-3766.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2016). The First-Person.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2016). Workshop On Conceptual Engineering.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright; Hawthorne, John & Gendler, Tamar Szabó (2016). Introduction to Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology, In Herman Wright Cappelen; John Hawthorne & Tamar Szabó Gendler (ed.),  The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology.  Oxford University Press.  ISBN 978-0-19-966877-9.  introduction.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright; Hawthorne, John & Gendler, Tamar Szabó (2016). Preface, In Herman Wright Cappelen; John Hawthorne & Tamar Szabó Gendler (ed.),  The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology.  Oxford University Press.  ISBN 978-0-19-966877-9.  Preface.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2015). Inconsistent Concepts: What Are They and What to Do With Them.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2015). Keynote.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2015). Philosophical Methodology.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2015). Reply to Sundell.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2015). What Philosophy of Language Should be: A Defense of Revisionary - Non-Descriptive - Philosophy of Language.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright & Lepore, Ernest (2015). Introduction to Liberating Content, In  Liberating Content.  Oxford University Press.  ISBN 978-0-19-964133-8.  introduction.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2014). 5 Lectures on Inessential Indexical.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2014). Rorty on Metaphilosophy.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2014). Symposium on Inessential Indexical.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2014). Symposium on Nagel on Intuition.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2013). Nonsense and Illusions of Thought.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2013). Reply to Bengson, Boghossian, Brogaard, Chalmers. First Symposium on Philosophy without Intuitions.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2013). Symposium on Philosophy without Intuitions.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2013). 10 lectures on Philosophical Methodology.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2013). Intuitions and Philosophical Method.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2013). --Intuitions and Philosophical Method.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2013). Reply to Malmgren, Richard, Weinberg, Weatherson. Second Symposium on Philosophy Without Intuitions.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2013). The Philosophical Significance of Ameliorative Projects.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2013). The Role of Intuitions in Philosophy.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2013). X-phi without Intuitions.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2012). Indexicality and Agency.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2012). Master Class on Role of Intuitions in Philosophy.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2012). Philosophy without Intuitions.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2011). Philosophy without Intuitions.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2011). Egocentric Thought.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright & Dever, Joshua (2011). Lectures series on Egocentric Thought (with Josh Dever).
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright & Hawthorne, John (2011). Reply to Lasersohn, MacFarlane, and Richard. Philosophical Studies.  ISSN 0031-8116.  156(3), s 449- 466 . doi: 10.1007/s11098-010-9627-8
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2010). Tests for Context Sensitivity.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2010). Author Meets Critic session, Relativism and Monadic Truth.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2010). De Se: The center will not hold.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2010). Lecture on Philosophy without Intuitions.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2010). Meaning, Context, Intentions.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2009). Relativism and minimalism.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2009). The context sensitivity and non-systematicity of pragmatics.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2009). Against Assertion.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2009). Philosophy without Intuitions.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2009). Philosophy without intuitions.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2009). Symposium on Relativism and Monadic Truth.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2009). Tests for Context Sensitivity.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2008). Content Relativism.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2008). Content Relativism and Law.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2008). Content Relativism and the Role of the Interpreter.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2008). Content Relativism and the Role of the interpreter.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2008). Saying and Agreement Tests.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2008). Lecture series on Assertion and Relativism.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2008). On Minimal Propositions.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2008). Predicates of Personal Taste..
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2008). Why we don’t need the Semantics/Pragmatics distinction.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2007). Against Assertion.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2007). Lectures on agreement and shared content.
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2007). Summer School in Linguistic and Philosophy..
  • Cappelen, Herman Wright (2007). Symposium on Context Sensitivity.

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Published Feb. 13, 2012 10:31 AM - Last modified Dec. 7, 2016 5:18 PM

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