Stephan Krämer

I am the Principal Investigator in the Relevance Project, working especially on the topics of logical and epistemic relevance as well as a general theory of relevance. Before starting the Emmy Noether project, I spent one year as a lecturer at the University of Glasgow (2017-8). Prior to that, I was a postdoc in Hamburg, first in B. Schnieder and F. Moltmann’s DFG/ANR project Nominalizations (2011-4) and then with DFG-funding for an “Eigene Stelle” project on The Logic and Metaphysics of Ground (2014-7). I obtained my PhD with a thesis on second-order quantification and ontological commitment at the University of Leeds (2011), for which I was awarded the Wolfgang-Stegmüller-Prize in 2012.

My main research interests are in philosophical logic, metaphysics, philosophy of language, and formal epistemology. I also have an interest in the history of analytic philosophy, especially the works of Bernard Bolzano and Gottlob Frege. More narrowly, I take a special interest in the following three fields.

  1. Higher-order quantification and ontological commitment. This was the topic of my PhD thesis. I favour a view of higher-order quantification as a sui generis kind of quantification irreducible to ordinary first-order quantification, which therefore does not incur ontological commitments. Still, I see no good reason to therefore consider higher-order quantification as somehow lightweight in any interesting sense.
  2. The logic and metaphysics of grounding My main interest here is in developing a conception of content that can play the role in the theory of grounding which the possible world conception plays in the theory of metaphysical modality. I see truthmaker semantics as recently developed by Kit Fine as a very promising starting point for that project.
  3. Relevance. I see it as a significant unifying feature of many important philosophical relations like grounding, explanation, confirmation, commitment, and various others that they impose constraints of relevance between the things they relate. I am interested in better understanding the general nature of relevance, its different forms and the dimensions along which they differ. And I suspect that some form of truthmaker semantics offers the best formal framework for the study of these matters.

Selected Publications