Profile: Bob Hale
Bob joined the department in January 2006, having previously been Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy in Glasgow, Reader and Lecturer in Logic and Metaphysics in St. Andrews, and Lecturer in Philosophy in Lancaster. He has been a British Academy Research Reader (1997-9), is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (elected 2000), was President of the Aristotelian Society in 2002-3, and a Leverhulme Major Research Fellow (2009-11). He became an emeritus professor in the department in 2011.
Much of his work has been in the philosophy of mathematics. During a long and continuing collaboration with Crispin Wright, he has defended a neo-Fregean position - a Platonist version of logicism inspired by Frege. His research as British Academy Reader was mainly in this area, one product of it being the first published neo-Fregean construction of the real numbers. He has also done quite a lot of work on the epistemology and metaphysics of modality - the theory of necessity and possibility and related notions - some in parts of the philosophy of reference and meaning, and a little in metaethics, mainly devoted to sabotaging Simon Blackburn's various attempts to overcome the notorious Frege-Geach problem besetting expressivist and projectivist accounts of moral talk and thought.
His published work includes 'Abstract Objects' (Blackwells 1987), 'The Blackwell Companion to the Philosophy of Language' (1997, co-edited with Crispin Wright) and 'The Reason's Proper Study: Essays towards a Neo-Fregean Philosophy of Mathematics (OUP 2001, jointly written with Crispin Wright), together with numerous articles in journals and edited collections.
He is current working on a book—largely written during his recent Leverhulme Fellowship—about the nature and basis of necessity and possibility and the relations between modality and ontology.
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