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Jesse Butler

Department of Philosophy butler@cs.utk.edu


University of Florida (865) 591 5436
330 Griffin-Floyd Hall http://www.cs.utk.edu/~butler/
Gainesville, FL 32611

+ PhD in Philosophy, University of Florida, May 5th 2009; Advisor: Kirk Ludwig

+ Dissertation: Clearing a Path for Conventionalist Modal Semantics

+ Description:

In the context of modal semantics, I show that a 'conventionalist analytic-deflationary'


position is live option. According to this view, sentences of the form 'Necessarily, S'
(for a sentence S) are understood to be true if and only if it is analytic that S. (There are
some qualifications for sentences in which demonstratives, indexicals and the term
'actually' appear.) Rather than defending the view outright, I take the preliminary step
of assessing the position in order to determine its viability. I first sketch the outline of a
generic semantical system in which the conventionalist thesis can be formulated.
Second, I show that this system can be used to evaluate, and deliver the right results for,
both de dicto and de re sentences without succumbing to circularity; and that it can
provide a univocal treatment quantification in both modal and non-modal contexts. I
show how this semantic treatment of 'necessarily' can be integrated into a Davidsonian
compositional meaning theory.

+ MA in Philosophy, University of Florida, December 2005


+ MS in Computer Science, University of Tennessee, August 2001
+ AB in Mathematics, Brown University, May 1995

Areas of Specialization Areas of Competence

+ Philosophy of Language + Epistemology


+ Philosophical Logic + Informal Logic
+Elementary Symbolic Logic
+Metaphysics
+Ethics
+Critical Reading, Writing and Persuasion

Awards and Fellowships

+ UF Mathematics Department Robert Long Essay Competition Winner 2008: "A


Completely Non-Self Referential Yabloesque Paradox"

+ UF Alumni Fellowship 2002-2006


Presentations: Conference Papers

+ "Conventionalism and the Problem of De Re Modality" Amsterdam Philosophy


Graduate Conference 2009

+ "A Completely Non-Self Referential Yabloesque Paradox" Central APA 2009

Presentations: Comments

+ Comments on C. Daniel Dolson's "On Naming Everything" Southeast Graduate


Philosophy Conference 2007

+ Comments on Michael De's "Essentialism, Reference and Quantified Modal Logic"


Southeast Graduate Philosophy Conference 2006

Works in Progress

+ "LA: A First-Order Extensional Language with an Analyticity Operator"

+ "One way to reduce quantified modal logic to (almost) classical first order logic"

+ "An Infinity of Undecidable Sentences Relative to a Single Formal System in which


Recursive Functions can be Represented"

Academic Employment and Teaching Experience

+Instructor: University of Florida 2007-9; King College Spring 2002

Courses Taught

+ Introduction to Philosophy
+ Professional Communication for Engineers
+ Introduction to Argument and Persuasion
+ Introduction to Computer Networking
+ Introduction to Assembly Language

+Assistant: University of Florida 2003-7; University of Tennessee 1997-8

Section Leader and Course Support

+ Social Issues and Thought


+ Topics in the Logic
+ Contemporary Moral Issues
+ Introduction to Scientific Computing

(sample syllabi)

Academic Service

+ Graduate Student Philosophy Society webmaster 2003-2007


+ Designed the current GSPS website
+ Designed the former GSPS website
+ Graduate Student Philosophy Society Vice-President 2006-7
+ UF/FSU Philosophy Graduate Conference organizer 2006

Academic References

John Biro Kirk Ludwig Gene Witmer

jbiro@phil.ufl.edu ludwig@phil.ufl.edu gwitmer@phil.ufl.edu

Department of Philosophy Department of Philosophy Department of Philosophy


University of Florida University of Florida University of Florida
330 Griffin-Floyd Hall 330 Griffin-Floyd Hall 330 Griffin-Floyd Hall
Gainesville, FL Gainesville, FL Gainesville, FL
32611-8545 32611-8545 32611-8545

(352) 392 2084 (352) 392 2084 (352) 392 2084

Teaching Reference

David Copp

dcopp@ucdavis.edu

Department of Philosophy
University of California, Davis
1238 Social Sciences and Humanities Building
Davis, CA 95616-8673

(530) 752 0607