Thomas Willis

Research Interests: Philosophical Logic/Psychology

Previous Education

BA, University of Pittsburgh, 2015


Logic, Psychology, History

Recent Courses

PHIL 29200-01/29300-01 Junior/Senior Tutorial

Topic: The Representation of Thought

This course will serve both as an introduction to some traditional logical questions presented by statements about what people think, believe, or judge to be true (e.g. “Tom thinks the weather is fine for walking”, “Frege believed that numbers are objects”), and as a venue for thinking through and trying to answer those questions on our own. To that end we will closely read a small number of mostly classic texts, in three units. In the first unit we will examine the notion of intensionality—of certain sentential contexts, for our purposes especially the content-clauses of statements about belief—within which familiar logical laws appear to fail to preserve truth. The second unit will connect these traditional logical problems of intensionality with traditional philosophical-psychological problems of intentionality, through attention to Elizabeth Anscombe and Anthony Kenny’s attempts to address the problems of the first unit by use of the concepts intentional subject, intentional act/state, and intentional object. The third unit will introduce the need to represent the self-consciousness of a thinking, believing subject, and the logical rigors of doing so adequately, focusing on Hector-Neri Castañeda’s often-cited but rarely read ‘He’.

Meets with Jr/Sr section. Open only to intensive-track and philosophy majors. No more than two tutorials may be used to meet program requirements.

2022-2023 Spring