Jody Azzouni

Contact Info:
Department of Philosophy
Miner Hall, Room 221B
Tufts University
Medford, MA 02155

Office: 617.627.2345
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Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Logic, Philosophy of Mathematics, Philosophy of Science

Jody Azzouni was born in NYC. Apart from the philosophy he does, he has a degree in mathematics. As a result, his first philosophy book, Metaphysical Myths, Mathematical Practice: The Ontology and Epistemology of the Exact Sciences, is in philosophy of mathematics. His second book in philosophy of science is Knowledge and Reference in Empirical Science. His third and fourth books, Deflating Existential Commitment: A Case for Nominalism and Tracking Reason: Proof, Consequence, and Truth, appeared with Oxford University Press. His new book, Talking about Nothing: Numbers, Hallucinations, and Fictions, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press.

Jody also publishes fiction and poetry.  Some of this work is on

Ph.D. in Philosophy, C.U.N.Y. Graduate Center
M.S. in Mathematics, New York University

Selected Publications

1994 Metaphysical Myths, Mathematical Practice. Cambridge University Press.
2000 Knowledge and Reference in Empirical Science. Routledge.
2004 Deflating Existential Consequence: A Case for Nominalism. Oxford University Press.
2006 Tracking Reason: Proof, Consequence and Truth. Oxford University Press.
2010 Talking about Nothing: Numbers, Hallucinations, and Fictions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2013 Semantic Perception: How the illusion of a common language arises and persists. Oxford University Press.

Forthcoming Papers

Published Downloadable Papers
The following papers are available in pdf form:

2004 Proof and Ontology in Euclidean Mathematics. In Tinne Hoff Kjeldsen, Stig Andur Pedersen, and Lise Mariane Sonne-Hansen, New trends in the history and philosophy of mathematics, Denmark: University Press of Southern Denmark, 117-133.
2005 Is there still a sense in which mathematics can have foundations? In G. Sica, ed., Essays on the Foundations of Mathematics and Logic. Polimetrica, 9-47.
2008 The compulsion to believe: Logical inference and normativity. ProtoSociology 25: 69-88.
2009 Evading truth commitments: The problem reanalyzed. Logique & Analyse 206, 139-176.
2010 The Rule-Following Paradox and the Impossibility of Private Rule-Following. The Baltic International Yearbook. Cognition, Logic and Communication. Volume 5: Meaning, Understanding and Knowledge, October, 2010.
2011 Nominalistic content. In Carlo Cellucci, Emily Grosholz and Emiliano Ippoliti, ed., Logic and knowledge. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011.
2011 Can science change our notion of existence? In ProtoSociology: An International Journal and Interdisciplinary Project, 2011.
2014 A new characterization of scientific theories In Synthese 191: 2993-3008

Published Papers
The following papers are available in either offprint form or as copies. Please send Prof. Azzouni an email with a postal address and a list of which papers from among these that you would like.

2013 "That we see that some diagrammatic proofs are perfectly rigorous," Philosophia Mathematica (3) 21, 323-338.
  "Inconsistency in natural languages," Synthese 190:5, 3175-3284.
  "Nonexistent objects,"
  "Hobnobbing with the nonexistent." Inquiry 56:4, 340-358.
  "The relationship of derivations in artificial languages to ordinary rigorous mathematical proof," Philosophia Mathematica (3) 21, 247-254.
2012 "Taking the easy road out of Dodge," Mind 121-484, October, 951-965.
  "Summary of Talking about Nothing," and "Responses to Gabriele Contessa, Erin Eaker, and Nikk Effingham." In (Anthony Ellis, ed.) Analysis Reviews 72/2, 327-29, 366-379.
  "Simple metaphysics and 'ontological independence." In (Fabrice Correia and Benjamin Schnieder, ed.) Metaphysical grounding: Understanding the structure of reality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 234-253.
  "Referring to what is and to what isn't." In (William P. Kabasenche, Michael O'Rourke, and Matthew H. Slater, ed.) Reference and referring. The MIT Press, 253-269.
2011 "Singular thoughts (objects-directed thoughts)." In (Mark Eli Kalderon, ed.) Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume LXXXV. Great Britain: The Aristotelian Society, 45-61.
2010 "Ontology and the word 'exist': Uneasy relations." Philosophia Mathematica (III) 18:1, 74-101.
  "Partial ontic fictionalism." In John Woods, ed., Fiction and models: New essays. Munich: Philosophia Verlag GmbH, 289-324.
2009 "Why do informal proofs conform to formal norms?" Foundations of Science 14: 9-26.
  "Empty de re attitudes about numbers," Philosophia Mathematica (III) 17:2, 163-188.
2008 Alternative logics and the role of truth in the interpretation of languages. In Douglas Patterson, ed., New essays on Tarski and philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 390-429.
  A cause for concern: Standard abstracta and causation. Philosophia Mathematica (III) 16, 397-401.
  (With Otavio Bueno.) On what it takes for there to be no fact of the matter. Noûs 42:4, 753-769.
2007 The inconsistency of natural languages: How we live with it. Inquiry 50:6, 590-605.
  Ontological commitment in the vernacular. Noûs 41:2, 204-226.
2006 How and why mathematics is unique as a social practice. In Reuben Hersh, ed., 18 unconventional essays on the nature of mathematics. Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
2005 How to nominalize formalism. Philosophia Mathematica (III) 13: 135-159.
  Anaphorically unrestricted quantifiers and paradoxes. In J. C. Beall and Bradley Armour-Garb, eds., Deflationism and Paradox, 250-273. Oxford University Press.
  (With Bradley Armour-Garb.) Standing on common ground. Journal of Philosophy CII (10): 532-544.
  (With Otavio Bueno.) Review of Donald MacKenzie's Mechanizing Proof: Computing, Risk, and Trust. Philosophia Mathematica (III) 13: 319-325.
2004 Proof and ontology in Euclidean mathematics. In Tinne Hoff Kjeldsen, Stig Andur Pedersen, Lise Mariane Sonne-Hanse, eds., New trends in the history and philosophy of mathematics. Denmark: University Press of Southern Denmark, 117-33.
  The derivation-indicator view of mathematical practice. Philosophia Mathematica 3, 12: 81-105.
  Theory, observation and scientific realism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55: 371-92.
  Tarski, Quine, and the transcendence of the vernacular "true". Synthese 142: 273-88.
2003 Individuation, causal relations and Quine. In Mark Richard, ed., Meaning. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 197-219.
  The strengthened liar, the expressive strength of natural languages, and regimentation. The Philosophical Forum, 34, 3&4: 329-50.
2001 Truth via anaphorically restricted quantifiers. The Journal of Philosophical Logic 30: 329-54.
2000 Applying mathematics: An attempt to design a philosophical problem. The Monist 82, 2: 209-27.
  Stipulation, logic, and ontological independence. Philosophia Mathematica 3, 8: 225-54.
1999 Review of Michael D. Resnik's Mathematics as a science of patterns. Journal of Symbolic Logic 64, 2: 922-3.
  Comments on Shapiro. The Journal of Philosophy 96: 541-44.
1998 On "On what there is". Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 79, 1-18.
1997 Thick epistemic access: Distinguishing the mathematical from the empirical. The Journal of Philosophy 94: 472-84.
  Applied mathematics, existential commitment and the Quine-Putnam indispensability thesis. Philosophia Mathematica 5, 3: 193-209.
1995 Review of Aladdin M. Yaqub's The Liar Speaks the Truth. Mind 104, 413: 222-25.
1992 A priori truth. Erkenntnis 37, 327-46.
1991 A simple axiomatizable theory of truth. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 32, 3: 458-93.
1990 Truth and convention. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 71, 81-102.