Gary Ebbs

Gary Ebbs

Chair, Department of Philosophy

Professor, Philosophy


  • Oberlin College, B.A. (philosophy) 1981
  • Oberlin Conservatory, Mus. B. (piano performance) 1982
  • University of Michigan, Ph.D. 1988

Research interests

I am interested in the sort of naturalism that results from accepting the scientific orientation in philosophy that logical empiricists such was Carnap urged, but giving up the logical empiricist's analytic-synthetic distinction, following W. V. Quine and Hilary Putnam. I am sympathetic with scientific/philosophical projects that aim to replace traditional concepts of mind and cognition with naturalistically respectable, explanatory clarifications of them. I am therefore interested in seeing how much of the work of explanation in cognitive science can be done without any thickly "normative" notions of representation. Among other things I have written extensively about how to reconcile naturalistic accounts of mental content with the idea that we ordinarily know the contents of our utterances without any special empirical investigation.

Representative publications

Carnap, Quine, and Putnam on Methods of Inquiry (2017)
Gary Ebbs

Debating Self-Knowledge (2012)
Gary Ebbs
Cambridge University Press.

Truth and Words (2009)
Gary Ebbs
Oxford University Press.

Rule-Following and Realism (1997)
Gary Ebbs
Harvard University Press.

Quine’s “predilection” for finitism (2016)
Gary Ebbs
Metascience, 25 (1), 31-36

First‐order logical validity and the hilbert‐bernays theorem (2018)
Gary Ebbs
Philosophical Issues, 28 (1), 159-175

Carnap on Analyticity and Existence: A Clarification, Defense, and Development of Quine’s Reading of Carnap’s Views on Ontology (2019)
Gary Ebbs
Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy , 7 (5), 1-31

Putnam on Methods of Inquiry (2017)
Gary Ebbs
The Harvard Review of Philosophy , 24 121-125

Carnap, Tarski, and Quine at Harvard: Conversations on Logic, Mathematics, and Science (2015)
Gary Ebbs
History and Philosophy of Logic, 36 (2), 181-188

Satisfying Predicates: Kleene's Proof of the Hilbert–Bernays Theorem (2015)
Gary Ebbs
History and Philosophy of Logic , 36 (4), 346-366