A Philosopher's Dozen
Selections from the writings of Stephen Yablo
An Unusual Range of Mind
“There is no one,” says Richard Holton, head of the Philosophy section, “whose papers I more look forward to hearing than Steve Yablo's. He is unfailingly imaginative and playful and insightful in his philosophy. Many of the qualities that endear Steve personally to people come through very markedly in his work.”
Although described on his vita as a specialist in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophical logic, Yablo is not easily pigeonholed. In the words of his former student Agustin Rayo, now an MIT Professor of Philosophy, “Lots of philosophers have a thematic research program. They start with a central idea, and the things they study revolve around that idea. Steve is not like that. He is incredibly creative, and he has ideas left and right. The result is that his work is richer than that of many philosophers. He is inspiring in ways that few philosophers are.”
Holton agrees. "It’s not easy to characterize Steve,” he says, “because Steve has worked on many different ideas over the years. That’s part of what’s so much fun about him.”
Here then is a profile of Stephen Yablo, Professor of Philosophy, and an introduction to his many ideas. We think you'll find these full-strength excerpts from his writings stimulating, challenging, and surprisingly fun.
Stephen Yablo | Professor of Philosophy
2 The truth and something but the truth
4 Why are some sentences paradoxical—and others not?
Sidebar | Yablo's Paradox
5 Does April exist? What about Chicago?
7 Singling out properties: take yellowness
9 Advertisement for a sketch of an outline of a proto-theory of causation
11 Epiphenomenalism: How to get rid of it once and for all
12 Is conceivability a guide to possibility?
Prepared by SHASS Communications
Emily Hiestand, Editorial and Design
Photographs of Stephen Yablo: Jonathan Sachs