Inferentialism: Inferentialist Semantics and Pragmatics

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My work on formal and computational models of information exchange is grounded in an inferentialist conception of meaning. My interest in inferentialism goes back to my 1998 PhD Thesis, which explores a proof-theoretic approach to presupposition and the relation between questions and answers in the context of a theory of conversational games. In my thesis, conversational games consist of commitment stores with appropriate update and generation rules.

I have developed, to the best of my knowledge, the first proof-theoretic explication of Robert Brandom's inferentialism and his, in my view, paradigm shifting concept of logical expressivism (Piwek, 2011; 2014).

Currently, I'm further developing this proof-theoretic framework and constructing computational tools to investigate its implications.

I am editor of the philpapers category on Inferentialist Accounts of Meaning and Content.

Slides Dialogue Structure and Inferentialism. Presentation at the Inference in Dialogue Workshop, Queen Mary University, London, 2010.

Towards a Computational Account of Inferentialist Meaning. Proceedings of the AISB50 Convention, Goldsmith's College London, April 3, 2014.

Dialogue Structure and Logical Expressivism. Synthese 183: 33-58, 2011.

Meaning and Dialogue Coherence: a Proof-theoretic Investigation. Journal of Logic, Language and Information, 16(4):403-421, 2007.

Presuppositions in Context: Constructing Bridges, In: Bonzon P., M. Cavalcanti & R. Nossum (eds), Formal Aspects of Context, APPLIED LOGIC SERIES Volume 20, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000. [Review by R.H. Thomason in Computational Linguistics]

Presupposition Projection as Proof Construction, In: H. Bunt & R. Muskens (eds.), Computing Meaning: Current issues in Computational Semantics, Studies in Linguistics & Philosophy Series, Kluwer Academic Publisher, Dordrecht, 1999.

Information Flow and Gaps. In: IPO Annual Progress Report 33, 1998.

Logic, Information and Conversation, PhD Thesis, Eindhoven University of Technology, 1998.

The Construction of Answers. In: Benz A. & G. Jaeger (eds.), Proceedings of MunDial: the Muenchen Workshop on the Formal Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue, CIS-Bericht 97-106, Department of Computational Linguistics, University of Munich, 1997. [This is an early abridged version of chapter 4 of my PhD thesis]

Tools & Applications

The Alligator Theorem Prover for Dependent Type Systems. The prover constructs natural deduction proofs, which are represented as terms of the typed lambda calculus (exploiting the Curry-Howard-De Bruijn correspondence between type systems and logic).

Towards explaining rebuttals in security arguments. In: 14th Workshop on Computational Models of Natural Argument, 10 December 2014, Krakow, Poland.

Supporting computing and technology distance learning students with developing argumentation skills. In: IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON 2013), 12-15 March 2013, Berlin, pp. 258-267. [pre-final draft]