Eliot Michaelson

I started off working on some core topics in the philosophy of language, like reference and indexicality. Then I started thinking about lying and deception. Recently, I've started thinking that there may be no one answer to questions like ‘What does this term refer to in this context?’ but rather a range of possible answers. In that case, we need to ask what the constraints are on these answers, and which psychological, sociological, or even political factors determine those constraints. Along the way, I've ended up becoming interested in a number of completely unrelated philosophical questions, like: what are abilities? What are colors? How do laws work? What does consent amount to? And, what do we owe to non-human animals? For a more extensive overview of my work circa 2017, please see the interview I did in 3:16 Magazine.

Published and Forthcoming Papers

Meta-metasemantics, or The Quest for the One True Metasemantics, with Ethan Nowak, forthcoming in Philosophical Quarterly [abstract].

Lying, Deception, and Epistemic Advantage, with Andreas Stokke, forthcoming in The Routledge Handbook of Social and Political Philosophy of Language (eds. Justin Khoo and Rachel Sterken), Routledge [abstract].

Speaker's Reference, Semantic Reference, Sneaky Reference, forthcoming in Mind & Language [abstract].

Who's Your Ideal Listener?, with Ethan Nowak, forthcoming in Australasian Journal of Philosophy [abstract].

Why We Should Keep Talking About Fake News, with Jessica Pepp and Rachel Sterken, forthcoming in Inquiry [abstract].

Daylight Savings: What an Answer to the Perceptual Variation Problem Cannot Be, with Jonathan Cohen, Philosophical Studies 178(3): 833-843, 2021 [abstract].

The Big Shill, with Robert Simpson, Ratio 33(4): 269-280, 2020 [abstract].

Discourse and Method, with Ethan Nowak, Linguistics & Philosophy 43(2): 119-138, 2020 [abstract].

What's New About Fake News?, with Jessica Pepp and Rachel Sterken, Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 16(2): 62-94, 2019 [abstract].

Reference, with Marga Reimer, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Spring 2019 Edition.

Lying, Testimony, and Epistemic Vigilance, in The Oxford Handbook of Lying (Ed. Jörg Meibauer), Oxford University Press, 214-228, 2018 [abstract].

The Lies We Tell Each Other Together, in Lying: Language, Knowledge, Ethics, Politics (eds. Eliot Michaelson and Andreas Stokke), Oxford University Press, 183-205, 2018 [abstract].

Ethics for Fish, with Andrew Reisner, in The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics (eds. Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson, and Tyler Doggett), Oxford University Press, 189-206, 2018 [abstract].

The Lying Test, Mind & Language 31(4): 470-499, 2016 [abstract].

Doing Without Believing, with Michael Brownstein, Synthese 193(9): 2815-2836, 2016 [abstract].

Act Consequentialism and Inefficacy, in Food, Ethics, and Society (eds. Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson, and Tyler Doggett), Oxford University Press, 210-214, 2016 [abstract].

A Kantian Response to Futility Worries?, in Food, Ethics, and Society (eds. Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson, and Tyler Doggett), Oxford University Press, 215-218, 2016 [abstract].

Shifty Characters, Philosophical Studies 167(3): 519-540, 2014 [abstract].

Indexicality and the Answering Machine Paradox, with Jonathan Cohen, Philosophy Compass 8(6): 580-592, 2013 [abstract].

Justice for Unicorns, Proceedings of the Aristotelean Society 112(3): 351-360, 2012 [abstract].

Edited Volume

Lying: Language, Knowledge, Ethics, and Politics, co-edited with Andreas Stokke, Oxford University Press, 336pp, 2018.

Book Reviews

Review of Alessandra Giorgi's About the Speaker, Mind 125(498): 562-565, 2016.

Review of Jennifer Saul's Lying, Misleading, and What is Said, Journal of Moral Philosophy 13: 491-494, 2016.


This and That: A Theory of Reference for Names, Demonstratives, and Things in Between, UCLA [abstract].