UCLA, Dept. of Philosophy
321 Dodd Hall
405 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90095

I am an Assistant Professor in
the Department of Philosophyat UCLA.

I study iconic representation, modality,
and computational agents.
Papers and Publications

Blog Posts

Pictorial Grammar (with Dawn Chan, Paris Review Daily, 12/21/10)
Seven Puzzles of Pictorial Representation (original link, Aesthetics for Birds, 9/7/14)


Beyond Resemblance (Philosophical Review 122:2, 2013)

What is it for a picture to depict a scene? The most orthodox philosophical theory of pictorial representation holds that depiction is grounded in resemblance. A picture represents a scene in virtue of being similar to that scene in certain ways. I present evidence against this claim: curvilinear perspective is one common style of depiction in which successful pictorial representation depends as much on a picture's systematic differences with the scene depicted as on the similarities; it cannot be analyzed in terms of similarity alone. The same problem arises for many other kinds of depiction. I conclude that depiction in general is not grounded in resemblance, but geometrical transformation.

Varieties of Iconicity (with Valeria Giardino, Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 6:1, 2015)

This introductory essay aims to familiarize readers with basic dimensions of variation among pictorial and diagrammatic representations. We highlight two axes of variation: first, variation among the rules which characterize different systems of representation; and second, variation among the use properties associated with different systems. We illustrate these dimensions of difference first for the case of logical diagrams, and second for the case of perspectival drawing.

Counterfactuals as Strict Conditionals (working draft)

This paper presents a new deductive argument for the strict conditional analysis of counterfactual conditionals, as against the dominant variably strict analysis due to Robert Stalnaker (1968) and David Lewis (1973). Counterfactual conditionals belong to a broader linguistic family of counterfactual modals. The argument offered here turns on facts about the logical interaction of counterfactual conditionals and counterfactual possibility modals (like "could" and "might"). I call this the Coordination Argument. The argument not only validates the strict conditional analysis of counterfactual conditionals, it also implies a distinctive account of their semantic relationship to counterfactual modality generally. I call this the Coordinated Analysis. This view in turn sheds light on the division of communicative labor between semantics and pragmatics in counterfactual discourse.


The Semiotic Spectrum


Special issue, "Pictorial and Diagrammatic Representation" (ed. with Valeria Giardino, Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 6:1, 2015)

  1. Introduction: Varieties of Iconicity
    Valeria Giardino and Gabriel Greenberg
  2. Wayfinding: Notes on the 'Public' as Interactive
    Patrick Maynard
  3. The Mystery of Deduction and Diagrammatic Aspects of Representation
    Sun-Joo Shin
  4. Meaning and Demonstration
    Matthew Stone and Una Stojnic
  5. The Cognitive Design of Tools of Thought
    Barbara Tversky
  6. Diagrams as Tools for Scientific Reasoning
    Adele Abrahamsen and William Bechtel
  7. Street Signs and Ikea Instruction Sheets: Pragmatics and Pictorial Communication
    Marcello Frixione and Antonio Lombardi
  8. Pictures Have Propositional Content
    Alex Grzankowski
  9. Analog Representation and the Parts Principle
    John Kulvicki
  10. Trompe l'oeil and the Dorsal/Ventral Account of Pictorial Perception
    Bence Nanay

Curriculum Vitae


Undergraduate Courses:

Introduction to Philosophy of Mind (Phil 7)
Introduction to Theory of Computation (Phil 133)
Philosophy of Visual Representation (Phil 161)

Graduate Seminars:

Computation and Cognition
Pictorial Semantics
Semantics of Irreality (with Jessica Rett)
Iconic and Symbolic Representation