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James Higginbotham

Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Linguistics and Linda Hilf Chair in Philosophy

Contact Information
E-mail: higgy@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 821-2308
Office: MHP 113

Curriculum Vitae

Biographical Sketch

I have worked for most of my career on Philosophical problems that involve close connection with Logic and Linguistic issues, and on problems in Linguistic description and explanation that may be clarified by means of developments in mathematical and philosophical logic.


Ph.D. Philosophy, Columbia University, 1/1973
B.S. Philosophy, Columbia University, 1/1967

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Tenure Track Appointments

Distinguished Professor, University of Southern California, 08/16/2008-  
Professor, University of Southern California, 01/01/1999-08/15/2008  
Professor, University of Oxford, England, 06/01/1993-09/01/2000  
Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 07/01/1987-08/01/1993  
Associate Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 01/01/1982-01/01/1987  
Visiting Associate Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 01/01/1980-01/01/1982  
Senior Fellow in the Humanities, Columbia University, 01/01/1979-01/01/1980  
Assistant Professor, Columbia University, 01/01/1978-01/01/1979  
Mellon Fellow in the Humanities, Columbia University, 01/01/1976-01/01/1978  
Assistant Professor, Columbia University, 01/01/1973-01/01/1976  
Instructor, Columbia University, 01/01/1970-01/01/1973  

Visiting and Temporary Appointments

Visiting Professor of Philosophy, University of Oxford, Oxford, England, 05/01/2011-07/05/2011  
Visiting Professor of Philosophy, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, 04/22/2010-06/30/2010  
Visiting Professor of Philosophy, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, 01/01/2009-06/30/2009  
Visiting Professor of Linguistics, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy, Fall 2008   
Enseignant Etranger, Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, France, 10/01/2004-11/01/2004  
Nelson Philosopher in Residence, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 11/29/1999-12/03/1999  
Visiting Professor of Cognitive Science, Rutgers University, Spring 1998   
Visiting Researcher, University of Stuttgart, Germany, 07/01/1997-08/31/1997  
Visiting Professor of Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Fall 1996   
Distinguished Visitor in Philosophy, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 03/01/1996-03/30/1996  
Visiting Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, Fall 1990   

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Dr. Higginbotham's research includes both philosophical logic and philosophy of language, and theoretical linguistics, especially syntax and semantics. His most recent articles discuss the nature of linguistic competence, the problem of compositionality in language, and the role of first-person and demonstrative reference in thought and communication.

Research Keywords

Philosophy of Language and Mind, Theoretical Linguistics, semantics, tense, aspect, language, thought

Research Specialties

Philosophy of Language & Mind, Philosophical logic, Theoretical Linguistics

Conferences and Other Presentations

Conference Presentations

"Semantics for Indexicals", Lecture/Seminar, Abstract, University of Arizona, Tucson, Invited, Fall 2011   
"Embedded Indexicality", Workshop on Semantics, University of Cambridge, Keynote Lecture, Abstract, Cambridge, England, Dept.of Linguistics, Invited, Spring 2011   
"Indexical Interpretation", Workshop on the "De Se", Lecture/Seminar, Paper, University Blindern, Oslo, Norway, Center for the Study of Mind in Nature, Invited, Spring 2010   
"Language and Mind after Word and Object", American Philosophical Association Pacific Division, Roundtable/Panel, Paper, San Francisco, APA, Invited, Spring 2010   
"Pronominal Perspectives", Biolinguistics, Lecture/Seminar, Paper, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Universite' du Quebec a' Montreal, Invited, Spring 2010   
"What is Modification?", Workshop on Adjectives and Relative Clauses, Lecture/Seminar, Abstract, Venice, Italy, University of Venice Ca'Foscari, Invited, Spring 2010   
"Reflexive Thoughts and Normal Forms", Talk/Oral Presentation, Philosophy Institute, University of London, Invited, Spring 2009   
"Context and/or Anaphora", Linguistics Society of Italy, Keynote Lecture, Abstract, Pisa, Italy, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Invited, Fall 2008   
"Propositions, Thoughts, Anaphora", Venice, Italy Conference on Propositions, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Invited, Fall 2008   
"Comments on Kirk Ludwig's paper", APA Central Division meeting, Lecture/Seminar, Paper, Chicago, American Philosophical Association, Invited, Spring 2008   
"Quine Chomsky after all these years", Conference in honor of Roger Gibson, Lecture/Seminar, Paper, University of Missouri, Columbia, University of Missouri and Washington University, , Invited, Spring 2008   
"Expression, Truth, Predication, Context", Context-Dependence, Lecture/Seminar, Paper, Paris, France, Ecole Normale Superieure, Invited, Fall 2007   
"Rules of Use", The First Person, Talk/Oral Presentation, Lyons, France, Ecole Normale Superieure, Invited, 05/20/2007-05/23/2007  
"Comment on Michael Devitt, Ignorance of Language", American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, Talk/Oral Presentation, San Francisco, CA, American Philosophical Association, Invited, 04/17/2007  

Other Presentations

"The First Person", 7 Lectures in Philosophy, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, 04/26/2010-06/18/2010  
"Temporal Indexicals", Colloquium, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland, UK, Spring 2010   
"Indexical Perspectives", Philosophy Workshop, University of Warwick, Coventry, England, Spring 2009   
"Indexical Perspectives, three lectures", Linguistics Seminar, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland, Spring 2009   
"Reflexive Thoughts and Normal Forms", Linguistics Colloquium, University of Tromsoe, Tromsoe, Norway, Spring 2009   
"Reflexive Thoughts and Normal Forms", Philosophy Colloquium, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, Spring 2009   
"Regimentation: Chapter 5 of Word and Object", Seminar, Pronceton University and Rutgers University, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, Spring 2009   
"Sententialism", Seminar, Rutgers University, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, Spring 2009   
"Three Lectures on the First Person", CUNY Graduate Center Colloquia, CUNY Graduate Center, New York, Spring 2009   
"Tense Parameters", Colloquium of the CNRS, Centre Nationale de Recherche Scientifique, France, Paris, France, Fall 2007   



Higginbotham, J. T. (2009). Tense, Aspect, and Indexicality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Book Chapter

Higginbotham, J. (2011). The Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Language pp. 20. London: Continuum Press.
Higginbotham, J. (2010). On Words and Thoughts About Oneself. Context-Dependence, Perspective, and Relativity pp. 253-282. Berlin: Mouton-de Gruyter.
Higginbotham, J., Folescu, M. (2010). Two Takes on the De Se. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Higginbotham, J. T. (2009). Two Interfaces. pp. 142-154. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
Higginbotham, J. T. (2008). Evidentials: Some Preliminary Distinctions. pp. 22. Berlin: Springer Verlag.
Higginbotham, J. T. (2008). The English Perfect and the Metaphysics of Events. pp. 173-193. Berlin: Springer Verlag.
Higginbotham, J. T. (2007). Remarks on Compositionality. pp. 425-444. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Higginbotham, J. T. (2006). Languages and Idiolects: Their Language and Ours. pp. 140-148. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Book Review

Higginbotham, J. T. (2009). On Jeffrey C. King, The Nature and Structure of Content. Philosophical Books. pp. 29-37.

Journal Article

Higginbotham, J. T. (2008). Expression, Truth, Predication, and Context. International Journal of Philosophical Studies. Vol. 16 (4), pp. 473-494.


Higginbotham, J. T. (2007). The Anaphoric Theory of Tense. pp. 26 pp.. Ithaca, NY. Cornell University Linguistics Publications.

New Courses Developed

Philosophical Logic, Philosophy, A second graduate course in logic, presenting material on recursive functions and model theory, Goedel's results, and modal logic, including the provability interpretation., Spring 2010   

Honors and Awards

American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow, Fellow of the AAAS, 2011-  
USC Distinguished Professor, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Linguistics, 1/2008-  
USC Endowed Chair, Linda MacDonald Hilf Chair in Philosophy, 3/15/2004-  
Fellow of the British Academy, 1995-  
Vera Brittain Visiting Fellow, Somerville College Oxford, 1/2009-7/2009  
Fulbright Award, Distinguished Professor of the Philosophy of Language, University of Venice Ca'Foscari, Venice, Italy, 4/2003-7/2003  
Visiting Fellow, All Souls College Oxford, 1/4/1990-4/20/1990  

Service to the University

Administrative Appointments

Chair, Department of Linguistics, 08/16/2006-  
Director, School of Philosophy, 09/01/2004-08/15/2007  


Member, University Committee on Academic Review, 08/16/2010-  
Member, Provost Search Advisory Committee, 02/15/2010-10/31/2010  

Service to the Profession

Administrative Appointments

Chair, Department of Linguistics, USC., 2010-2011   

Editorships and Editorial Boards

Editorial Board, Oxford Cognitive Science, 1995-  
Associate Editor, Prarmatics and Cognition, 1985-  
Associate Editor, The Journal of Philosophy, 1979-  

Reviewer for Publication

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Philosophy journal, 1999-  
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophy journal, 1999-  
Pragmatics and Cognition, Linguistics journal, 1995-  
Synthese, Philosophy journal, 1989-  
Nous, Philosophy journal, 1985-  
Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, Philosophy journal, 1980-  
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