Curriculum Vitae

Brian Leahy

April 28, 2023

1 Personal Information

Citizenship: Canadian
Address: 33 Kirkland St
Cambridge, MA

2 Fields of Study

2.1 Specialization

Cognitive development; philosophy of mind and language; formal pragmatics

3 Appointments

Department of Linguistics- University of Konstanz
Postdoctoral Fellow, What if? Interdisciplinary research group on counterfactuality

Zukunftskolleg- University of Konstanz
Associated Fellow

4 Education

University of Connecticut
Ph.D (Philosophy), defended March 27, 2009
Dissertation: Fantasy, Fiction, Forecast
Committee: John Troyer, Ruth Millikan, Gunnar Björnsson (University of Umeå)

University of Alberta
MA (Philosophy), April 2003

Dalhousie University
BA (Hons) (Philosophy), April 2000

5 Publications

19. Leahy, Brian (2023). ”Don't you see the possibilities? Young preschoolers may lack possibility concepts” Developmental Science e13400

18. Leahy, Brian, Michael Huemer, Matt. Steele, Stephanie Alderete, and Susan Carey (2022). ”Minimal Representations of Possibility at Age 3” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119(52): e2207499119

17. Leahy, Brian, and Eimantas Zalnieriunas (2022). ”Might and might not: Children's conceptual development and the acquisition of modal verbs” Semantics and Linguistic Theory XXXI: 426-445

16. Rafetseder, Eva, Christine O'Brien, Brian Leahy, and Josef Perner (2021). ”Extended difficulties with counterfactuals persist in reasoning with false beliefs: Evidence for teleology-in-perspective” Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 204: 105058

15. Leahy, Brian, and Susan Carey (2020). ”The Acquisition of Modal Concepts” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 24(1): 65-78

14. Carey, Susan, Brian Leahy, Jonathan Redshaw, and Thomas Suddendorf (2020). ”Could It Be So? The Cognitive Science of Possibility” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 24(1): 3-4

13. Huemer, Michael, Brian Leahy and Josef Perner (2018). ”Mental Files Theory of Mind: When do children consider agents acquainted with different object identities?” Cognition 171: 122–129

12. Leahy, Brian (2018). ”Counterfactual antecedent falsity and the epistemic sensitivity of counterfactuals” Philosophical Studies 175(1): 45-69

11. Leahy, Brian and Maximilian Huber (2017). ”Two arguments for the etiological theory over the modal theory of function” Synthese 194(4): 1169-1187

10. Perner, Josef and Brian Leahy (2016). ”Mental files in development. Dual naming, false belief, and identity” Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7(2): 491-508.

9. Leahy, Brian (2016). ”Simplicity and elegance in Millikan’s account of productivity: Reply to Martinez” Philosophical Psychology 29(4): 503-516.

8. Leahy, Brian (2016). ”On presuppositional implicature” Topoi 35: 83-91.

7. Perner, Josef, Michael Huemer and Brian Leahy (2015). ”Mental files and belief: A cognitive theory of how children represent belief and its intensionality” Cognition 145: 77-88.

6. Leahy, Brian (2015). ”Counterfactual antecedent falsity and embedded antipresuppositions” Proceedings of Moscow Syntax and Semantics 2, Vadim Kimmelman, Natalia Korotkova, and Igor Yanovich, eds. MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 75 (2015): 69–84.

5. Leahy, Brian (2014). ”Teleosemantics: Intentionality, productivity, and the theory of meaning” Language and Linguistics Compass vol. 8 (2014): 197–210.

4. Leahy, Brian, Eva Rafetseder and Josef Perner (2014). ”Basic conditional reasoning: How children mimic counterfactual reasoning” Studia Logica 102(4) (2014): 793–810.

3. Leahy, Brian (2013). ”Can teleosemantics deflect the EAAN?” Philosophia vol. 41 (2013): 221–238.

2. Leahy, Brian (2011). ”Presuppositions and antipresuppositions in conditionals” Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory XXI, N. Ashton, A. Chereches, and D. Lutz, eds. (2011): 257–274.

1. Heyes, Cressida, David Kahane, Jennifer Welchman, Leahy Armontrout Spencer, Paul Beech, Lisa Kretz, Brian Leahy, Elizabeth Panasiuk, Jennifer Runke and John Simpson (2004). ”Always ask Why? Teaching philosophy 101” Halifax: Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education monograph series, 2004.

6 Presentations

6.1 Invited Presentations

22. ”Seeing possibilities" Cognitive Science Colloquium, University of Gottingen, March 2021

21. ”Marking possibilities: A Developmental Perspective" New York Philosophy of Language Workshop, New York University, February 2020

20. ”Recognizing Possibilities" Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Salzburg, January 2020

19. ”Representing Mere Possibilities" Ontario Meaning Workshop, Ontario, August 2019

18. ”What Don't Early Preschoolers Do with Possibilities?" McDonnell Network on the Foundations of Abstract Thought, Martha's Vineyard, June 2019

17. ”Modal Concepts: Developing Thoughts of the Possible and the Impossible" University of Konstanz, January 2019

16. ”On the Development of Counterfactual Reasoning" The Many What Ifs, University of Konstanz, October 2018 [with Eva Rafetseder]

15. ”A Closer Look at the Semantics in Teleosemantics?" Teleosemantics and the Nature of Functions, Bielefeld University, September 2017

14. ”Informative Test Semantics for Indicative Conditionals" 3rd Belgrade Conference on Conditionals, May 2017

13. ”What's so cool about counterfactual reasoning?" Interdisciplinary Workshop on Counterfactual Reasoning, University of Toronto, November 2016

12. ”Teleology-in-perspective: Clarifying the role of counterfactual reasoning in false belief reasoning" 2nd Belgrade conference on conditionals, University of Belgrade, May 2016

11. ”Counterfactual antecedent falsity and the epistemic sensitivity of counterfactuals" Hungarian Academy of Sciences-Linguistics Institute, November 2015

10. ”Discussion of Ganea, Perner and Kovacs" Symposium on mental files and development, EAP Cognitive science conference, University of Turin, September 2015

9. ”Counterfactual antecedent falsity and the epistemic sensitivity of counterfactuals" First Belgrade Conference on Conditionals, University of Belgrade, May 2015

8. ”On presuppositional implicature" Siena Workshop on Presupposition and Implicature, University of Siena, March 2015

7. ”What is logic for a teleosemanticist?" Semantic Pluralism Workshop, University of Konstanz, January 2015

6. ”Productivity in teleosemantics” Department of Philosophy, University of Bielefeld, September 2013

5. ”Counterfactual truth and temporal reference” Department of Linguistics, University of Göttingen, July 2012

4. ”Logical consequence in teleosemantics” Department of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, May 2012

3. ”Where meaning comes from: The biology of semantics and conditional sentences” Zukunftskolleg, University of Konstanz, December 2011

2. ”Indicative, subjunctive, accident, oversight” Department of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, February 2010

1. ”Tenses in conditional semantics and counterfactual implicatures” Department of Linguistics, University of Konstanz, December 2009

6.2 External Presentation (Peer Reviewed)

22. ”Minimal representations of possibility at age 3” Joint meeting of the ESPP and the SPP, University of Milan, July 2022

22. ”Minimal representations of possibility at age 3” Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development, January 2022

22. ”Representing the Possible and the Impossible” Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development, January 2020

21. ”Recognizing possibilities” Society for Philosophy and Psychology, UCSD, July 2019

20. ”Modal Concepts: Developing Thoughts of the Possible and the Impossible" Central European University Summer School ”THinking about the possible”, July 2018

19. ”Teleology-in-perspective: clarifying the role of counterfactual reasoning in false belief reasoning" Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development, Central European University, January 2017

18. ”Productivity and recursion in teleosemantics” Finding Common Ground, University of Connecticut, June 2014

17. ”Counterfactual antipresuppositions and local maximize presupposition” 8th Barcelona Workshop on Conditionals, June 2013

16. ”Logical consequence in teleosemantics” Second Conference on the Foundations of Logical Consequence, Arché, June 2012

15. ”Teleosemantics and formal systems” The 12th Szklarska Poreba Workshop, February 2012

14. ”Teleosemantics and mental conditionals” First Philosophy of Language and Mind Conference, University of Stockholm, September 2011

13. ”The function of mental conditionals” Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association, July 2011

12. ”Presuppositions and antipresuppositions in conditionals” Semantics and Linguistic Theory, May 2011

11. ”Embedded antipresuppositions in counterfactuals” Moscow Syntax and Semantics 2, April 2011

10. ”Testing theories of tense in conditional antecedents” The 12th Szklarska Poreba Workshop, March 2011

9. ”A biosemantic theory of conditionals” European Society for Philosophy and Psychology, August 2010

8. ”Presuppositions in subjunctive conditionals” Konstanz Workshop in Generative Grammar, April 2010 [With Maribel Romero]

7. ”Implicatures in subjunctive conditionals” The 11th Szklarska Poreba Workshop, March 2010 [With Maribel Romero, in absentia]

6. ”Indicative, subjunctive, accident, oversight” Central European University Summer School on Conditionals, August 2009

5. ”Why philosophers should stop talking about counterfactuals” Alternate for Princeton-Rutgers Graduate Philosophy Conference, March 2009

4. ”Indicative/subjunctive, accident, oversight” Atlantic Region Philosopher’s Association, October 2007

3. ”The misadventures of counterfactual hook” CUNY-The Graduate Center Graduate Student Philosophy Conference, April 2007

2. ”Teleosemantics of conditionals” Western Canadian Philosophical Association, October 2006

1. ”I don’t want my NTV” Canadian Philosophical Association, May 2006

6.3 Poster Presentations

5. ”Recognizing Possibilities” Cognitive Development Society, Louisville, 2019

4. ”Recognizing Possibilities” CogSci, Montreal, 2019

3. ”Teleology-in-perspective: Clarifying the role of counterfactual reasoning in false belief reasoning" International Convention of Psychological Science, Vienna, March 2017

2. ”Logical consequence in teleosemantics” GAP 8, University of Konstanz, September 2012

1. ”Antipresuppositions and the projection of conditional presuppositions” Theoretical Pragmatics, ZAS (Berlin), October 2011[With Nicole Gotzner]

6.4 Commentaries

2. Commentary on Patricia Ganea and Angela Nyhout, ”What if reality matters?” What if? The semantics, pragmatics, and psychology of counterfactuals, University of Toronto, March 2017

2. Commentary on Ethan Nowak, ”Hidden arguments and non-deictic demonstratives” Eastern APA, December 2014

1. Commentary on Benjamin Schnieder, ”A logic for because” Monthly Monday Meeting, Formal Epistemology Research Group, Konstanz, May 2010

7 Honours, Awards, Grants

Susan E. F. Chipman Graduate Student Research Fellowship, Harvard, 2020

Marie Curie Individual Fellowship, KCL (Declined) 2017

EU-Support Grant for Developmental Experiments: Data Collection 2016

EU-Support Grant for Conference Travel 2015

Young Scholar Grant for Conditionals Conference in Belgrade 2015

Young Scholar Grant for Project on Mental Files 2013

DFG Grant for Project Part 2 in DFG Research Group 1614 2012

SUN Scholarship for CEU Conditionals Summer School 2009

SSRHC Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship 2006-2007

University of Connecticut Outstanding Scholar Award Connecticut 2003-2006

Alan Blizzard Award for excellence in team teaching Alberta 2003

University of Alberta Master’s Recruitment Scholarship Alberta 2001-2003

F. Hilton Page Memorial Prize, Outstanding Honours Essay Dalhousie 2000

University Gold Medal, Highest Graduating GPA (Philosophy) Dalhousie 2000

In-Course Scholarship Dalhousie 1998-2000

Entrance Scholarship MSVU 1996-1997

8 Teaching

8.1 Advising

8.1.1 Doctoral Degrees

Michael Huemer, In Progress, Salzburg, Department of Psychology (Ongoing).

8.1.1 Masters Degrees

Andreas Walker, “Soft Presupposition Triggers”, Konstanz, Department of Linguistics, 2013.

8.2 Philosophy Courses

Phil 101: Introduction to Philosophy (UConn, Spring semester 2009)
Phil 104: Introduction to Ethics and Political Philosophy (UConn, multiple semesters)
Phil (unnumbered): Introduction to Philosophy of Language (Konstanz, summer semester 2011)
Phil (unnumbered): Modal Logic (Konstanz, winter semester 2012-2013)
Phil (unnumbered): Philosophy of Biology (Konstanz, winter semester 2014-2015)

8.3 Linguistics Courses

Ling 116: Pragmatics 1 (Konstanz, Winter semester 2010-2011)
Ling 216: Pragmatics 2 (Konstanz, Summer semester 2012)
Ling 315: Graduate seminar in Semantics: Logic for Linguists
Ling 316: Graduate seminar in Pragmatics (Konstanz, Summer semester 2010)

8.3 Psychology Courses

Psy 1900: Introduction to Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (Harvard, Fall and Spring semesters 2019-2020)

9 Service

9.1 Refereeing

Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Canadian Philosophical Association, Cognition, Developmental Science, Dialectica, Disputatio, Erkenntnis, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Journal of Linguistics, Journal of Philosophical Research, Linguistic Inquiry, Linguistics and Philosophy, Philosophia, Semantics and Pragmatics, Synthese

9.2 Administration

Early Career Representative- W1 Professor Search Committee

Meeting Co-ordinator- Counterfactuals Research Group

VP, Philosophy Graduate Student Association- University of Alberta

Off-campus Student Representative, University Senate- Mount St. Vincent

10 Conference Organization

Co-Organizer, “Second Belgrade Conference on Conditionals” conference at University of Belgrade, 2016

Co-Organizer, “First Belgrade Conference on Conditionals” conference at University of Belgrade, 2015

Principal Organizer, ``What if? meets Causation, Laws, Dispositions, Explanation" workshop at University of Konstanz, 2015

Assistant Organizer, “Conditionals: Compositional and Epistemological Issues”, workshop at University of Konstanz, 2013

Co-Principal Organizer, “What if? Perspectives on the Conditional”, workshop at University of Connecticut, 2006

11 References

Ruth Millikan
University of Connecticut
(860) 486-4592

Maribel Romero
University of Konstanz
+49 7531 88-2728

Josef Perner
University of Salzburg
+43 662 8044-5124

John Troyer
University of Connecticut
(860) 486-3668

Gunnar Björnsson
Umeå University
+46 31-786 48 37

Don Baxter
University of Connecticut
(860) 486-4419