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Dr. Lukas Lewerentz


Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter




I'm a postdoc (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at the Department of Philosophy at JLU Giessen. Since February 2024, I'm also a postdoc at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, at the Chair of Epistemology and Philosophy of Language.

My main research focus is on the philosophy of language and communication. I work on questions in semantics as well as pragmatics. I also have research interests in epistemology.

Much of my work has to do with how meaning depends on the context in which language is used. Currently, I think about the role of questions under discussions for semantics, the semantics and pragmatics of referential expressions, the semantics of quantifiers, and how we communicate with pictures.

In 2022, I received my Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) from the University of Oxford, supervised by Prof Paul Elbourne and Prof Ofra Magidor. My thesis dealt with challenges for situation semantic accounts of definite descriptions. Before that, I studied at the University of Edinburgh and at Humboldt University of Berlin.

Über mich

Meine Schwerpunkte sind die Sprachphilosophie und Philosophie der Kommunikation. Auch mit Fragen der Erkenntnistheorie befasse ich mich.

In der Sprachphilosophie beschäftige ich mich unter anderem mit der Semantik und Pragmatik definiter Ausdrücke, mit der Rolle von Situationen in Semantik und Pragmatik, mit Sprechakttheorie, und mit Präsuppositionen und Kontextabhängigkeit in der Sprache.

Momentan denke ich nach über die Semantik und Pragmatik definiter Kennzeichnungen, die Semantik von Quantoren, und die Frage, wie wir mit Bildern kommunizieren.

2022 habe ich meinen DPhil (Doctor of Philosophy) an der Universität Oxford abgeschlossen. Meine Supervisor dort waren Prof. Paul Elbourne and Prof. Ofra Magidor. In meiner Dissertation habe ich versucht, einige Probleme für situationensemantische Theorien definiter Kennzeichnungen zu lösen. Zuvor habe ich an der Universität Edinburgh und an der Humboldt Universität zu Berlin studiert.


Publications / Veröffentlichungen

  1. Truth and Directness in Pictorial Assertion. In: Linguistics and Philosophy (2023). (co-authored with Emanuel Viebahn)
    abstractThis paper develops an account of accuracy and truth in pictorial assertion. It argues that there are two ways in which pictorial assertions can be indirect: with respect to their content and with respect to their target. This twofold indirectness explains how accurate, unedited pictures can be used to make false pictorial assertions. It captures the fishiness of true pictorial assertions involving target-indirectness, such as true pictorial assertions involving outdated pictures. And it raises the question whether target-indirectness may also arise in linguistic assertion.
  2. Metasemantics, Intentions, and Circularity. In: Synthese 195, 4 (2018), pp. 1667-1679. (co-authored with Benjamin Marschall)
    abstractAccording to intentionalism, a demonstrative d refers to an object o only if the speaker intends d to refer to o. Intentionalism is a popular view in metasemantics, but Gauker has recently argued that it is circular. We defend intentionalism against this objection, by showing that Gauker’s argument rests on a misconstrual of the aim of metasemantics. We then introduce two related, but distinct circularity objections: the worry that intentionalism is uninformative, and the problem of intentional bootstrapping, according to which it is impossible to have referential intentions. We also show how intentionalists could respond to these new objections.
  3. Doctoral thesis: Situations, presuppositions, and contexts
    abstractDefinite descriptions (such as ‘the cat’) can often be used felicitously even when more than one object satisfies the overt descriptive material (such as ‘cat’). Situation semantics has been invoked to reconcile this observation with the idea that definite descriptions presuppose uniqueness. This thesis examines some of the challenges that this reconciliatory project faces. The focus is, in particular, on anaphoric uses that cross sentential boundaries and on the question of what role situations could play in modelling global and local conversational contexts as well as assertoric update.

Work in progress:

  • A paper on quantification (with James R. Kirkpatrick)
  • Bishops and Uniqueness (with Rory Harder)
  • A paper on context-dependence and questions under discussion
  • A paper on the triggering problem for presuppositions
  • A paper on negation in situation semantics


Teaching / Lehre

SoSe 2024 Philosophy of Lying / Philosophie der Lüge
Introduction to Logic / Einführung in die Logik
SoSe 2023 Reference / Referenz
WiSe 2022-23 Rationality and Belief / Rationalität und Überzeugung
SoSe 2022 The Logic of Natural Languages / Die Logik natürlicher Sprachen

Office hours by appointment / Sprechstunde nach Vereinbarung

Abschlussarbeiten: Wenn Sie Interesse daran haben, bei mir eine Bachelor- oder Masterarbeit zu schreiben, können Sie mich gerne kontaktieren.


Contact details / Kontakt

Institut für Philosophie, Raum 201

Rathenaustr. 8

35394 Gießen

+49 (0)641-9915522