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Robby Finley

Title | Organization: 
Graduate Student | Ph.D. program in Philosophy
Student Year: 
7th Year Ph.D. Student (Dissertation Phase)
 
Before coming to Columbia, I received my B.A. from Williams College in Philosophy and Classics, studying for a year at the University of Oxford. My main interests are in the philosophy of logic and mathematics and in ancient philosophy. I am also interested in metaphysics, the history of mathematics, the history of analytic philosophy, philosophy of science, and American pragmatism (esp. Peirce).
 
Dissertation: “Logic in Accounts of the Potential and Actual Infinite.” 
In this work, I provide a new defense of logical pluralism, the view that there are many, equally good accounts of logical consequence. The defense is composed of two parts: (i) an account of choice between alternative theories of logic, where each theory is judged based on its ability to satisfy several theoretical virtues, much like in scientific theory choice, and (ii) a historical component that connects debates over acceptable uses and formulations of the infinite to views of logic through these virtues, covering ancient, medieval, early modern, and modern positions in philosophy, science, and mathematics. It then argues that charitable interpretations of the historical positions on the infinite should lead one to endorse a logical pluralism.
 
My work has been funded by a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the 2018-2019 year.
Areas of Specialization: 

Logic, Metaphysics, and Ancient Philosophy