- Chair in Logic and Rhetoric (Philosophy)
Fraser MacBride holds the Chair of Logic & Rhetoric. He was previously Reader in Logic & Metaphysics at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity Hall. He has also held positions at University College London, the University of St. Andrews, where he was a Director of Arche, and Birkbeck College London. He has also visited the Russell Archive at the University of McMaster as the Visiting Bertrand Russell Professor.
Fraser has been a Philip Leverhulme Prize Winner and held grants and awards from the AHRC, the British Academy, the Mind Association and the Carnegie Trust.
His areas of expertise are metaphysics, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of language and the history of analytic philosophy.
He recently completed a monograph on the history of analytic philosophy, On the Genealogy of Universals, to be published by Oxford University Press. In this work he traces the unfolding ontological narrative of Moore and Russell’s New Philosophy from the late 1890s up until the reception of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus in Cambridge in the 1920s. He argues that we cannot understand the development of analytic philosophy during this period, except as a reaction to the theory of universals embodied in Kant’s conception of the categories.
His latest projects include a book on the metaphysics of relations and further work on Wittgenstein’s Notebooks.
A popular version of his inaugural lecture, sketching his conception of analytic philosophy and the relationship of philosophy to history, is published as,
“Analytic Philosophy and Its Synoptic Commission: Towards the Epistemic End of Days” in A. O' Hear (ed.) Philosophical Traditions, Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, 74 (Cambridge University Press, 2014), pp. 221-36.
Other recent publications cover issues concerning relations, meta-ontology and truth-making,
- “Meta-Ontology, Epistemology & Essence: On The Empirical Deduction Of The Categories” (with F. Janssen-Lauret), The Monist 98 (3), 2015, pp. 290-302.
- “On The Origins of Order: Non-Symmetric or Only Symmetric Relations?” in M.J. Loux & G. Galluzo (eds.) The Problem of Universals in Contemporary Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 173-94.
- “How Truth Depends Upon Being”, Analysis, 2014, 74, pp. 370-8.
- “How Involved Do You Want to Be in a Non-Symmetric Relationship?” Australasian Journal of Philosophy (2014), 92, pp. 1-16.
- “For Keeping Truth in Truthmaking”, Analysis, 2013, 73, pp. 686-95.
- “Truth-makers”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2013 edition)
Fraser has supervised PhD students in metaphysics, philosophy of language and the philosophy of mathematics, including,
- the metaphysics of change
- the problem of the many
- Russell’s multiple relation theory of judgment
- second-order logic
Current teaching includes Senior Honours courses on “The Structure of the World” and “The Origins of Analytic Metaphysics” and an M.Sc. course on “Wittgenstein’s Tractatus”.
Fraser also teaches a Junior Honours course on “Russell’s Problems of Philosophy”.