Dr Stephen Blamey

Emeritus Fellow

Stephen Blamey is an Emeritus Fellow and a lecturer in Philosophy. In the past he has been Tutor for Undergraduates and been Dean, but now he is just the largely ceremonial Dean of Degrees.

Stephen is a logician and is involved with the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mathematics. Now that he is retired from being a full-time philosophy tutor he hopes finally to publish a lot of stuff that should have appeared years ago: he has been bewilderingly bad about this – too perfectionist? – and it is only when he has had a co-author or a collection editor breathing down his neck that anything has actually come out. The most substantial piece so far has been ‘Partial Logic’ in Handbook of Philosophical Logic, Eds. Gabbay & Guenthner (2nd editon: Kluwer, 2002).

He was asked to contribute this essay because he was taken to be an expert in an apparently well-defined subject area that he did not know existed; but it turned out to be the sort of thing he had written about in his doctoral thesis. Stephen’s most distinctive contribution to the area is, perhaps, introducing two novel sentence connectives, interjunction and  transplication. These were originally motivated as providing the resources actually to analyse (not just talk about) presupposition in the meaning of natural-language statements; but, independently of this, a lot of technical results take off from the form of the logic in which the connectives figure; and there are a lot of conceptual issues to address.

Stephen matriculated at Exeter College, where he did Classical Mods but switched to Mathematics & Philosophy for Finals, and where he started graduate work. He first joined St Edmund Hall in the late 70s as a Junior Research Fellow; and, after that, the College kept him on during a University appointment as a Junior Lecturer in Philosophy. Then he was persuaded to do logicky things for the computing-science community and became a Research Officer at the University’s Programming Research Group. However, he had withdrawal symptoms for the intellectual rigour of philosophy; and happily he got a lecturership at St Hilda’s College to teach logic and Plato. Eventually he came back to St Edmund Hall in the 90s. But he has not had appointments only at Oxford: for a whole term he was a Visiting Lecturer at Bedford College, London, shortly before that college ceased to exist.

Where next?

Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)

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Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics (PPL)

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Philosophy and Modern Languages

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Mathematics & Philosophy

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Physics & Philosophy

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