Colin Johnston



Philosophy, University of Stirling


I am a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Stirling.  After a BA in Mathematics at Cambridge I took an MPhil and a PhD in Philosophy at UCL, and was then a postdoctoral Jacobsen Research Fellow at the University of London Institute of Philosophy.    

My principal area of research is the history of early analytic philosophy.  Within this field I am concerned in particular to understand the source and significance of Frege and Wittgenstein's conception of logic, a conception in which pride of place is given to truth.   In a second, connected project I am seeking to explain and defend a version of the identity theory of truth.  I have outlined a novel response to the Liar Paradox, one which bears similarities to certain inconsistency approaches.  Recently, I have been thinking about time, action and the first person.

The following link to some of my publications.

Journal articles:

  • 'Zalabardo on semantic unity and metaphysical unity', Australasian Philosophical Review (2019) 2 (3): 321-326
  • 'Frege on syntax, ontology, and truth's pride of place', in European Journal of Philosophy (2018) 26 (1): 569-588 (published version)
  • 'Conflicting rules and paradox', Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2014) 88 (2): 410-433 (published version)
  • 'Judgment and the identity theory of truth', Philosophical Studies (2013) 166 (2): 381-397 (published version)
  • 'Tractarian objects and logical categories', Synthese (2009) 167: 145-161 (draftpublished version)
  • 'Symbols in Wittgenstein's Tractatus', European Journal of Philosophy (2007) 15(3): 367-394 (draft)
  • 'The unity of a Tractarian fact', Synthese (2007) 156: 231-251 (draftpublished version)

Book chapters:

  • ‘Solipsism and the Graspabilty of Fact’, in Hanne Appelqvist ed. Wittgenstein and the Limits of Language, Routledge (2019): 
  • 'Judgements, facts and propositions: theories of truth in Russell, Wittgenstein and Ramsey', joint with Peter Sullivan, in Michael Glanzberg ed. The Oxford Handbook of Truth, OUP (2018): 150-192 (draft)
  • 'Wittgenstein on representability and possibility', in C. Pincock and S. Lapointe eds. Innovations in the History of Analytical Philosophy, Palgrave MacMillan, 2017: 127-147 (draft)
  • 'The picture theory', in H-J. Glock and J. Hyman eds. The Blackwell Companion to Wittgenstein, Blackwell, 2017: 141-158  (draft)
  • 'Russell, Wittgenstein, and synthesis in thought', in J. Zalabardo ed. Wittgenstein's Early Philosophy, OUP, 2012: 15-36 (draft)
  • 'Assertion, saying and propositional complexity in Wittgenstein's Tractatus',  in O. Kuusela and M. McGinn eds. Oxford Handbook of Wittgenstein, OUP, 2011: 60-78 (draft)

Reviews and shorter pieces:

  • Review of Wittgenstein in Exile by James Klagge, Mind (2012) 121: 490-494 (published version)
  • Review of Objectivity and the Parochial by Charles Travis, Philosophical Quarterly (2012) 62: 418-420 (published version)
  • 'The determination of form by syntactic employment: a model and a difficulty', Contributions of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society vol. XVI (2008): 156-158 (published version)
  • Review of Applying Wittgenstein by Rupert Read, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (July 2008) (published version)
  • Review of Wittgenstein's Tractatus: An Introduction by Alfred Nordmann, and The Wittgenstein Reader (2nd edition) by Anthony Kenny, Times Higher Education Supplement (26 May 2006) (published version)

Dr Colin Johnston

Division of Law and Philosophy

University of Stirling

Stirling FK9 4LA




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