Department of Philosophy

If you wish to get in touch with our administrative staff, please see the admin staff contact page

Stefano Predelli

Professor of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts



  • Professor, University of Nottingham, January 2007 - present
  • Reader, University of Nottingham, August 2005 - December 2006
  • Lecturer, University of Nottingham, September 2003 - August 2005
  • Professor, University of Oslo, Norway, May 1999 - August 2003
  • Lecturer, University of Oslo, Norway, August 1997 - May 1999
  • Ph.D., Philosophy, University of California, Los Angeles, May 1997
  • M.A., Philosophy, University of California, Santa Barbara, December 1989
  • Laurea, Lettere e Filosofia, Universitá degli Studi di Venezia, Italy, June 1985

Expertise Summary

Stefano works on this and that, but mostly on 'this' and 'that', and other ways our interpretation and understanding of language depends on contextual factors. He is (moderately) sympathetic to the semantic intuitions within the fashionable 'contextualist' movement, but he is (highly) sceptical with respect to its philosophical import, in particular its criticism of traditional formal approaches to meaning and truth.

Stefano is also interested in proper names, belief reports, discourse about fiction, quotation marks, and related topics. Last but not least, when he is not occupied with philosophical semantics he likes to think of questions about the ontology of artworks, with particular interests in work and music.

Teaching Summary

At the undergraduate level, I usually teach philosophy of language and philosophy of art.

My most recent module in art has been the third year V73ART. This is a module that aims to promote a deeper understanding of philosophical issues pertaining to art. By the end of the module, you should be able to discuss and evaluate different theories of art, to explain certain current views on expression and representation, and to present the main contemporary viewpoints pertaining to the nature of artworks, their value, and their interpretation.

I also teach the module in philosophy of language for year two, V72NOM. This module begins with an exploration of the main classic theories of reference, paying particular attention to the works of Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell. We then turn our attention to more recent semantic questions, focusing on the concept of intensionality and on Saul Kripke's views on reference. In the last lectures, we cover contexts, speech-act theory, Paul Grice's idea of conversational implicatures, and derogatory uses of language.

Research Summary

The semantics of fictional discourse, with particular attention to fictional names, and their relationships with so-called empty names (such as 'Vulcan'), empty general terms (such as unicorn'), and… read more

Selected Publications

Current Research

The semantics of fictional discourse, with particular attention to fictional names, and their relationships with so-called empty names (such as 'Vulcan'), empty general terms (such as unicorn'), and referentially successful names and predicates.

Past Research

Indexicality and context, and a criticism of the contemporary contextualist approach; the study of non truth-conditional meaning, including register, slurs, and expressives; quotation and related phenomena; the ontology of musical works; proper names from a Millian perspective.

Future Research

The study of the 'metalinguistic' use of language, as in 'rhinoceroses are dangerous and difficult to spell' or in instances including nonsense words (as in 'there are no bandersnatches').

  • PREDELLI, S, 2020. Fictional Discourse: A Radical Fictionalist Semantics Oxford University Press. (In Press.)
  • PREDELLI, S, 2020. Four Dthats Synthese. (In Press.)
  • PREDELLI, S, 2018. Philadelphia is Difficult to Spell Journal of Pragmatics. 125, 43-51
  • PREDELLI, S, 2018. Millians in Wonderland. In: P. STALMASZCZYK, ed., Objects of Inquiry in Philosophy of Language and Literature Peter Lang. 17-39
  • PREDELLI, S, 2017. Proper Names: A Millian Perspective Oxford University Press.
  • PREDELLI, S, 2017. Boo Semantics: Radical Nonfactualism and Non Truth-Conditional Meaning. In: S. CONRAD and K. PETRUS, eds., Meaning, Context, and Methodology De Gruyter Mouton. 117-139
  • PREDELLI, S, 2016. Russell-Names: An Introduction to Millian Descriptivism Journal of Philosophical Logic. 45, 603-622 (In Press.)
  • PREDELLI, S, 2016. Millian Dubbings: A Double-Context Appproach to Name-Types. In P. Stalmaszczyk. In: Philosophical Approaches to Proper Names Peter Lang. 93-107
  • PREDELLI, S., 2015. Who's Afraid of the Predicate Theory of Names? Linguistics and Philosophy. 38, 363-376
  • PREDELLI, S., 2014. Kaplan's Three Monsters Analysis. 74, 389-393
  • PREDELLI, S., 2013. Meaning without truth Oxford University Press.
  • PREDELLI, S, 2012. Bare-Boned Demonstratives Journal of Philosophical Logic. 41(3), 547-562
  • PREDELLI, S, 2012. Indexicality, Intensionality, and Relativist Post-Semantics Synthese. 184(2), 121-136
  • PREDELLI, S, 2012. When Music Makes Sounds The Monist. 95(4), 625-643
  • PREDELLI, S, 2011. I Am Still Not Here Now Erkenntnis. 74(3), 289-303
  • PREDELLI, S., 2011. Talk about music: from Wolterstorffian ambiguity to generics Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. 69(3), 273-283
  • PREDELLI, S., 2011. Sub-sentential speech and the traditional view Linguistics and Philosophy. 34(6), 571-588
  • PREDELLI, S, 2010. From the Expressive to the Derogatory. In: SAWYER, S. A., ed., New Waves in Philosophy of Language Palgrave-MacMillan. 164-185
  • PREDELLI, S., 2010. Compositores, interpretes y obras musicales. In: ALCARAZ, M.J. and PÉREZ CARREÑO, F., eds., Significado, emoción y valor: ensayos sobre filosofia de la musica A. Machado Libros. 63-75
  • PREDELLI, S, 2010. Malapropisms and the simple picture of communication Mind and Language. 25(3), 329-345
  • PREDELLI, S, 2010. Substitutivity, Obstinacy, and the Case of Giorgione Journal of Philosophical Logic. 39(1), 5-21
  • PREDELLI, S, 2009. Truth and Meaning: The Contextualist Challenge. In: LARRAZABAL, J M and ZUBELDIA, L, eds., Meaning, Content and Argument Servicio Editorial de la Universidad del Pais Vasco. 181-201
  • PREDELLI, S, 2009. 'Socrates' and Socrates American Philosophical Quarterly. 46(3), 203-212
  • PREDELLI, S, 2009. Ontology and Musical Nihilism: A Reply to Cameron British Journal of Aesthetics. 49, 179-183 (In Press.)
  • PREDELLI, S, 2009. Semantics and Contextuality: the Case of Pia's Leaves. In: STALMASZCZYK, P, ed., Philosophy of Language and Linguistics Vol. 1: The Formal Turn. Ontos Verlag.
  • PREDELLI, S, 2009. Towards a Semantics for Biscuit Conditionals Philosophical Studies. 142(3), 293-305
  • PREDELLI, S, 2009. The Demonstrative Theory of Quotation Linguistics and Philosophy. 31(5), 555-572
  • PREDELLI, S, 2009. The Contextualist Surprise. In: DEBRABANTER, P and KISSINE, M, eds., Utterance, Interpretation and Cognitive Models Emerald. 59-74
  • PREDELLI, S, 2009. Indexicals. In: CUMMINGS, L, ed., Pragmatics Encyclopedia Routledge.
  • PREDELLI, S., 2009. How to Cut the Contextualist Grass: A Note on Semantics and Speech Act Content Manuscrito. 32(1), 33-58
  • PREDELLI, S, 2008. "I Exist": The Meaning of 'I' and the Logic of Indexicals American Philosophical Quarterly. 45(1), 55-63
  • PREDELLI, S and STOJANOVIC, I, 2008. Semantic Relativism and the Logic of Indexicals. In: KOLBEL, M and GARCIA-CARPINTERO, M, eds., Relative Truth Oxford University Press. 63-79
  • PREDELLI, S., 2008. Modal monsters and talk about fiction Journal of Philosophical Logic. 37(3), 277-297
  • PREDELLI, S, 2008. Vocatives Analysis. 68(2), 97-105
  • PREDELLI, S, 2008. Review of Dodd, Works of Music Mind. 117, 685-690
  • PREDELLI, S, 2007. The Strange Case of the Missing Constituent. In: PENCO, C, VIGNOLO, M and BEANEY, M, eds., Explaining the Mental: Naturalist and Non-Naturalist Approaches to Mental Acts and Processes Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 33-49 (In Press.)
  • PREDELLI, S, 2006. Hybrid indexicals and ellipsis Erkenntnis. 65(3), 385-403
  • PREDELLI, S., 2006. Platonism in Music: A Kind of Refutation Revue Internationale de Philosophie. 60(238), 401-414 (In Press.)
  • PREDELLI, S., 2006. The sound of the concerto: against the invariantist approach to musical ontology British Journal of Aesthetics. 46(2), 144-162
  • PREDELLI, S., 2006. The Automatic and the Incomplete Critica. 38, 21-33 (In Press.)
  • PREDELLI, S, 2006. Review of Prayer and Peter 'Contextualism in Philosophy' Linguistics and Philosophy. 29(5), 617-629 (In Press.)
  • PREDELLI, S., 2006. The Problem with Token-reflexivity Synthese. VOL 148(NUMBER 1), 5-29
  • PREDELLI, S., 2006. What to Say on What is Said. In: FRAPOLLI, M.J., ed., Saying, Meaning, and Referring. Essays on Francois Recanati's Philosophy of Language Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. (In Press.)
  • PREDELLI, S., 2005. Contexts: meaning, truth, and the use of language Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • PREDELLI, S., 2005. Painted Leaves, Context, and Semantic Analysis Linguistics and Philosophy. VOL 28(NUMBER 3), 351-374
  • PREDELLI, S., 2005. Review of D. M. Gabbay and F. Guenthner (eds.), Handbook of Philosophical Logic, 2nd edition History and Philosophy of Logic. 26, 70-1
  • PREDELLI, S., 2005. Review: Sense, Reference, and Philosophy Mind. VOL 114(NUMBER 454), 421-424
  • PREDELLI, S., 2005. G. W. Fitch Saul Kripke History and Philosophy of Logic. VOL 26(NUMB 2), 147
  • PREDELLI, S., 2005. An Introduction to the Semantics of Message and Attachment Croatian Journal of Philosophy. 5(13), 139-155
  • PREDELLI, S., 2004. Superheroes and their names American Philosophical Quarterly. 41(2), 107-124
  • PREDELLI, S., 2004. Semantic contextuality Journal of Pragmatics. VOL 36(NUMBER 12), 2107-2123
  • PREDELLI, S., 2004. Think Before You Speak: Utterances and the Logic of Indexicals Argumentation. VOL 18(NUMBER 4), 445-463
  • PREDELLI,STEFANO, 2004. Logikk for Filosofer Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.
  • PREDELLI, S, 2004. Review of Berger 'Terms and Truth' Philosophical Review. 113(2), 432-434 (In Press.)
  • PREDELLI, S., 2004. The Lean Mean Semantic Machine. In: BIANCHI, C., ed., The Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction Stanford: CSLI Publications. 13-26
  • PREDELLI, S., 2004. Review of Peter Kivy, Introduction to a Philosophy of Music Philosophical Books. 45(3), 274-7
  • PREDELLI, S., 2004. Much Ado About Nothing: Co-Referential Names and Belief Reports Facta Philosophica. 6(2), 249-268
  • PREDELLI, S., 2004. Review of Claudia Bianchi: Pragmatica del Linguaggio History and Philosophy of Logic. 25, 260-1
  • PREDELLI, S., 2004. The Impersonal 'You' and Other Indexicals Disputatio. 16, 3-25
  • PREDELLI, S., 2004. Bombers: Some Comments on Double Effect and Harmful InVOLvement Journal of Military Ethics. VOL 3(PART 1), 16-26
  • PREDELLI, S., 2004. The Price of Innocent Millianism Erkenntnis. VOL 60(NUMBER 3), 335-356
  • PREDELLI, S., 2003. Scare quotes and their relation to other semantic issues Linguistics and Philosophy. 26(1), 1-28
  • PREDELLI, S., 2003. Russellian Description and Smith's Suicide Acta Analytica. NUMB 30/31, 125-142
  • PREDELLI, S, 2003. 'Subliminable' Messages: Scare Quotes and the Use Hypothesis Belgian Journal of Linguistics. 17, 153-166 (In Press.)
  • PREDELLI, S., 2003. Unbound Riches: Comparative Adjectives and the Argument from Binding Logic and Logical Philosophy. 12, 341-348
  • PREDELLI, S., 2003. Review of Claudia Bianchi La Dipendenza Contestuale Epistemologia. 26, 183-185 (In Press.)
  • PREDELLI, S., 2003. Review of Claudia Bianchi: La Dipendenza Contestuale Epistemologia. 26, 183-185
  • PREDELLI, S., 2002. Intentions, indexicals and communication Analysis. VOL 62(PART 4), 310-315
  • PREDELLI, S., 2002. Contesto e Semantica degli Indicali. In: La Svolta Contestuale 25-46
  • PREDELLI, S., 2002. 'Holmes' and Holmes: A Millian Analysis of Names from Fiction Dialectica (Switzerland). 56(3), 261-279
  • PREDELLI, S., 2002. Has the Ontology of Music Rested on a Mistake? Literature and Aesthetics. 12, 7-19
  • PREDELLI, S., 2001. Complex demonstratives and anaphora Analysis. 61(1), 53-59
  • PREDELLI, S., 2001. Musical Ontology and the Argument from Creation British Journal of Aesthetics. VOL 41(PART 3), 279-292
  • PREDELLI, S., 2001. Art, Bart and Superman Analysis. VOL 61(PART 4), 310-312
  • PREDELLI, S., 2001. Names and Character Philosophical Studies. VOL 103(PART 2), 145-163
  • PREDELLI, S., 2001. YOU JUST CAN'T TELL: AN ANALYSIS OF THE NON-SPECIFIC USE OF INDEXICALS Nordic Journal of Philosophical Logic. VOL 6(NUMB 2), 103-118
  • PREDELLI, S., 2000. Who's Afraid of Substitutivity? Noûs. VOL 34(PART 3), 455-467
  • PREDELLI, S., 2000. The Teetotaler and His Martini Mind and Language. VOL 15(PART 5), 511-527
  • PREDELLI, S., 2000. The Objection from Cognitive Agreement Philosophical Studies. VOL 99(PART 2), 167-186
  • PREDELLI, S., 1999. Goodman and the Score British Journal of Aesthetics. VOL 39(NUMBER 2), 138-147
  • PREDELLI, S., 1999. Goodman and the Wrong Note Paradox British Journal of Aesthetics. VOL 39(NUMBER 4), 364-375
  • PREDELLI, S., 1999. Saul, Salmon, and Superman Analysis. VOL 59(NUMBER 2), 113-116
  • PREDELLI, S., 1998. 'I am not here now' Analysis. VOL 58(NUMBER 2), 107-115
  • PREDELLI, S., 1998. Utterance, Interpretation and the Logic of Indexicals Mind and Language. VOL 13(NUMBER 3), 400-414
  • PREDELLI, S., 1997. Talk About Fiction Erkenntnis. 46, 69-77
  • PREDELLI, S., 1996. Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today Analysis. VOL 56(NUMBER 2), 85-91
  • PREDELLI, S., 1995. Against Musical Platonism British Journal of Aesthetics. VOL 35(NUMBER 4), 338
  • PREDELLI, S., 1993. A Czar's Ukase Explained: An Analysis of Tractatus 5.54ff Philosophical Studies. 71, 81-98

Department of Philosophy

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contact us