Jonathan Life's Web Page


  • My Curriculum Vitae
  • UWO Department of Philosophy
  • You can reach me by e-mail at
  • Research: I specialize in the Philosophy of Language and Linguistics. My PhD thesis addresses the relation of our everyday conception of language to a particular scientific conception of it. The everyday conception is that the notion of an individual’s ‘idiolect’ - her own personal language - is an abstraction based on her incomplete knowledge of a shared public language. But a dominant perspective in scientific linguistics has it that, in fact, individuals’ idiolects - or, rather, their ‘I-languages’ - are the real foundation of language, and the notion of a shared public language is an abstraction from similarities between them. I attempt to reconcile the virtues of both perspectives, reconstructing explanations of the common sense phenomena of linguistic normativity and communication in a framework compatible with the scientific perspective.