|Stephan joined the Nominalizations project on June 16, 2011. Before that, he wrote a PhD thesis with the title ‘Second-Order Quantification and Ontological Commitment’ at the University of Leeds, under the supervision of (at one time or another) Joseph Melia, John Divers, and Robbie Williams (Examiners: Ian Rumfitt, Jason Turner). In 2012, he received the Wolfgang-Stegmüller-Prize for his dissertation.
Stephan works mainly on the philosophy of language and logic, as well as metaphysics. His interests in these areas are wide-ranging, but the areas he works on the most are the logic and semantics of quantification, first- or higher-order, and of grounding. He also has a strong interest in early analytic philosophy, particularly the works of Bernard Bolzano and Gottlob Frege, and wrote his MA thesis on the Paradox of Analysis in Bolzano and Frege.
As part of the Nominalizations project, Stephan revised and extended his PhD thesis, culminating in the publication in 2014 of his book “On What There Is For Things To Be” with Klostermann. The issues discussed in the book pertain to subprojects IP2 (Meta-Ontological Issues) as well as especially IP4 (Quantification and Semantic Paradoxes). He also published three papers: “Semantic Values in Higher-Order Semantics” (Philosophical Studies), defending the use of higher-order quantification in developing a semantics for absolutely general first-order languages against a challenge by Linnebo (IP4); “Implicit Commitment in Theory Choice” (Synthese), developing a novel account of ontological commitment which, unlike its rivals, does justice to the general role played by the notion of commitment in theory choice (IP2), and “A Simpler Puzzle of Ground” (Thought), which employs higher-order quantificational resources to sharpen important puzzles in the discussion of metaphysical grounding. Another paper “Everything and then Some” pertaining to the IP4 subproject, on absolute generality and higher-order quantification, has been accepted for publication by Mind.
As of June 16, 2014, Stephan is employed in his own DFG-funded project on the Logic and Metaphysics of Ground. He remains an associate member of the Nominalizations project, as well as of a new SNF-funded project on the Metaphysics of Grounding, and a member of the research group Phlox.
You can visit his institutional website here.