Ruth G. Millikan

Ruth Millikan

Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Philosophy
Professor Emerita
Department of Philosophy, U-1054
University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT 06269-1054
Office: 202 Manchester Hall
Phone: (860) 486-4592

Research Interests:

Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Psychology, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Biology, Ontology, and Natural Epistemology

My research interests span many topics in the philosophy of biology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and ontology. The unity is in method rather than subject matter. The aspects of these fields that interest me are continuous with relevant scientific work and with the philosophy of science. I have been especially interested in applications of evolutionary theory in these areas, and in the ontology that makes study of biological entities possible.

For a complete listing of articles and books, please see my curriculum vitae.

Awards and Honors

Wilbur Cross Prize, Yale Graduate School Alumni Association, 2019
Rolf Schock Prize for Logic and Philosophy (Swedish Royal Academy) 2017
Nicholas Rescher Medal for Systematic Philosophy 2017
Elected American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2014

Highlighted Works

Beyond Concepts; Unicepts, Language and Natural Information,  Oxford University Press, 2017
"Biosemantics and Words that Don’t Represent”, Theoria 84.3 2018: 229-24


Forthcoming Works

"Embedding Language Understanding in the World."  In Rachel Goodman, James Jenone and Nick Krol eds., Singular Thought and Mental Files, (Oxford: Oxford University Press) [2020]

“On Truth.” In  The Nature of Truth, Kellen, N. Kim, J. M.Lynch and J. Wyatt. (eds). (Cambridge MA: The MIT Press [2020].

Online Books

2005: Language:  A Biological Model , Oxford

2004: Varieties of Meaning, The Jean Nicod Lectures 2002, MIT

2000: On Clear and Confused Ideas, Cambridge

Online Papers

Places of publication are in my curriculum vitae above. To view the following "pdf" files you need to obtain a free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Forthcoming-Thoughts of Real Kinds

2013-An Epistemology for Phenomenology

2012-What's Inside a Thinking Animal?

2012-Spracherwerb Learning Language

2012-On Meaning, Meaning and Meaning

2012-Are There Mental Indexicals and Demonstratives?

2012-Accidents (APA John Dewey Lecture)

2011-Loosing the Word-Concept Tie

2010-On Knowing the Meaning; With a Coda on Swampman

2009-Embedded Rationality

2008-A Difference of Some Consequence Between Conventions And Rules

2008-Biosemantics (for the Oxford Handbook in the Philosophy of Mind, Brian McLaughlin, Editor)

2007-An Input Condition for Teleosemantics

2006-Useless Content

2006-Styles of Rationality

2005-The Father, The Son and the Daughter: Sellars, Brandom and Millikan

2005-Some Reflections on the TT - ST Debate

2004-Existence Proof for a Viable Externalism

2004-On Reading Signs: Some Differences Between Us and The Others

2003-In Defense of Public Language

2003-Teleological Theories of Mental Content

2002-Biofunctions: Two Paradigms 

2001-The Language-Thought Partnership A Bird's Eye View

2001-The Myth of Mental Indexicals

2001-What Has Natural Information to Do with Intentional Representation?

2001-Cutting Philosophy of Language Down to Size

2001-Purposes and cross-purposes: On the Evolution of Languages and Language

2000-Reading Mother Nature's Mind

1999-Wings, Spoons, Pills, and Quills: A Pluralist Theory of Function

1999-Historical Kinds and the Special Sciences

1999-Reply to Boyd on Historical Kinds and the Special Sciences

1998- A Common Structure for Concepts of Individuals, Stuffs and Real Kinds

1998-With Enemies Like These, I Don't Need Friends: Words, Concepts, and Entities

1998-Language Conventions Made Simple

1998-How We Make Our Ideas Clear: Empiricist Epistemology for Empirical Concepts

1998-Naturalizing Intentionality (World Congress XX)

1998-A More Plausible Kind of Recognitional Concept

1998-On Cognitive Luck: Externalism in an Evolutionary Frame

1996-On Swampkinds

1996-Pushmi-Pullyu Representations

1993-White Queen Psychology, Chapter 7: What Is Behavior? A Philosophical Essay on Ethology and Individualism in Psychology Part One

1993-White Queen Psychology, Chapter 8: The Green Grass Growing All Around A Philosophical Essay on Ethology and Individualism in Psychology, Part Two