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Burkhardt Fellow
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Language as Decision Making

Agustín Rayo is an associate professor of philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He works at the intersection of the philosophies of logic, mind, and language and hopes to understand what makes it possible for our minds to represent the world.

During his residence at Radcliffe, Rayo is developing an unorthodox model of linguistic communication, according to which language mastery is thought of as an ability to deploy common sense in light of contextual cues, rather than as an ability to conform to linguistic rules.

Rayo earned a PhD from MIT in 2001. He has since published a number of articles in academic journals, but is best known for his victorious showing at MIT’s Large Number Duel, where he wrote the biggest number ever written on a chalkboard. He also coedited, with Gabriel Uzquiano, Absolute Generality (Oxford University Press, 2006).

This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.
Photo by Tony Rinaldo