I’m a Ph.D. candidate and lecturer in Philosophy of Language & Linguistics at Newcastle University, where I’m supervised by Noel Burton-Roberts, Anders Holmberg and Maggie Tallerman for my thesis, Syntax Without Words.

I’m most interested in how generative and computational models of language ought to address certain logical problems having to do with the mental representation of linguistic knowledge. Here, I believe we currently face a serious difficulty, in that what we imagine to be the relationship between form and meaning is not cognitively real, but is rather an illusion of folk psychology, meaning that we do not yet have a properly cognitive science of language.

To correct this, I believe we must reconcile the best of Chomskyan linguistics with the best of specifically Wittgensteinian behaviourism. Though this combination is in many ways profoundly counter-intuitive, the end result is a truly cognitivist research program which opens up new possibilities for understanding how the innate basis of human intelligence interfaces with social practice.



Hackett, Callum. 2017. Justifications for a discontinuity theory of language evolution. Biolinguistics 11. 171-220.