Associate Professor Ryan Nefdt

Associate Professor

BA(Hons) UCT MSocSc UCT MSc Amsterdam PhD St Andrews

UCT College of Fellows Young Researcher, 2020

Winner of The Humanities Faculty Emerging Researcher Award, 2019

HSRC and Universities South Africa Emerging Researcher 2021

NRF P-rating (2021-2026)

Dean's Teaching Award (2021)


Areas of interest: 

Philosophy of Language, Epistemology, Linguistics, Logic, Cognitive Science, African Philosophy

Current courses: 

PHI1024F: Introduction to Philosophy

PHI3024S: Metaphysics and Epistemology (with Dr Jack Ritchie)

PHI4015S / PHI5010S: Topics in Theoretical Philosophy 


3.07, Humanities Building

Recent books:

The Philosophy and Science of Language - Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Publication Date: 2020

Recent Publications: 

  • Nefdt, R. (2021) [with Geoff Pullum & Jeff Pelletier]. The Philosophy of Linguistics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Nefdt, R. (2021) Structural Realism and Generative Linguistics. Synthese, Vol. 199, pp 3711-3737.
  • Nefdt, R. (2021). Scientific Models and Political Theory: The Ideal Theory Debate Revisited. Theoria (online first)
  • Nefdt, R. (2021) Concepts and Conceptual Engineering: Answering Cappelen's Challenge. Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (online first)
  • Nefdt. R.M. 2020. A Puzzle concerning Compositionality in Machines. Minds and Machines, Vol. 30: pp 47-75
  • Nefdt, R.M. 2020. Formal Semantics and Applied Mathematics: An Inferential Account. Journal of Logic, Language and Information Vol 29(2), 221-253
  • Nefdt, R.M. 2019. The Philosophy of Linguistics: Scientific Underpinnings and Methodological Disputes. Philosophy Compass, Vol. 14, No. 12, e12636
  • Nefdt, R.M. 2019. The Ontology of Words: A Structural Approach. Inquiry, Vol. 62, Issue 8, pp 877-911
  • Nefdt, R.M. 2019. Infinity and the Foundations of Linguistics. Synthese [Special issue on infinite idealizations in science], Vol 196, Issue 5, pp 1671–1711
  • Nefdt, R.M. 2019. Why Philosophers Should Do Semantics (and a bit of syntax too): A reply to Cappelen. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, Vol 10, No.1: 243–256
  • Nefdt, R.M. 2019. Linguistics as a Science of Structure. In Form and Formalism in Linguistics, J. McElvenny (ed.), History and Philosophy of the Language Sciences, pp 175-196. Berlin: Language Science Press
  • Nefdt, R.M. 2018. Inferentialism and Structuralism: A Tale of Two Theories. Logique et Analyse, Vol. 61, No. 244: 489-512.
  • Nefdt, R.M. 2018. Languages and Other Abstract Structures. In Essays on Linguistic Realism, Behme, C and Neef, M (eds.) pp 139-184. John Benjamins Publishing, Amsterdam
  • Nefdt, R.M. 2016. Scientific Modelling in Generative Grammar and the Dynamic Turn in Syntax. Linguistics and Philosophy, Vol. 39(5): 357-394