Introduction: Sara L. Uckelman

Hello! I’m Sara, a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Durham University. I received my PhD from the University of Amsterdam in 2009, with a dissertation entitled Modalities in Medieval Logic.

I have been interested in medieval history since high school, but despite taking all the logic classes I could during my BA and MA, it wasn’t until I moved to Amsterdam that I discovered there was an intersection between my two loves — that I could do both logic AND medieval history at the same time! — and the rest, as they say, was history.

My primary interest has been, from the start, modality, broadly construed. I am interested in modal logics of necessity, time, tense, action, obligation, knowledge, etc., and in particular how these play out in dynamic contexts. This makes medieval logic a perfect research field for me, because so much of the 13th and 14th C developments in logic are pragmatically and practically motivated, rooted in an analysis of natural language and how we use it. This use is essentially ground in multi-agent and dynamic contexts. My main modus operandi is to use the techniques and tools that I have learned in contemporary logic to shed light on medieval developments, which in turn often sheds new insight on contemporary logic, often by forcing the development of new logical techniques in order to accurately capture the medieval analyses.

For more information, you can view my publications or read an interview of me in 3:AM Magazine.

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