The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Section Menu

Phillip Bricker

Professor Emeritus

Phillip Bricker received his BA in philosophy and mathematics from UC Berkeley in 1975 and his PhD in philosophy from Princeton University in 1983.  He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Propositions and Possible Worlds under the direction of David Lewis.  He taught at the University of Notre Dame (1981-2) and Yale University (1982-9) prior to arriving at UMass in 1989.  He served as Head of the Philosophy Department from 2001-2010, and is currently Graduate Program Director.

Phillip Bricker’s research interests range broadly over metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, formal epistemology, history of analytic philosophy, and philosophical and mathematical logic.  He has published primarily in metaphysics, especially the metaphysics of modality.


  • "Reducing Possible Worlds to Language," Philosophical Studies 52 (1987), 331-55.
  • "Quantified Modal Logic and the Plural De Re," Contemporary Perspectives in the Philosophy of Language, II, Midwest Studies in Philosophy 14, French, Uehling, and Wettstein (eds.), University of Notre Dame Press (1989), 372-94.
  • "The Fabric of Space: Intrinsic Vs. Extrinsic Distance Relations," Midwest Studies in Philosophy 18, French, Uehling, and Wettstein (eds.), University of Notre Dame Press (1993), 271-94.
  • “Island Universes and the Analysis of Modality,” in Reality and Humean Supervenience: Essays on the Philosophy of David Lewis, G. Preyer, F. Siebelt (eds.), Rowman and Littlefield Publishers (2001), 27-55.
  • “The Relation Between General and Particular: Supervenience vs. Entailment,” in Oxford Papers in Metaphysics, vol. 3, Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford University Press (2006), 251-87.
  • “Absolute Actuality and the Plurality of Worlds,” in Metaphysics (Philosophical Perspectives, vol. 20), John Hawthorne (ed.), Blackwell Publishing (2006), 41-76.
  • “Truthmaking: With and Without Counterpart Theory,” in The Blackwell Companion to David Lewis, Barry Loewer and Jonathan Schaffer (eds.), Blackwell-Wiley (2014).