USIA Fellow Prof. José Zalabardo


Professor José Zalabardo is the Honorary/Advisory Philosopher, and a Fellow (Honours) of the United Sigma Intelligence Association.

José Zalabardo is a professor of philosophy at University College London.

José Zalabardo works in epistemology, metaphysics and philosophical semantics. He also has an interest in Wittgenstein’s philosophy.

José Zalabardo was born in Madrid. He did his undergraduate degree at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, an MPhil at the University of St Andrews and a PhD at the University of Michigan, all in philosophy. Before coming to UCL he was a lecturer at the University of Birmingham.


José Zalabardo is interested in the relationship between reality and our representations of it in thought and language. His main concern is to understand the consequences of the fact that our characterisation of this relationship is itself a representation of reality in thought or language. He works in areas of epistemology, metaphysics and the philosophies of mind and language that address these problems.

Authored Books

Representation and Reality in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, Oxford University Press, 2015. [OUP]

Conocimiento y escepticismo. Ensayos de epistemología, Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas, 2014. [UNAM]

Scepticism and Reliable Belief, Oxford University Press, 2012. [OUP]

Introduction to the Theory of Logic, Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, 2000. [Routledge]

Spanish translation: Introducción a la teoría de la lógica, Alianza, 2002. [Alianza]

Concepciones de lo real: realismo y antirrealismo en semántica y metafísica, KRK Ediciones, Oviedo, 2012.

Edited Book

Wittgenstein’s Early Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2012. [OUP]


“Logic without Metaphysics”, Synthese (forthcoming). [Springer]

“Safety, Sensitivity and Differential Support”, Synthese (forthcoming). [Springer]

“Inferentialism and Knowledge. Brandom’s Arguments against Reliabilism”, Synthese (forthcoming). [Springer]

“Belief, Desire and the Prediction of Behaviour”, Philosophical Issues 29 (2019), pp. 295-310. [Wiley]

“The Primacy of Practice”. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 86 (2019), pp. 181-99. [Cambridge]

“The Tractatus on Unity”, Australasian Philosophical Review 2 (2018), pp. 250-71. [PDF]

Spanish translation: “La unidad en el Tractatus”, in David Pérez Chico (ed.), Cuestiones de Filosofía del Lenguaje, Prensas de la Universidad de Zaragoza, 2018, pp. 71-105.

“Response to Commentaries on ‘The Tractatus on Unity’”, Australasian Philosophical Review 2 (2018), pp. 343-54.

“Actualism and Modal Semantics”, Acta Analytica 33 (2018), pp. 35-49. [Springer]

“Davidson, Russell and Wittgenstein on the Problem of Predication”, in Claudine Verheggen (ed.), Wittgenstein and Davidson on Thought, Language, and Action, Cambridge University Press, 2017, pp. 226-49. [PDF]

“Reflective Knowledge and the Nature of Truth”, Disputatio 8 (2016), pp. 147-71. [PDF]

“Empiricist Pragmatism”, Philosophical Issues 26 (2016), pp. 441-61. [Wiley]

“El realismo y el anti-realismo”, in JL Prades (ed.), Cuestiones de Metafísica, Tecnos, 2015, pp. 47-89.

“Epistemic Disjunctivism and the Evidential Problem”, Analysis 75 (2015), pp. 615-627. [OUP]

“Wittgenstein’s Nonsense Objection to Russell’s Theory of Judgment” in Michael Campbell and Michael O’Sullivan (eds.), Wittgenstein and Perception, Routledge, 2015, pp. 126-151. [PDF]

“Précis of Scepticism and Reliable Belief”, Teorema 33:3 (2014), pp. 88-91. [Dialnet]

“Replies to my Critics”, Teorema 33:3 (2014), pp. 181-202. [Dialnet]

“Inference and Scepticism”, in E. Zardini & D. Dodd (eds.), Scepticism and Perceptual Justification, Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 108-127. [OUP]

“Reference, Simplicity and Necessary Existence in the Tractatus”, in J. Zalabardo (ed.), Wittgenstein’s Early Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 119–150. [OUP]

“Wright on Moore”, in A. Coliva (ed.), Wittgenstein, Epistemology and Mind. Themes from the Philosophy of Crispin Wright, Oxford University Press, 2012 pp. 304–322. [OUP]

“Semantic Normativity and Naturalism”, in M. García Carpintero & M. Kölbel (eds.), Continuum Companion to Philosophy of Language, Continuum, London, 2012, pp. 203–227. [PDF]

“Boghossian on Inferential Knowledge“, Analytic Philosophy 52 (2011), pp. 124–39. [Wiley]

“The Tractatus on Logical Consequence”, European Journal of Philosophy 18 (2010), pp. 425–442. [Wiley]

“Why Believe the Truth? Shah and Velleman on the Aim of Belief”, Philosophical Explorations 13 (2010), pp. 1–21.  [Informaworld]

“An Argument for the Likelihood-Ratio Measure of Confirmation”, Analysis 69 (2009), pp. 630–635. [OUP][JSTOR]

“One Strand in the Rule-Following Considerations”, Synthese 171 (2009), pp. 509–519. [Springer]

“How I Know I’m Not a Brain in a Vat”, in A. O’Hear (ed.), Epistemology. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement: 64, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2009, pp. 65–88. [CUP]

“Internalist Foundationalism and the Problem of the Epistemic Regress”, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (2008), pp. 34–58. [Wiley]

“BonJour, Externalism and the Regress Problem”, Synthese 148 (2006), pp. 135–69. [Springer][JSTOR]

“Externalism, Skepticism and the Problem of Easy Knowledge”, Philosophical Review 114 (2005), pp. 33–61. [PDF]

“Wittgenstein on Accord”, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (2003), pp. 311–329. [Wiley]

“Towards a Nominalist Empiricism”, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (2001), pp. 29–52. [Wiley][JSTOR]

“Realism Detranscendentalized”, European Journal of Philosophy 8 (2000), pp. 63–88. [Wiley]

“Putting Reference beyond Belief”, Philosophical Studies 91 (1998), pp. 221–257. [Springer]

“Kripke’s Normativity Argument”, Canadian Journal of Philosophy 27 (1997), pp. 467–488. [JSTOR]

“Predicates, Properties, and the Goal of a Theory of Reference”, Grazer Philosophische Studien 51 (1996), pp. 121–161. [Brill]

“A Problem for Information Theoretic Semantics”, Synthese 105 (1995), pp. 1–29. [Springer]

“Rules, Communities and Judgments”, Crítica 21 (1989), pp. 33–58. [JSTOR]


Review of Marie McGinn, Elucidating the Tractatus: Wittgenstein’s Early Philosophy of Language and Logic (OUP, 2006), Mind 117 (2008), pp. 1105–1108. [OUP]

Review of María Cerezo, The Possibility of Language. Internal Tensions in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus (CSLI Publications, 2005), Mind 116 (2007), pp. 1095–1098. [OUP]

Review of John W. Cook, Wittgenstein, Empiricism and Language (OUP, 2000), Mind 111 (2002), pp. 88–92. [OUP]


Spanish translation of Kant’s Erste Einleitung in die Kritik der Urteilskraft: Primera Introducción a la Crítica del Juicio, Visor, Madrid, 1987.


​​I started drawing in 2008. I draw most days. I like to draw people, things and places as I find them, as they present themselves to me. I draw fellow passengers whenever I’m on the tube. I also like to draw urban landscapes, but I have less time for that. I go to life drawing sessions when I can. I also draw when I go to museums. I’ve been doing watercolours for some time. Here are some of them.


I started sailing in my late thirties, as one does. I’ve sailed a lot since then, more than 8000 nautical miles. I’ve sailed in many different boats with many different people in many different places. Since 2009 I’ve owned Scallywag, a Dehler 31. I keep her at Tollesbury, in the East Coast of England. Here is my sailing log.

​​I learnt to play the saxophone when I was young, but then I stopped. A few years ago I started again. I play classical music. I like the classical saxophone repertoire. I know it well. I’ve been playing saxophone and piano music with a friend for a few years now. We play most weeks. This feels like an enormous privilege.

Source from the official website of José Zalabardo.