Rachel Sterken

Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Hong Kong rachel.sterken@gmail.com

My research centres on philosophy of language and connects to a broad range of issues in linguistics (semantics, pragmatics), metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophical logic, social and political philosophy, developmental and social psychology, ethics, philosophical methodology, epistemology and philosophy of technology.
I am principal investigator of the project Meaning and Communication in the Information Age which is funded by the Norwegian Research Council (2020-2024). My collaborators on the project are Jessica Pepp (Uppsala), Eliot Michaelson (KCL) and Fintan Mallory (Oslo). The project looks at how the nature of linguistic meaning and communication have changed as a result of advances in information technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR).
I am co-organiser of ConceptLab Hong Kong. ConceptLab Hong Kong fosters research on conceptual engineering/ethics by bringing together researchers from around the globe for seminars and focused collaborative projects. Previously, I was co-director of the Norwegian Research Council funded research centre ConceptLab at the University of Oslo (with Herman Cappelen, Øystein Linnebo and Camilla Serck-Hansson).
For more information about my teaching, research talks (including upcoming talks), workshops (past and upcoming), etc, please see my CV here. My Google Scholar page is here.

The Routledge Handbook of Social and Political Philosophy of Language (co-edited with Justin Khoo, Routledge, 2021.
Generics in Context. Philosopher’s Imprint, 15(21), 2015. Open access.

Leslie on Generics Philosophical Studies, 172(9), 2015. Penultimate.

Generics, Content and Cognitive Bias. Analytic Philosophy, 56(1), 2015. Penultimate

Generics, Covert Structure and Logical Form. Mind and Language, 31(5), 2016. Penultimate.

The Meaning of Generics. Philosophy Compass, 12(8), 2017. Penultimate.

The Structures of Social Structural Explanation. Disputatio, special issue on the work of S. Haslanger "Doing Justice to the Social", 2018. Open access. Reply by Haslanger.

What’s New About Fake News? (with E. Michaelson and J. Pepp), Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, 2019. Open access. Youtube readthrough by Kenny Easwaran.

Why We Should Keep Talking About Fake News (with E. Michaelson and J. Pepp), Inquiry, 2019. Penultimate. Response by Joshua Habgood-Coote.

Linguistic Intervention and Transformative Communicative Disruptions in A. Burgess, H. Cappelen and D. Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics, Oxford University Press, 2020. Open access.

Social and Political Aspects of Generic Language and Speech (with M. McKeever) in J. Khoo and R.K. Sterken (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Social and Political Philosophy of Language, 2021. Penultimate.

Introduction: Social and Political Philosophy of Language (with J. Khoo), The Routledge Handbook of Social and Political Philosophy of Language,. 2021.

Language Signalling High-Proportions, Not Just Generics, Leads to Generalizing and Essentializing (with E. Hoicka and J. Saul), Cognitive Science, 2021. Penultimate.

Generics and the Metaphysics of Kinds (with D. Liebesman), Philosophy Compass, 2021. Open access.

Manipulative Machines (with J. Pepp, E. Michaelson and M. McKeever) in F. Jongepier and M. Klenk (eds.) The Philosophy of Online Manipulation, Routledge, 2022.

Relevance-Based Knowledge Resistance in Public Conversations (with J. Pepp and E. Michaelson) in J. Strömbäck, Å. Wikforss, K. Glüer, T. Lindholm, and H. Oscarsson (eds.) Knowledge Resistance in High-Choice Information Environments, Routledge, 2022.

On Retweeting (w J. Pepp and E. Michaelson) in L. Anderson and E. Lepore (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Applied Philosophy of Language, Oxford University Press, 2022.
Bernard Nickel’s Between Logic and the World: An Integrated Theory of Generics. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2016. Open access.
Works In Progress

Generics and Metalinguistic Negotiations (with D. Plunkett and T. Sundell)

How to Do New Things with Words (with E. Michaelson and J. Pepp) in P. Connolly, S. Goldberg and J. Saul (eds.) Conversations Online, Oxford University Press.

On What Ordinary Language Philosophy Should Be (with H. Cappelen) in E. Fischer and N. Hansen (eds.) Philosophy’s Experimental Turn and the Challenge from Ordinary Language, Synthese.

Fake News, Fiction and Belief (with J. Pepp and E. Michaelson) in A. James, F. Lavocat, and A. Kubo (eds.), Handbook of Fiction and Belief, Routledge.

The Alignment Problem in Human-AI Communication (with J. Pepp and E. Michaelson) in H. Cappelen and R. Sterken (eds.) Communicating with AI: Philosophical Perspectives.

Public Philosophy
"Online Communication", with E. Michaelson and J. Pepp, in The Philosophers' Magazine, online here

"What Fake News Is and Why It Matters", with E. Michaelson and J. Pepp, on Public Ethics blog, available here.