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Wesley Wrigley

Wesley Wrigley

Department: Philosophy

Supervisor: Dr Tim Button

College: Sidney Sussex

AHRC Subject Area: Philosophy

Title of Thesis: Metaphysics and its Discontents


I read the Philosophy Tripos at King’s College, here in Cambridge (2010-2013), before moving to Wadham College, Oxford for the BPhil in Philosophy (2013-2015). I’m now back in Cambridge for a PhD in Philosophy, this time at Sidney Sussex. My thesis is concerned with philosophical criticisms of metaphysics, and more specifically of ontology (the long-standing project of describing what sort of things there are). Most of these criticisms of metaphysics have their roots in the work of Wittgenstein or Carnap, and employ semantic considerations to try and show that when metaphysicians attempt to say something about how the world “really”, or “fundamentally” is, such attempts are ultimately unsuccessful in some way. Typically, the critic will claim either that the metaphysician has said nothing meaningful at all, or that they have said something completely banal. My aim is to trace the historical roots of these critiques of metaphysics, and to examine the successes and limitations of current work in this area. The goal of my research is a clearer understanding of the limits of metaphysics, and ultimately of what it is that we do when we do philosophy.

Other academic interests

Philosophy of Language, Logic and Mathematics

History of Analytic Philosophy

Logic and Set Theory