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Prof. J.P. Smit

Prof. J.P. Smit is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy. He holds a DPhil from Stellenbosch University (completed in 2003 under the supervision of AA van Niekerk) and a PhD from Cambridge (completed 2013 under the supervision of Simon Blackburn).  The first thesis was on meta-ethics, the second on the theory of reference. His research interests are in Semantics and the Philosophy of Economics.

Selected publications

On Language

“Anaphora and semantic innocence” in Journal of Semantics (2010), 27: 119-124 (with Asbjorn Steglich-Peterson).

“Why bare demonstratives need not semantically refer” in Canadian Journal of Philosophy (2012), 42: 43 – 66.​

“Russel’s eccentricity” in Erkenntnis (2021), 86: 275 – 293.

“Almog was right, Kripke’s causal theory is trivial” in Philosophia (2023), DOI: 10.1007/s11406-023-00625-0.

“Game theory and demonstratives” in Erkenntnis (2023), DOI: 10.1007/s10670-023-00672-9

On Institutions

“What is money? An alternative to Searle’s institutional facts” in Economics and Philosophy (2011), 27: 1-22 (with Filip Buekens and Stan du Plessis).

“Developing the incentivized action view of institutional reality” in Synthese (2014) 191: 1813 – 1830 (with Filip Buekens and Stan du Plessis).

“Cigarettes, dollars and bitcoins – an essay on the ontology of money” in Journal of Institutional Economics (2016), 12: 327 – 347 (with Filip Buekens and Stan du Plessis).

“How to do things without words – a theory of declarations” in Philosophy of the Social Sciences (2017), 47: 235-254 (with Filip Buekens).

“Is Somaliland a country? And essay on institutional objects in the social sciences.” forthcoming in Dialectica. (with Filip Buekens).


  • 142 – Logic and Critical Thinking
  • 262 – Philosophy of Science
  • 354 – History of Analytic Philosophy

12882778 – The Theory of Meaning