Meet our Team

Prof. J.P. Smit

Associate Professor

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
  • “An unjustly neglected theory of semantic reference” in Philosophical Studies (2024), DOI: 10.1007/s11098-024-02139-1

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).


  • 262 – Philosophy of Science
  • 354 – History of Analytic Philosophy
  • 12882778 – The Theory of Meaning