Welcome to Jason John Griffin White's home page. Here you will find an assortment of notes and references reflective of my interests and activities.
I recently completed a Ph.D. (Department of Philosophy, University of Melbourne), in contemporary analytic philosophy of language. To be more specific, I examine the comparative merits of different approaches to the construction of theories of meaning, focusing on the question, originally raised by Michael Dummett, of whether a semantic theory should strive to offer a non-trivial account of the primitive expressions of a language. Technically, this is the question of whether a theory of meaning should be modest or full-blooded in Dummett's sense of these terms. In addressing this issue, I concentrate in particular on recent advances in inferentialist semantics, as developed by Robert Brandom at the University of Pittsburgh.
I examine Brandom's work not only from the broader perspective of contemporary disagreements concerning the nature and limitations of theories of meaning, but also as an alternative to truth-conditional semantics. In doing so, I evaluate Brandom's account of subsentential expressions (namely singular terms and predicates) and its capacity to furnish a recursive, compositional explanation.
Apart from this research, I have also been active in the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative, an international, collaborative project aiming to make the World Wide Web more accessible to people with disabilities. From 2000-2004 I had the privilege of working as co-chair, with Gregg Vanderheiden, of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines working group.
My undergraduate degrees are in arts (with Honours in philosophy) and in law (concentrating on public international law, human rights, Constitutional law and of course legal philosophy). Philosophically, I have engaged with both the analytic and continental European traditions, focusing in the latter case on contemporary French philosophy.
The abstract and slides for my Innovations in Web Accessibility presentation are available here.
You are welcome to send me e-mail.