Merel Semeijn

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy name is Merel Semeijn. I am a postdoctoral researcher in semantics/philosophy of fiction. In December 2022, I started my two-year Rubicon project ‘Let’s stop talking about Holmes: Philosophy of fiction beyond novels‘ at the Institut Jean Nicod (École Normale Supérieure) in Paris.

I studied philosophy at the University of Groningen and at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy. I wrote my research master thesis on the role of pretend play in Theory of Mind acquisition (published in Review of Philosophy and Psychology). I then became a PhD student in Dr. Emar Maier’s VIDI-project ‘The Language of Fiction and Imagination’ and was a visiting PhD student and the Institut Jean Nicod in Paris. After my PhD I taught courses in theoretical philosophy at the University of Groningen and at Leiden University.

In 2021 I defended my dissertation called ‘Fiction and Common Ground: A Workspace Account’. In my dissertation I develop an extension of the Stalnakerian common ground framework to model different ways we use language to engage with fiction and how these uses relate to non-fictional language uses such as assertion and lying. I specialize in philosophy of language, philosophy of fiction and (formal) semantics. My current research interests include fiction, fiction operators, learning from fiction, (bald-faced) lies, breaking the fourth wall, metafiction, common ground and poetry.