Harvey Lederman


I am an assistant professor in the department of philosophy at Princeton. Before Princeton, I taught at the University of Pittsburgh, and before that I was a postdoc at NYU. You can view my CV here.

My main completed work is on the notion of common knowledge. Some people commonly know a proposition just in case they all know it, they all know that they all know it, and so on. Common knowledge has been widely used in economics, linguistics and philosophy. I have argued that common knowledge is not as important as many people have thought. The main paper to come out of this project is Uncommon Knowledge, in which I present an argument that people never have common knowledge at all. A second paper examines what if anything the coordinated attack scenario and the electronic mail game show about the role of common knowledge in the theory of rationality in strategic situations. I have also written a handbook article about common knowledge.

I have a longstanding interest in the history of philosophy, particularly in Aristotle, and in Chinese philosophy. I am actively working on two projects about Ming Dynasty philosophy. The first is a paper on Wang Yangming, in which I propose a new interpretation of Wang's doctrine of "the unity of knowledge and action". The second is a translation and edition (with scholarly introduction) of the correspondence of Nie Bao and Wang Ji (coauthored with Ernest Brewster). Drafts of these works are available on request.


Conference Proceedings:

Handbook Article:

Work in Progress:

Older Papers:

Thanks to Peter Fritz for sharing his style sheet.