Fraser Macbride

Prof, Chair of Logic and Metaphysics

  • Arthur Lewis Building-4.027
    School of Social Sciences
    The University of Manchester
    M13 9PL

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Personal profile


Fraser was appointed Chair of Logic & Metaphysics at the University of Manchester in 2016. He is also Editor of the Monist and author of On the Genealogy of Universals: The Metaphysical Origins of Analytic Philosophy (Oxford, 2018). He came to Manchester to work on the AHRC funded project The Age of Metaphysical Revolution. He is currently working on metaphysical and logical issues arising from the relatedness of the world, as well as the history of late analytic philosophy.

Fraser was previously Chair of Logic & Rhetoric at the University of Glasgow, the Visiting Bertrand Russell Professor at McMaster University where the Bertrand Russell Archive is held, and Reader in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He has also been a Reader and a Director of Arché at the University of St. Andrews, a Reader at Birkbeck College London and has held Research Fellowships at University of St. Andrews and University College London. Fraser did an undergradiate degree in philosophy at St. John's College Cambridge and did an Mphil and his PhD at King's College London in which the nature of universal figured prominently.

He has been awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize for his own personal research on the philosophy of mathematics and metaphysics and has received fellowships and other grants from the AHRC, the British Academy, the Carnegie Trust , the Leverhulme Trust and the Mind Association. Fraser has also been a Co-Investigator on an AHRB project on the Logical and Metaphysical Foundations of Mathematics and Convenor of a British Academy Network on Prospects for Neo-Fregeanism.


Fraser has supervised research students working on a wide range of areas, from metaphysics, philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of language to the history of analytic philosophy.

Particular topics have included: meta-ontology, essentialism, the concept horse paradox,  plurals, the multiple relation theory of judgment, higher-order logic, mathematical structuralism, neo-fregeanism, Sellar's nominalism, Quine's naturalism, Davidson on conceptual schemes, universals, tropes, the problem of the many, the metaphysics of change, persistence, powers and essential properties, conventionalism.

He is currently supervising Oliver Spinney on the problem of unity in Bradley, Moore, Russell and Wittgenstein.

As well as welcoming research students working in these areas, Fraser would be interested to supervise students to work on relations in particular or universals in general, truth-making or the philosophy of David Lewis, .

Research interests

I am currently writing a book on the nature of universals, to be published by OUP. I recently published another monograph on the metaphysical origins of analytic philosophy (On the Genealogy of Universals: The Metaphysical Origins of Analytic Philosophy, 2018). I am also working on the history of late analytic philosophy..

More generally, my published work covers four interrelated fields.

(1) Metaphysics: Meta-Ontology, Truth-Making, Essentialism, Relations, Universals

(2) Philosophy of Mathematics: Neo-Freganism, Structuralism, Fictionalism

(3) Philosophy of Language: Reference, Predication and Quantification

(4) History of Analytic Philosophy: Frege, W.E. Johnson, McTaggart, G.E. Moore, Ramsey, Russell, Stout, Whitehead, Wittgenstein (early 20th century) and Quine, Davidson and Lewis (late 20th century)


Units taught

2016/17PHIL30311Philosophy of LanguageCourse Leader
2016/17PHIL40000MPhys Philosophy and Physics Extended Essay

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Investigations into the Particular-Universal Distinction, King's College London

1 Sept 199230 Aug 1994

Award Date: 1 Jan 1996

Bachelor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

1 Sept 198630 Jun 1989

Award Date: 1 Jul 1989

External positions

Editor of the Monist

1 Jan 2016 → …

Areas of expertise

  • B Philosophy (General)
  • Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of Language
  • philosophy of mathematics
  • history of analytic philosophy


  • history of analytic philosophy
  • philosophy of language
  • philosophy of mathematics
  • metaphysics


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