Personal details

Richard W. Lawrence
rwl 🜁


08.2017 PhD in Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley

05.2007 BA summa cum laude in Philosophy with Honors (minor in Mathematics), University of Pennsylvania

Academic experience


present Principal Investigator, Frege Among the Formalists, FWF ESPRIT Grant, University of Vienna
10.2021 03.2022 IVC Fellow, Institute Vienna Circle, University of Vienna
04.2021 09.2021 Post-doctoral researcher, General and Computational Linguistics (65%) and Philosophy (35%), University of Tübingen
06.2019 03.2021 Post-doctoral researcher, General and Computational Linguistics, University of Tübingen
10.2018 12.2018 Visiting post-doctoral researcher, Free University Berlin
09.2017 08.2018 Berkeley Connect Fellow, University of California, Berkeley
08.2009 08.2017 PhD student in Philosophy (50%), University of California, Berkeley
07.2008 07.2009 Research coordinator, Computational Memory Lab, University of Pennsylvania


philosophy of mathematics, language, and logic
technology and ethics, mathematical logic, ancient philosophy
Other interests
digital media, aesthetics, philosophy of science

Technical experience


Web technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React, Bootstrap, XML, XSLT), Python (Django, Numpy/Scipy), Git, Unix (Debian GNU/Linux, others), Databases and SQL (PostgreSQL, SQLite), Emacs and Elisp

Work history

General and Computational Linguistics, Universität Tübingen (FT, 06.2019–09.2021)

  • Created interactive interfaces for linguistic research data (React, Bootstrap, Docker and other modern Web technologies)
  • Developed metadata transformations to make archived research data discoverable on the Web (HTML, CSS, XML, XSLT)
  • Archived linguistic research data and metadata in collaboration with other researchers
  • Reduced technical debt and maintenance load for internal database editor (React, Java, Postgres)

Computational Memory Lab, University of Pennsylvania (FT, 07.2008–07.2009)

  • Advanced long-term study of human memory by collecting, manipulating, and analyzing behavioral and EEG data (Matlab, Python, and Unix tools)
  • Designed and built laboratory information management system (Python, Django)
  • Trained in psychological research ethics and relevant U.S. regulations

Publishers’ Assistant (FT, 09.2007–06.2008)

  • Client-driven Web development (COM and ASP-based technology stack)

Haematologic Technologies, Inc. (PT, Summers 2003–2006)

  • Supported quality control processes by programming temperature monitor for laboratory freezers (R)

Kelly Writers House (PT, Semesters 2003–2007)

  • Web development and maintenance for literary arts organization (HTML, CSS, PHP)

Open Source Contributions

  • Contributor to metadatatransformation, a Web service that converts between metadata formats used by the Tübingen Archive of Language Resources
  • Author of germanet-common, a React library for building applications with the GermaNet semantic database
  • Author and maintainer of ox-linguistics, which provides syntax for linguistic examples in Org Mode documents
  • Author and maintainer of schoolutils, a database and CLI for assignments and grades
  • Contributor of patches, bug reports, and user support to the Open Logic Project, evil-mode, afew, org-mode, and other open source projects


Peer reviewed journal articles

Lawrence, Richard. 2021. “Frege, Hankel, and Formalism in the Foundations”. Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 9 (11) 5–27.

Lawrence, Richard. 2021. “Giving the value of a variable”. Kriterion — Journal of Philosophy 35.

Book reviews

Lawrence, Richard. Forthcoming. “Review of K. Hossack, Knowledge and the Philosophy of Number.” History and Philosophy of Logic.

Lawrence, Richard. 2017. “Review of K. Felka, Talking about Numbers: Easy Arguments for Mathematical Realism.” History and Philosophy of Logic 38 (4): 390–94.

Conference papers

Hinrichs, Marie, Richard Lawrence and Erhard Hinrichs. 2020. “Exploring and visualizing wordnet data with GermaNet Rover”. In: Proceedings of CLARIN Annual Conference 2020. Eds. C. Navarretta and M. Eskevich. Virtual Edition.

Research software

Lawrence, Richard. 2019 (first release). germanet-common.

Lawrence, Richard and Marie Hinrichs. 2020 (first release). GermaNet Rover.


Lawrence, Richard. 2017. Nominalization, Specification, and Investigation. University of California, Berkeley. Committee: Professors John MacFarlane and Paolo Mancosu (co-chairs, Philosophy), Hannah Ginsborg (third member, Philosophy) and Line Mikkelsen (outside member, Linguistics).

Manuscripts in development

Lawrence, Richard. “Who are the persons, and how many are the numbers?”. Under review.

Lawrence, Richard. “Mathmatical formalism: shifting perspectives”. Under review.

Presentations (invited and refereed)

Professional service

Fellowships, Awards and Honors (competitive)

2021 Visiting Research Fellowship, Institute Vienna Circle, University of Vienna
2019 Master Class Travel Fellowship, Journal of the History of Philosophy
2018 Researcher Mobility Fund Fellowship, Free University Berlin
2017 Berkeley Connect Mentoring Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley
2014 Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, University of California, Berkeley
2007 President’s Award for Undergraduate Research, University of Pennsylvania


Universität Tübingen

Summer 2021 Frege und FormalismusU
Winter 2020–21 Technology and Ethics
Summer 2020 Freges Grundlagen der ArithmetikD
Winter 2019–20 Reference to Numbers and Other Abstract ObjectsU

U: upper-level course

D: course taught in German

University of California, Berkeley

Summer 2018 Ancient Philosophy
Summer 2017 Introduction to Logic
Summer 2015 Ancient Philosophy
Summer 2014 Ancient Philosophy

Additional teaching experience as Graduate Student Instructor includes upper-level courses in Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mathematics, Aristotle, and Philosophical Methods.