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Associate Professor of Philosophy at the School of Philosophy, Religion, and History of Science at the University of Leeds. 

CONTACT: keiserjessicalynn[at]gmail[dot]com



I work at the intersection of philosophy of language and social/political philosophy, exploring the role of language as a tool for social and political action. In my recent book Non-Ideal Foundations of Language (Routledge 2022), I argue that the major traditions in the philosophy of language have mistakenly focused on highly idealized linguistic contexts of cooperative information exchange. I propose a non-ideal theory according to which the essential function of language is to direct attention for the purpose of achieving diverse—and sometimes conflicting—social and political goals. I'm currently exploring the social and political ramifications of this picture of language; I am particularly interested in how recent work in cognitive science can inform the ethics of attention-direction in relation to language use, especially in online contexts.


Non-Ideal Metasemantics, Routledge. 2023
Final Version (open access)
"Languages and Language Use", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 2022
Penultimate version
"The "All Lives Matter" Response: QUD-shifting as Epistemic Injustice", Synthese. 2021
Final version
*Similar ideas were developed independently by the ALPS lab and can be found here*

"The Case for Consent Pluralism", Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy. 2022
Penultimate version


“On Meaning Without Use”, Journal of Philosophy. 2021
Penultimate version
“Language without Information Exchange.”, Mind and Language. 2020
Final version
“The Limits of Acceptance”, Inquiry. 2020
Final version
“Varieties of Intentionalism”, Preyer, Gerhard (ed). Semantics, Pragmatics and Interpretation. Oxford University Press. 2018
Penultimate version


“Bald-Faced Lies: How to make a move in a language game without making a move in a conversation”, Philosophical Studies. 2016
Final version
“Coordinating with Language”, Croatian Journal of Philosophy. 2016
Final version


"Reference and confusion", Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.

"Review of Richard Moran's The Exchange of Words: Speech, Testimony, and Intersubjectivity", Ethics. 2020
"Social structures in context" (with Katherine Ritchie), Under review
Email me for draft
"Normative generics and archetypes: in defense of polysemy"
Email me for draft



"Reducing Reference" 

Philosophy of Language and Linguistics Conference, Dubrovnik 2023

“Social Structures in Context” (with Katherine Ritchie) Studies in Language, Information, Meaning, and Expression Workshop, UCLA 2022


“Covert Meaning” The Iceland Reference Workshop, 2022


“Linguistic Conventions and Language Change” London School of Economics Popper Seminar, 2022


“Linguistic Conventions and Language Change”

University of Hertfordshire Research Seminar, 2022


“Linguistic Conventions and Language Change” University of Edinburgh, Visiting Speaker Series 2022


“Non-Ideal Foundations of Language” Non-Ideal Philosophy of Language Workshop, 2021


“Languages and Language Use” Umea Intentionality Workshop, 2021


“Social Structures in Context” (with Katherine Ritchie) University of Leeds Research Seminar, 2021


“Linguistic Conventions and Language Change” Arché Mind and Language Seminar 2021


"Languages and Language Use" University of Haifa Colloquium, 2021


"The All Lives Matter Response" University of Warwick Colloquium, 2021 


"Linguistic Conventions" Linguistic Conventions Conference, Leeds, 2020


"Problems with Common Ground" Winter Philosophy of Language Reading Group, 2020


“Languages and Language Use” Fall Language Online Workshop, 2020


“The Case for Consent Pluralism” Cornell Philosophy of Law Conference, 2020


“On Meaning Without Use” LOGOS Colloquium Series Barcelona, 2019


“On Meaning Without Use” Ontario Meaning Workshop, 2019


“Speech Acts for Metasemantics” Speech Acts Engineering Conference University of Oslo, 2019


“Two Problems for Constitutive Norms” Storytelling Workshop University of Bergen, 2019


“On Meaning Without Use” University of Leeds Colloquium Series University of Leeds, 2018

“Language Without Information Exchange” Non-Propositional Attitudes Workshop ANU, 2018


“Coordinating With Language” ANU Thursday Seminar Series ANU, 2017


“Perduring Languages” Is There Any Such Thing As A Language?: 30 Years After "A Nice Derangement" University of South Florida, 2016


“Perduring Languages” Philosophy of Language and Linguistics Interuniversity Center, Dubrovnik, 2016


“Coordination with Language” Philosophy of Language and Linguistics Interuniversity Center, Dubrovnik, 2015


“Bald-Faced Lies: How to make a move in a language game without making a move in a conversation” Mentoring Workshop for Graduate Women in Philosophy Princeton University, 2014


“Language without Assertion” Philosophy of Language Workshop NYU, 2013




On Don Fallis “Are Bald-faced Lies Deceptive After All?” APA Central Division Meeting 2014



Philosophy of Language, University of Leeds 2018, 2022

Formal Logic, University of Leeds 2019, 2021

Feminist Philosophy, University of Leeds, 2021

How to Think Clearly and Argue Well, University of Leeds, 2021

Introduction to Ethics, Gateway Community College 2016-2017

Philosophy of Law, Yale University 2016

Philosophy of Art, Florence Academy of Art, US 2014-2015

Drawing, University of Missouri 2007-2009

Drawing, Florence Academy of Art 2006-2007


Computability and Logic, Yale University 2017, Sun-Joo Shin

Propaganda, Yale University 2016, Jason Stanley

Mathematical Logic, Yale University 2015, Sun-Joo Shin

Introduction to Early Modern Philosophy, Yale University 2014, Michael Della Rocca 

Mathematical Logic, Yale University 2013 (spring), Sun-Joo Shin

Mathematical Logic, Yale University 2013 (fall), Sun-Joo Shin

History of Aesthetics, Yale University 2012, Karsten Harries


Before pursuing philosophy full-time, I studied and taught drawing and painting at the Florence Academy of Art and the University of Missouri. My work has been exhibited at Grenning Gallery, Gillock Gallery, and Sader Braudis Gallery. Here are a few of my drawings and one sculpture--a pumpkin carving of Bertrand Russell, which is perhaps my greatest artistic achievement.

self portrait.jpg

Self-portrait, charcoal on paper

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