Photo courtesy Nils-Hennes Stear


About me

My name is Billy Dunaway. I am a postdoc at the University of Oxford, and I work in ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophy of language. I received my PhD in philosophy from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in May 2013 with Allan Gibbard as my supervisor.

Brief descriptions of some of my work are below. Click on 'Papers' for more detailed information about the papers.

I can be contacted at william.dunaway [at] philosophy [dot] ox [dot] ac [dot] uk. Comments on anything posted here are very welcome.





Modal Quantification without Worlds, forthcoming in Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, vol. 8.

The Folk Probably Do Think What You Think They Think (with Anna Edmonds and David Manley), forthcoming in Australasian Journal of Philosophy (go here for a full description of the experimental philosophy meta–survey we conducted for this paper and its results).

Minimalist Semantics in Meta-ethical Expressivism, Philosophical Studies vol. 151 no. 3, pp. 351-371 (the final version can be found here— library subscription required).



Work in Progress


I am currently working on a series of papers from my dissertation, Realism and Fundamentality in Ethics and Elsewhere, on relationship between the notion of metaphysical fundamentality and some outstanding problems in metaethics. These papers address the prospects for fundamentality to help with issues related to realism, reference, quasi-realist Expressivism, and non-naturalism.


I am also working on the costs and benefits of treating the primitive notion of fundamentality at issue in metaphysics to be the relative notion of fundamentality. I pursue this line of thought primarily through thinking about the relationship between fundamentality and reference, laws, and confirmation.

Other Work

Many philosophers have taken an interest in the relationship between the evolutionary origins of our belief forming faculties and the epistemic status of our beliefs. These connections have been most explicitly explored in the case of religious and moral beliefs. My work on these topics concerns the relationship between evolutionary origins, epistemic luck, and knowledge in these areas.

Please see the Papers section for more on these and other works–in–progress.