Yao Fan

yao.fan@pitt.edu

Biography

I was born and raised in China until I discovered Australia and did my undergraduate studies there. Before joining Pitt in 2017, I studied at University of Sydney obtaining a BA in Mathematics and Philosophy, and at Australian National University obtaining a BA(Honours) in Philosophy.

My interest in philosophy, though broad, is mainly theoretical and often driven by certain questions I take to be important. One central theme of my questions, as it appears to me, concerns the reconciliation of the ordinary (picture of the) world and the scientific (picture of the) world. But I also think about smaller questions like "is logic empirical", "how does mind fit in the physical world", or smaller topics like causation or decision theory. As you may have already realized, I prioritize systematization in philosophy or in Sellars' words, "to understand how things in the broadest possible sense of the term hang together in the broadest possible sense of the term". From time to time, you can find me wandering around different areas of studies and trying to put things together. Driven by this impulse, the main areas I come across so far are Logic and Philosophy of Logic, Metaphysics and Philosophy of Science, Mind and Language, and (Formal) Epistemology. I'm also interested in Pragmatism and some historical figures, e.g. Kant, Frege, Wittgenstein among others.

I spent a rather significant amount of my time, in the past, watching anime and tv shows, reading novels and playing sports of various kinds (skiing, climbing, caving are my current favorites) and board games of various kinds. Admittedly, just like philosophy, I'm not good at any of them, but I did enjoy.