Robert Michels

Academic Degree:
Professional Category:
FCT Assistant Researcher

Research Group: LanCog


I work mostly in metaphysics and the philosophy of language, but I also have interests in other areas, including general philosophy of science, the (recent) history of philosophy, epistemology, and the philosophy of logic. My project at the Centre of Philosophy focuses on the nature of indeterminacy. One central question it aims to address is whether apparently different phenomena such as the vagueness of a sentence, the metaphysical indeterminacy implied by some philosophical and scientific theories, or the uncertainty involved in certain decisions involve fundamentally the same sort of indeterminacy.

Before starting my position in Lisbon, I received a PhD in philosophy from the University of Geneva and then worked as a post-doc and lecturer at different universities in Switzerland. Before I discovered my serious interest in philosophy, I did a BA in pedagogy and art history.

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Personal website:

Selected Publications

Are all laws of nature created equal? Meta-laws versus more necessary laws – co-authored with Salim Hirèche and Niels Linnemann (forthcoming in Erkenntnis)

Plural Metaphysical Supervaluationism – co-authored with Cristian Mariani and Giuliano Torrengo (forthcoming in Inquiry)

The Strong Arm of the Law. A Unified Account of Necessary and Contingent Laws of Nature – co-authored with Salim Hirèche, Niels Linnemann, and Lisa Vogt (Synthese 199: 10211–10252 (2021))

On How (Not) to Define Modality in Terms of Essence (Philosophical Studies 176 (4): 1015–1033 (2019))

The Limits of Non-Standard Contingency (Philosophical Studies 176 (2):

533-558 (2019))

Essential Truths and Their Truth-Grounds (Ergo 5 (30): 790-815 (2018))

Soames’s Argument 1 against Strong Two-Dimensionalism (Philosophical Studies 161 (3):403-420 (2012))