Erich Rast (Ph.D. Roskilde University, Denmark 2007) works as a senior researcher at the Nova Institute of Philosophy at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. He has published books and numerous articles about indexical and nonindexical context-dependence, the interpretation as abduction view, the (meta-)semantics and pragmatics of evaluative terms such as ‘good’ and on theories of value structure and betterness relations. He has also worked on type-driven semantics for quantifier domain restriction, abductive reasoning in higher-order logics, philosophical and formal aspects of value disagreement, value structure, philosophical aspects of de se attitudes, and the role of computationalism in the philosophy of mind. Rast has participated in various research projects on the role of context dependence in epistemology and the philosophy of language and was the PI of a national research project on “Values in Argumentative Discourse” funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. Rast's current work concerns the theory of "better than" and other problems of value theory in metaethics, the dependence of metalinguistic disagreement on varying background ontologies, different conceptions of lexical meaning and their relevance to metalinguistic disputes, ontological relativity, the role of inference to the best explanation in explainable AI, and problems concerning the semantics and pragmatics of evaluative language use.

Personal identification

Full name
Erich Herrmann Rast

Citation names

  • Rast, Erich

Author identifiers

Ciência ID

Email addresses

  • erast@fcsh.unl.pt (Professional)


Mobile phone
  • 9678632207 (Professional)
  • 217908300 Ext.: 1527 (Professional)


  • https://fcsh-unl.academia.edu/ErichRast (Social media)
  • https://philpapers.org/s/Erich%20Rast (Scholar)
  • http://www.arglab.ifilnova.pt/pages/Erich_Rast (Professional)
  • http://www.ifilnova.pt/pages/erich-rast (Professional)
  • http://valueslisbon.netai.net/ (Professional)
  • https://arglabseminar.wordpress.com (Professional)

Knowledge fields

  • Humanities - Philosophy, Ethics and Religion - Philosophy
  • Humanities - Languages and Literatures - Linguistics


Language Speaking Reading Writing Listening Peer-review
German (Mother tongue)
Portuguese Intermediate (B1) Advanced (C1) Intermediate (B1) Advanced (C1) Elementary (A2)
Danish Elementary (A2) Intermediate (B1) Beginner (A1) Intermediate (B1) Intermediate (B1)
French Intermediate (B1) Upper intermediate (B2) Intermediate (B1) Upper intermediate (B2) Intermediate (B1)
English Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2)
Japanese Beginner (A1) Beginner (A1) Beginner (A1) Beginner (A1) Beginner (A1)
Latin Beginner (A1) Beginner (A1) Beginner (A1) Beginner (A1) Beginner (A1)
Degree Classification
2003/09/01 - 2006/08/31
Ph.D. in the Humanities, Philosophy and Science Studies (Doutoramento)
Roskilde Universitet, Denmark
"Reference and Indexicality" (THESIS/DISSERTATION)
1994/04/01 - 2002/06/01
M.A. in Philosophy (1. Main Subject) and General Linguistics (2. Main Subject) (Licenciatura)
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
"Indexikalität und Referenz. Untersuchung zu den referentiellen Eigenschaften indexikalischer Ausdrücke." (THESIS/DISSERTATION)
1.0 with honours
1992/03/01 - 1994/04/01
Zwischenprüfung (B.A. level) in Philosophy (1. Main Topic) and General Linguistics (2. Main Topic) (Bacharelato)
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen Philosophische Fakultät, Germany


Host institution
2008/02/01 - 2019/02/01 Postdoc (Research) Universidade Nova de Lisboa Instituto de Filosofia, Portugal


Designation Funders
2012 - 2019/01/31 Understanding Each Other: Meaning and the Contextualist Challenge
Post-doc Fellow
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
2011 - 2014/09 Argumentation, Communication and Context
Provided by PTCRIS: 110117
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P.
2007 - 2010/09 Context and Communication
Provided by PTCRIS: 68643
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P.


Designation Funders
2008 - 2012/12/31 Ciencia 2007 Fellowship
Ciencia 2007
Post-doc Fellow
Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
2003 - 2006/08/31 Reference and Indexicality
Danish Research Council Fellowship
PhD Student Fellow
Danish Research Council, Denmark


Designation Funders
2019 - 2022/08/31 European network for Argumentation and Public PoLicY analysis [APPLY]
COST Action CA17132
European Cooperation in Science and Technology
2016 - 2019/08/31 Values in Argumentative Discourse (PTDC/MHC-FIL/0521/2014)
Principal investigator
Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia


  1. Rast, Erich. Meaning and Context. Switzerland. 2010.
  2. Erich Rast; Luiz Carlos Mansur Baptista. Meaning and Context. Peter Lang. 2010.
  3. Rast, Erich. Reference and Indexicality. Germany: Logos Verlag. 2007.
Book chapter
  1. Erich Rast. "Theory of Concepts". edited by Hansson, {Sven Ove, 241-250. United Kingdom: Springer, 2018.
  2. Erich Rast. "Moral Choice Without Moralism". edited by Joao Saagua; Antonio Marques, 133-154. United Kingdom: Peter Lang, 2018.
  3. Erich Rast. "De se Attitudes and Semiotic Aspects of Cognition". edited by Jorge Gon{\cc, 121-146. Peter Lang - International Academic Publishers, 2015.
  4. Erich Rast. "Context as Assumptions". edited by Lihoreau, Franck; Rebuschi, Manuel, 9-39. Springer, 2014.
  5. Rast, E.R.. "Classical possibilism and fictional objects". 77-92. 2013.
  6. Erich Rast. "Classical Possibilism and Fictional Objects". edited by Franck Lihoreau, 77-92. Ontos, 2011.
  7. Erich Rast. "Context and Interpretation". 515-534. University of the Basque Country, 2009.
Book review
  1. Erich Rast. "Review of Fenstad's "Grammar, Geometry, & Brain"". 102, 1 (2014): 219-223. http://home.snafu.de/erich/Fenstad_Draft.pdf.
Conference paper
  1. Rast, Erich Herrmann; Instituto de Filosofia da NOVA (IFILNOVA); Erich Rast. "Value Disagreement and Dual Aspect Semantics". 2017.
  2. Erich Rast. "Comment on Hitchcock’s “All things considered”". 2016.
  3. Erich Rast. "Making up One’s Mind". 2015.
  4. Rast, Erich. "Evaluating Time-Continuous Action Alternatives from the Perspective of Negative Utilitarianism". 2013.
  5. Erich Rast. "Evaluating Time-Continuous Action Alternatives from the Perspective of Negative Utilitarianism: A Layered Approach". 2013.
  6. Rast, Erich. "Context and Interpretation". 2009.
Dictionary entry
  1. Erich Rast. "Valores". In Dicion{\'a, edited by Campos, { Andr{\'e. IFILNOVA, 2019. https://novaresearch.unl.pt/en/publications/c7c3c3eb-4e7b-4dba-807f-e2ffe0e99f30.
Journal article
  1. Erich Rast. "The theory theory of metalinguistic disputes". Mind & Language (2020): https://doi.org/10.1111/mila.12355.
  2. Erich H. Rast. "The Multidimensional Structure of ‘better than’". Axiomathes (2020): https://doi.org/10.1007/s10516-020-09525-4.
  3. Erich Rast. "Towards a Model of Argument Strength for Bipolar Argumentation Graphs". Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 55 (2018): 31-62. https://novaresearch.unl.pt/en/publications/cd2bd5f5-9635-4173-85ec-0c75fe36b60a.
  4. Erich Rast. "Perspectival Disagreement". Theoria - a Swedish Journal of Philosophy 84 2 (2018): 120-139. https://novaresearch.unl.pt/en/publications/126a4893-f493-45d6-9b76-39dc2eba661f.
  5. Erich Rast. "Metalinguistic Value Disagreement". Studia Semiotyczne XXXI 2 (2017): 139-159. https://research.unl.pt/en/publications/metalinguistic-value-disagreement(0c672486-95a8-4472-8464-5917517bd610).html.
  6. Erich Rast. "Value Disagreement and Two Aspects of Meaning". Croatian journal of philosophy 17 3 (2017): 1-37. https://research.unl.pt/en/publications/value-disagreement-and-two-aspects-of-meaning(de12de1a-6e32-450d-9abc-2361fa7b4889).html.
  7. Erich Rast. "Harming Yourself and Others". Polish Journal of Philosophy VIII 2 (2016): 65-74. https://research.unl.pt/en/publications/harming-yourself-and-others(12c51ee2-ff25-4e87-9b0e-9a0ebce8a74c).html.
  8. Erich Rast. "Modeling Value Disagreement". Erkenntnis 81 4 (2015): 853–880-853–880. https://research.unl.pt/en/publications/modeling-value-disagreement(e5200549-9a30-4c1e-8e75-153a44d4bc0e).html.
  9. Erich Rast. "Grammar, Geometry, & Brain". Studia Logica 102 1 (2014): 219-223. https://research.unl.pt/en/publications/grammar-geometry--brain(98c62b7d-b2c3-4124-9410-b2fd590f3abb).html.
  10. Herrmann, Rast. "On contextual domain restriction in categorial grammar". Synthese 190 12 (2013): 2085-2115. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11229-011-9960-2#.
  11. Erich H. Rast. "De Se Puzzles, the Knowledge Argument, and the Formation of Internal Knowledge". Analysis & Metaphysics 11 (2012): 106-132. http://home.snafu.de/erich/Rast_De_Se_Puzzles_Analysis_and_Metaphysics_2012.pdf.
  12. Rast, Erich. "De Se Puzzles, the Knowledge Argument, and the Formation of Internal Knowledge". Analysis & Metaphysics 11 (2012): 106-132. http://home.snafu.de/erich/Rast_De_Se_Puzzles_Analysis_and_Metaphysics_2012.pdf.
  13. Rast, Erich H.. "Nonindexical Context-Dependence and the Interpretation as Abduction Approach". Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 7 2 (2011): 259-279. http://versita.metapress.com/content/dk16n826385r54v7/?p=7721b04b20ac448383b5ce179d02045c&pi=5.
  14. Erich Rast. "Nonindexical context-dependence and the interpretation as abduction approach". Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 7 2 (2011): 259-279. https://research.unl.pt/en/publications/nonindexical-contextdependence-and-the-interpretation-as-abduction-approach(7a036d01-920f-4e89-aa4e-9005d9a3fb4e).html.
  15. Erich Rast. "On quantifier domain restriction in categorial grammar". Synthese 1 NA (2011): 1-31. https://research.unl.pt/en/publications/on-quantifier-domain-restriction-in-categorial-grammar(77e8a0e7-6a4c-4510-a32b-a23eb5ea9ba5).html.
  16. Erich Rast. "Plausibility Revision in Higher-Order Logic With an Application in Two-Dimensional Semantics". LogKCA-10 - Proceedings of the Second ILCLI International Workshop on Logic and Philosophy of Knowledge, Communication and Action 0 NA (2010): 387-403. https://research.unl.pt/en/publications/plausibility-revision-in-higherorder-logic-with-an-application-in-twodimensional-semantics(c5af2020-20b0-428b-9821-34710a94e83a).html.
  17. Erich Rast. "What Simulations Can’t Do: Reply to Fonseca and Gärtner". The Reasoner Vol. 3, No. 10 3 10 (2009): 5-6.. https://research.unl.pt/en/publications/what-simulations-cant-do-reply-to-fonseca-and-gartner(10ab0520-661a-43c9-82ca-2e4025f0f3ee).html.
  18. Rast, Erich. "What Simulations Can’t Do: Reply to Fonseca and Gärtner". The Reasoner Vol. 3, No. 10 3 10 (2009): 5-6..
  19. Rast, Erich. "A Remark About Essential Indexicals". The Reasoner 2 10 (2008): 5-6.
Thesis / Dissertation
  1. Herrmann, Rast. "Reference and Indexicality". 2006. http://rudar.ruc.dk/handle/1800/2287.
Working paper
  1. Erich Rast. 2011. "Logic: A Primer". Working Paper. https://research.unl.pt/en/publications/logic-a-primer(5a294d98-0b2a-480b-8f3f-f2887a9e7722).html.


Other output
  1. Values in Argumentative Discourse. 2017. Erich Rast. https://research.unl.pt/en/publications/values-in-argumentative-discourse(7af199f3-12dc-4a5d-a15a-b461410a78a2).html.
  2. Value Disagreement and Two Aspects of Meaning. The problem of value disagreement and contextualist, relativist and metalinguistic attempts ofsolving it are laid out. Although the metalinguistic account seems to be on the right track, it isargued that it does not sufficiently explain why and how disagreements about the meaning ofevaluative terms are based on and can be decided by appeal to existing social practices. As aremedy, it is argued tha. 2017. Rast, Erich Herrmann; Instituto de Filosofia da NOVA (IFILNOVA). http://hdl.handle.net/10362/31627.
  3. Metalinguistic Value Disagreement. In a series of publications Burgess, Plunkett and Sundell have developed a metalinguistic negotiation view that they call ‘Conceptual Ethics.’ I argue that their position adequately captures our intuition that some cases of value disputes are metalinguistic, but that they reverse the direction of justification when they state that speakers ‘negotiate’ the best use of a term or concept on the basis. 2017. Rast, Erich Herrmann; Instituto de Filosofia da NOVA (IFILNOVA). http://hdl.handle.net/10362/34709.
  4. A Remark About Essential Indexicals. 2009. Erich Rast. https://novaresearch.unl.pt/en/publications/a712e513-cc98-48ca-87df-77ff8b6e1a52.


2002 M.A. with Honours
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

Other distinction

2014 FCT Research Project "Values in Argumentative Discourse" PTDC/MHC-FIL/0521/2014
2012 Postdoctoral Fellowship by FCT
Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), Portugal
2008 Ciência 2007 Fellowship
Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), Portugal
2003 International Doctoral Fellowship
Danish Research Council, Denmark