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Peter Ludlow (January 16, 1957), who also writes under the name Urizenus Sklar, is a professor of philosophy at the Northwestern University. Before moving to Northwestern, Ludlow taught for several years at University of Toronto, the University of Michigan, State University of New York at Stony Brook and was Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Syracuse University and Cornell University. He has done much interdisciplinary work on the interface of linguistics and philosophy. His dissertation at Columbia University was on intensional transitive verbs, such as "seeks" and "worships". Among his influential early articles were "Implicit Comparison Classes" (Linguistics and Philosophy, 1989), in which he argued for the syntactic reality of comparison class variables in adjectival constructions, and his paper with the semanticist Richard Larson, "Interpreted Logical Forms", in which he advocated a sententialist view of propositional attitude verbs (a view that has been criticized by Scott Soames in Chapter 7 of his book Beyond Rigidity). His first book, Semantics, Tense, and Time, was devoted to arguing that presentism, a metaphysical thesis that denies the reality of past and future events, is consistent with the intuitive truth of much of our tensed discourse. In recent years, he has been developing a view of linguistic meaning according to which meaning shifts are much more common than intuition suggests, and applying the view to controversies in epistemology.

Ludlow has also established a research program outside of philosophy and linguistics. Here, his research areas include conceptual issues in cyberspace, particularly questions about cyber-rights and the emergence of laws and governance structures in and for virtual communities. His popular books include High Noon on the Electronic Frontier and Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates, and Pirate Utopias. His professional books include Semantics, Tense and Time: an Essay in the Metaphysics of Natural Language. Ludlow participated as a member of the online community The Well, and also participated in virtual gaming communities such as Second Life and The Sims Online, where he took the character of an online journalist. has described Ludlow as one of the 10 most influential video game players of all time, in part due to his role in showing how video game companies can be challenged as part of the gameplay. In the most famous controversy, reported in the New York Times and elsewhere, Ludlow began a virtual newspaper called The Alphaville Herald and reported on events in the Electronic Arts Corporation online game "The Sims Online" — including some blistering editorials against Electronic Arts Corporation and their failures at managing and policing the gamespace. Ludlow was subsequently kicked out of the game by Electronic Arts.

Ludlow (with the journalist Mark Wallace) has cowritten a book about his career as a virtual world journalist titled, The Second Life Herald: The Virtual Tabloid that Witnessed the Dawn of the Metaverse.

Ludlow has been known to participate in what he calls "game instantiation events" — in effect, these bring computer games to real life in some mildly subversive form. At South By Southwest 2006 in Austin Texas, Make editor, Phillip Torrone, reprogrammed a Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner to be remotely directed, dressed it in a green frog suit, and played "real frogger" on 6th Street in Austin, Texas. Ludlow has described the events as attempts to subvert the comfortable if flawed distinction between the real world and virtual reality, as well as challenges to suburban conceptions of street decorum in the contemporary United States.


Ludlow has studied with Noam Chomsky at MIT, but received his PhD. in philosophy from Columbia University in 1985, under the direction of Charles Parsons. His dissertation was on the Syntax and Semantics of Referential Attitude Reports. He received his B.A. in 1979 from Bethel College in St. Paul Minnesota.

Partial bibliographyEdit

Ludlow's publication list and curriculum vitae can be found here [1], along with a list of his Recent Books. Many of his publications are online

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

pt:Peter Ludlow

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