Dr Jeremy Michael Seligman

BA (Oxford), PhD (Edinburgh)

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Senior Lecturer


I am a philosopher and logician, applying ideas from mathematics and logic to philosophical problems, currently focussing on social reasoning and the history of logic in China. I have been a member of the Philosophy Department at The University of Auckland since 1998 and I have close ties to a number of universities in China, including South West University (Chongqing), where I am a regular vistor at the Insitute of Logic and Intelligence, and Tsinghua University (Beijing) where I am a member of the Tsinghua-Amsterdam Joint Research Centre in Logic.

Full details and a current CV can be found on my Academia page.

Research | Current

  • Modal logic
  • Hybrid logic
  • Philosophy of information and computation
  • Situation theory
  • Logic in social networks
  • History of logical thought in China


Much of the depth and complexity of rational behaviour emerges only when one considers interactions between agents. Yet logic, with its traditional focus on the justification of an individual's beliefs, has only recently been adapted to a multi-agent setting, in which  concepts such as common knowledge, strategic game-playing, and the dynamics of communication can be addressed.  The broadening of the subject allows research in logic to engage productively with related areas of social science such as theoretical economics.  In a recent development of this trend, relevant social relationships such as `friend', `trusted advisor', or `student' are explicitly represented in formal languages, so that there role in reasoning in social settings can be studied.  This is a current and ongoing research interest of mine. 


Situation Theory was an ambitious attempt in the 1980s and 90s to devise a foundational theory that is to the informational sciences what set theory is to mathematics. It never reached that goal, but had a big influence on developments in formal semantics and computational ontology. My biggest contribution was the book `Information Flow’ that I wrote with Jon Barwise in 1997, which has over 700 citations. I continue to work on this topic from time to time.


A recent interest of mine is to understand and model, using technics from modern applied logic, the logical structure of Mohist theories of argumentation, based on the notion of tuilei 推类.  This has led to an on-going collaboration with Liu Fenrong (Tsinghua).  We are co-organising  a conference series The History of Logic in China  held in Amsterdam (2010) and Nankai University (Tianjin, 2013 and 2014) and planned to continue in 2015. This is closely related to a bigger project: The Handbook of the History of Logical Thought in China, under contract with Springer, of which we are the main editors, together with Zhai Jincheng (Nankai). The handbook involves 40 authors, and is planned to have over 1000 pages, with funding from many sources. Liu Fenrong and I are also editing (and translating) a series of interviews with Chinese and overseas researchers in the filed, called 5 Questions in the History of Logical Thought In China, to be published in 2014. Details of all these things can be seen on the HOLIC website: www.holicnet.net

Please see my Academia page for current research, publications, etc.


Teaching | Current

PHIL 101 Introduction to Logic

PHIL 222 Intermediate Logic

PHIL 266 Games, Rationality and Choice

PHIL 305 Advanced Logic

Postgraduate supervision

Andrew Withy (PhD 2014)  Liang Zhen (PhD candidate)  Zhu Rui (PhD candidate)

Doctoral supervision policy

As a supervisor, my aim is to help you to achieve the best you can in the limited time you have as a doctoral student. This is probably the only time in your life that you will have available to devote your attention to a single research project. It is to be cherished and enjoyed. For this reason, I have no general specification that fits all students. I only ask that you make a commitment to me and to yourself to be honest about your expectations and faithful to the arrangements we make to meet. I will offer advice that I believe suits you best, given your educational background, ability and expectations. I will also give you a clear indication of the standard expected by the external examiners. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet those standards. I prefer face-to-face meetings and oral feedback to written feedback, at least until the final stages of thesis writing. I am tolerant of a wide variety of working styles but require clarity about want you want and expect from our interaction, which is a matter of ongoing negotiation between us.


International Liaison, School of Humanities Information for international students at Auckland ...

Areas of expertise

Modal logic, hybrid logic, philosophy of information and computation, situation theory, logic in social networks, history of logical thought in China.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

International Liaison, School of Humanities

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Liu, F., & Seligman, J. (2015). History of Logic in China: 5 Questions. Automatic Press Publishing. Pages: 252.
  • Seligman, J., & Thompson, D. (2015). Boolean Network Games and Iterated Boolean Games. Paper presented at 5th International Workshop on Logic, Rationality and Interaction (LORI), Natl Taiwan Univ, Dept Philosophy, Taipei, TAIWAN. 28 October - 31 October 2015. LOGIC, RATIONALITY, AND INTERACTION (LORI 2015). (pp. 13). 10.1007/978-3-662-48561-3_29
  • Ma, M., & Seligman, J. (2015). Algebraic Semantics for Dynamic Dynamic Logic. Paper presented at 5th International Workshop on Logic, Rationality and Interaction (LORI), Natl Taiwan Univ, Dept Philosophy, Taipei, TAIWAN. 28 October - 31 October 2015. LOGIC, RATIONALITY, AND INTERACTION (LORI 2015). (pp. 13). 10.1007/978-3-662-48561-3_21
  • Seligman, J. (2014). Situation Theory Reconsidered. In A. Baltag, S. Smets (Eds.) (pp. 895-932). SPRINGER. 10.1007/978-3-319-06025-5_35
  • Liu, F., Seligman, J. M., & Girard, P. (2014). Logical dynamics of belief change in the community. Synthese, 191 (11), 2403-2431. 10.1007/s11229-014-0432-3
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Patrick Girard
  • Seligman, J., Liu, F., & Girard, P. (2013). Knowledge, friendship and social announcements. In J. van Bentehm, F. Liu (Eds.) Logic Across the University: Foundations and Applications : proceedings of the Tsinghua Logic Conference, Beijing, 2013. London, UK: College Publications.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Patrick Girard
  • Seligman, J., Liu, F., & Girard, P. (2013). Facebook and the epistemic logic of friendship. In B. Schipper (Ed.) TARK 2013 - Proceedings of the 14. Conference on Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge (pp. ). Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Patrick Girard
  • Guo, M., & Seligman, J. (2013). The Logic of a Priori and a Posteriori Rationality in Strategic Games. Paper presented at 4th International Workshop on Logic, Rationality and Interaction (LORI), Zhejiang Univ, Ctr Study Language & Cognit, Hangzhou, PEOPLES R CHINA. 9 October - 12 October 2013. LOGIC, RATIONALITY, AND INTERACTION (LORI 2013). (pp. 10).

Contact details

Office hours

2017, second semester

Tue. and Thu. 1-2 p.m.

Social links

Web links