What I Do…

I had to craft a brief statement of my research interests for the Philosophy Department’s revised webpage. Here is what I came up with…

Much of Robert Stainton’s work lies at the intersection of philosophy of language and theoretical linguistics. He is interested in “mainstream” issues, such as the syntax-semantics-pragmatics boundaries, the metaphysical grounding of linguistic facts, and the proper evidence-base for the study of human languages. However, his interests also extend to less usual subjects at said intersection, such as clinical pragmatics (especially communication deficits in Autism) and the history of philosophy of language.

Beyond language and linguistics, Stainton is able to supervise in philosophy of psychology, philosophy of mind, and epistemology. He can, in a pinch, serve on dissertation committees in Analytic metaphysics, meta-ethics and certain periods of history of philosophy.

Stainton’s most recent books, all co-authored, are Sourcebook in History of Philosophy of Language (Springer), Linguistic Content (Oxford) and The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy (Broadview). He has another monograph under contract with Oxford, this one single-authored, on the metaphysics and epistemology of linguistics – but it is several years behind schedule.


Health Care Clinic for Syrian Refugees in London, On

Bhooma Bhayana emailed me with news from her Refugee Health Clinic. Her message, edited to preserve privacy:

We have been stepping up our response and capacity at the refugee clinic.  We have had three docs so far, and expect the addition of 4 more docs willing to do shifts. The administrator at London Intercommunity Health Center is taking an active interest to help us streamline our capacity, so we will be ready to respond and see new arrivals.

Fund Raiser for LGBTQ Refugees from Syria

My friend and fellow organizer Wendy Pearson writes with a note about an upcoming event:

Hi all —

We would like to invite you to a free screening of the movie Pride on Wednesday, December 2nd, at 7:00PM in the John Labatt Visual Arts Centre Rm 100.

We will be collecting donations (by cash or cheque) for the refugee effort, but you are welcome to join us at the screening whether you donate or not. Cheques should be made out to the Metropolitan Community Church London (MCC London) and have ‘LGSR’ in the memo line.

For those of you not familiar with the movie, it is based on the true story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, a group formed in Britain in 1984 to support the coal miners, who had been forced out on strike by Margaret Thatcher. By the end of the strike, there were 11 Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners groups in different British cities who raised more than 20,000 pounds. The group also made a documentary, All Out! Dancing in Dulais in 1986 about their work in creating solidarity among different groups; you can see it on Youtube at https://youtu.be/lHJhbwEcgrA if you’re interested.


Canadian Lawyers Step Up to Help with Refugee Sponsorships

Through the SSP, over 400 lawyers across Canada are offering their services free of charge to help Canadians sponsor refugees. This unprecedented, nation-wide mobilization has been supported by the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, the Canadian Bar Association, and our local partners across Canada.

Another London-based Group “Artemis” Sponsors Refugees

Syrian Refugee Crisis Update for Residents of London, Ontario:

The number of sponsorships of refugees from the Syrian crisis continues to grow. Anne Marie Madziak writes with the following description of her group’s efforts:

We are a group of seven friends in London Ontario. Like many around the world, we have been deeply moved by the plight of the millions of refugees risking their lives in the pursuit of safety and a life free of violence. Recognizing our own lives of comfort and privilege, we felt compelled to do something! We gathered as a group and decided to sponsor a Syrian family of five. We named the group Artemis after the Greek goddess known for her strength and her courageous protection of the vulnerable.  We eagerly await our new neighbours and are very grateful for any support you can offer! Thank you!

London, Ontario’s Calvary United to Sponsor a Syrian Refugee Family

Syrian Refugee Crisis Update for Residents of London, Ontario: The good news keeps on coming. Danielle Boussen from London’s Calvary United Church advises that, following a unanimous vote, they will be privately sponsoring a Syrian Refugee family who are fleeing the conflict.

They hope to have the applications completed this weekend.

This case will be partially funded by monies collected at Libro Credit Union, via the Mayor’s initiative. So kudos to both of them too.

London’s LGBT Community to Support Syrian Refugees

Syrian Refugee Crisis Update for Residents of London, Ontario: Further to all the great news I have been receiving regarding the support for Syrian Refugees here in London, Ontario; here is a note from my friend Wendy Pearson:

I want to bring you up to date on Lesbians and Gays Support Refugees. We have partnered with Metropolitan Community Church London (in concert with MCC Toronto, which is the actual SAH). To date we have raised about $750 with promises of another $1500 from various people. We haven’t really started active campaigning yet… However, we’re about to start active fund-raising at Western and in the LGBT community in London. We’re planning a series of events including… a screening of the film Pride alongside a silent auction (later this month or in early January) and, later in January, a community dance in the MCC space.

London, Ontario’s Trinity United undertakes Sponsorship of Syrian Refugee Family

Syrian Refugee Crisis Update for Residents of London, Ontario: It seems I learn almost every day now of another London, Ontario community group, faith-based or otherwise, committing to sponsoring a syrian refugee family. It’s wonderful.

The latest I have heard from is Trinity United. You may find out more at:


Settlement.Org Provides Helpful Information for Those Welcoming Syrian Refugees

Syrian Refugee Crisis Update for Residents of London, Ontario: I was directed to this very useful website. Those planning to welcome Syrian refugee families will find a treasure trove of information!