David H. Sanford

Professor Emeritus of Philosophy

Contact Information
201D West Duke Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Box 90743, Durham, NC 27708-0743
(919) 660-3055


David H. Sanford (Ph.D. Cornell, 1966) joined the Duke Faculty in 1970 after teaching at Dartmouth College (1963-70). He has held visiting appointments at Dalhousie, the University of Michigan, and the University of Oregon.

The following connections with three recent publications help organize some of the many topics of his publications. The second edition of his book If P, Then Q: Conditionals and the Foundations of Reasoning (Routledge, 2003; first edition, 1989; paperback edition, 1992) draws on earlier work, such as "The Direction of Causation and the Direction of Conditionship," The Journal of Philosophy (1976) and "Can There be One-Way Causal Conditionship?" Synthese (1988). His later works on causation include "Causation and Intelligibility" Philosophy (1994) and the article "Causation" in the Blackwell Companion to Metaphysics , Second Edition (2009). If P, Then Q also draws on a series of his articles on the concept of inference and begging the question, such as "Superfluous Information, Epistemic Conditions of Inference, and Begging the Questions," Metaphilosophy (1981). He is the author of the entries on inference and implication for the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy (1995).

"Determinates vs. Determinables" (revised 2011) in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy includes a section that draws on a project that begins with "Disjunctive Predicates," American Philosophical Quarterly (1970) and continues through "Independent Predicates," American Philosophical Quarterly (1981) and "A Grue Thought in a Bleen Shade: Grue‚ as a Disjunctive Predicate" in Grue: Essays On The New Riddle of Induction, edited by Douglas Stalker (Open Court, 1994).

This project also connects with his work on the logic of vagueness, such as "Borderline Logic," American Philosophical Quarterly (1975) and most recently in "Vague Numbers," Acta Analytica (2002). "Fusion Confusion," Reply to Mr. Aranyosi," Analysis (2003), and "Can a Sum Change its Parts?"Analysis (2011) are recent writings on the part/whole relation. Others are "The Problem of the Many, Many Composition Questions, and Naive Mereology," Nous (1993), "Temporal Parts, Temporal Portions, and Temporal Slices: An Exercise in Naive Mereology," Acta Analytica (1996), and "Distinctness and Non-identity," Analysis (2005).

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Cornell University 1966

  • B.A., Wayne State University 1960

Sanford, D. If P, Then Q. Routledge, February 25, 2011.

Sanford, DH. "Can a Sum Change Its Parts?." Analysis 71, no. 3 (2012): 235-239. (Academic Article)

Sanford, DH. "Distinctness and non-identity." ANALYSIS 65, no. 4 (October 2005): 269-274.

Sanford, DH. "Difficulties for the reconciling and estranging projects: Some symmetries." PHILOSOPHY AND PHENOMENOLOGICAL RESEARCH 70, no. 1 (January 2005): 240-244. Full Text

Sanford, DH. "“Vague Numbers”." Acta Analytica, no. 29 (December 2003): 45-59. (Academic Article)

Sanford, DH. "“Reply to Mr. Aranyosi”." Analysis 63.4 (October 2003): 305-309. (Academic Article)

Sanford, DH. "Fusion confusion." ANALYSIS 63, no. 1 (January 2003): 1-4.