William J. Rapaport
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William J. Rapaport

William Joseph Rapaport[2] is an American philosopher. He is Associate Professor Emeritus at the University at Buffalo.

Philosophical work

Rapaport has done research and written extensively on intentionality and artificial intelligence. He has research interests in computer science, artificial intelligence (AI), computational linguistics, cognitive science, logic and mathematics, and published many scientific articles on them.

While a philosophy graduate student at Indiana University in 1972, he concocted the sentence: "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo". Throughout his career he developed this theme, and discussed it extensively.[3]

His early work on nonexistent objects was influenced by Alexius Meinong.[4][5]

Rapaport has clearly explained the field of intentionality, and his papers on the subject have influenced leading scientists and writers such as Daniel Dennett, Héctor-Neri Castañeda (his doctoral advisor)[2] and John Searle (with whom he disagrees).

Rapaport is also interested in science educational theory and has received the New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.[6]

Other activities

In June 1988, Rapaport compiled a list of restaurants in the Buffalo area to give attendees of an ACL meeting at SUNY Buffalo. Now, the list is interactive and updated frequently with user reviews of restaurants.

Rapaport and his wife Mary, with whom he has a son Michael, a member of the Division I bowling team at Colgate University, and who is frequently seen out and about with upcoming broadway star, Meredith Clark, are the principal donors to the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center[7] in Jamestown, NY. The Desilu Playhouse, located in the Rapaport Center, contains memorabilia and other vintage I Love Lucy items. He and his wife have also purchased and renovated Lucille Ball's childhood home in Celoron, New York.[8]

Books and articles


  1. ^ William J. Rapaport, "Meinongian Theories and a Russellian Paradox", Noûs, 12(2) (1978), pp. 153-80.
  2. ^ a b Academic Family Tree of Hector-Neri Castañeda
  3. ^ Rapaport, William J. (October 5, 2012). "A History of the Sentence 'Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.'". University at Buffalo Computer Science and Engineering. Retrieved 2014.
  4. ^ William J. Rapaport, "Non-Existent Objects and Epistemological Ontology", Grazer Philosophische Studien, 25(1), 1986, 61-95.
  5. ^ Dale Jacquette, Meinongian Logic: The Semantics of Existence and Nonexistence, Walter de Gruyter, 1996, p. 12.
  6. ^ American Philosophical Association, Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy and on Pre-College Instruction in Philosophy. He is a recipient of the State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. (From Ask Philosophers William Rapaport member page.)
  7. ^ "See also: SaveLucyDesiCenter.org website". Archived from the original on 2008-08-18. Retrieved .
  8. ^ Fryling, Kevin (2007-05-27). "UB faculty member loves Lucy". UB Reporter. buffalo.edu. Archived from the original on 2008-09-08. Retrieved .
  9. ^ Originally from Buffalo University. Can be viewed online via the Online PostScript Viewer Archived 2010-11-03 at the Wayback Machine.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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