I was born in Barcelona and I obtained my BA at the University of Barcelona. In 1982 I joined the PhD program at Stanford University, where my PhD was awarded in January 1989. I have been Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of California, Riverside, and Reader at the London School of Economics. In 2014-15 I was Professor of Philosophy at Western University, Ontario (Canada). I have been coordinator of the research group LOGOS (http://www.ub.es/grc_logos ). I was awarded the Narcís Monturiol Medal by the Generalitat de Catalunya in 2012. I am an elected member of the Academia Europaea since 2009. In 2017 I was elected Chair of the Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies Section of the Academia Europaea. In November 2018 I was elected Vice-President of the Academia Europaea.
My research focuses on the exploration of reference, the relation between words and pieces of the world that makes it possible to talk about things. Traditionally, reference has been conceived as mediated by our cognitive perspective on things. On this view, which objects we talk about is determined by the concepts we associate with the expressions we use. Against this view I defend an approach to the semantics of singular terms and natural-kind terms according to which reference is not determined just by our mental states nor by the concepts we entertain; it rather depends on causal and social factors that are external to our mind. My research topics are connected to research areas in Linguistics and Psychology. I also have worked on the explanation of legal disputes from the point of view of different theories of reference, on the role of the theory of reference in the defense of scientific realism and on the impact of experimental data on semantics.