Born in a small town in Styria, Austria, I studied philosophy and German literature at the University of Graz. My start into philosophy was encouraged by inspiring teachers, including Roderick Chisholm, Rudolf Haller, Stefan Körner, and Keith Lehrer. In 1984/85 I spent a term as a visiting student at New College, Oxford, where I had the privilege of having Michael Dummett as my supervisor. My PhD thesis was on the semantics of proper names ("Die Notwendigkeit der Namen", supervisor Rudolf Haller).

I worked for four years as a postdoc at the Archives and Research Centre for Austrian Philosophy, mostly doing work on the unpublished manuscripts of Franz Brentano. In 1991, I became Assistant Professor at the University of Salzburg and was tenured in 2001. I have held visiting positions at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in spring term 1994, and at the University of California in Irvine in 1999/2000, 2009 and 2019. The academic year 2006/2007 I spent at Stanford University, enjoying the hospitality of the Centre for the Study of Language and Information.

In 1994 I married my wife Andrea Lindmayr-Brandl, who teaches musicology at the University of Salzburg. We have one daughter, Flora, who is studying Performance Studies and Art History in New York. When I discuss issues of philosophy with her I can still feel the passion that I experienced when I first stepped into the department of philosophy at the University of Graz.