Gary M. Ebbs earned his B.A. in philosophy and B.Mus. in piano performance from Oberlin College in 1981 and 1982, respectively. Upon completion, he continued his education at the University of Michigan where he earned his Ph.D. in philosophy in 1988. He joined the Indiana University (IU) faculty in 2006 as a professor of philosophy. In 2013, he was awarded the additional, honorary title of James B. Nelson Chair of Philosophy and, in 2019, he earned the title of Mahlon Powell Professor. In 2022, Ebbs was titled the Nelson Professor.
Prior to joining the IU faculty, Ebbs held teaching positions at Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ebbs's research focuses on describing the methodology of rational inquiry from an engaged, practical point of view that we can reconcile with our best third-person descriptions of ourselves. He has written about truth, logical truth, rule-following, semantic anti-individualism, ontology, realism, contextual apriority, analytic-synthetic distinction, and self-knowledge. He has also developed new readings of central writings by Rudolf Carnap, W. V. Quine, Hilary Putnam, Donald Davidson, Tyler Burge, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.
He is the author of Rule-Following and Realism (Harvard University Press, 1997), Truth and Words (Oxford University Press, 2009), and Carnap, Quine, and Putnam on Methods of Inquiry (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and coauthor, with Anthony Brueckner, of Debating Self-Knowledge (Cambridge University Press, 2012). He has also published many journal articles and book chapters on the topics listed above.