LOGIC, SEMANTICS, METAPHYSICS, EPISTEMOLOGY
A one-day workshop at the
Institute of Philosophy, Slovak Academy of Sciences
October 27, 2017
The workshop is a collaboration between philosophers from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Philosophy at the Slovak Academy of Sciences. There will be 8 participants, 4 on each side. Below you can find the program of the event and the abstracts of the presentations. The poster can be downloaded here.
The workshop is organized by Martin Vacek and Dan Zeman. Attendance is free, but please send a message to martinvacekphilosophy[at]gmail.com if you want to attend (for logistic reasons). The event is fully accessible.
10.00-10.45: Dan Zeman (University of Vienna), "Multiple Indexing Relativism"
10.45-11.30: Marián Zouhar (Slovak Academy of Sciences), "Non-Doxastic Disagreement about Taste and Requisites"
11.45-12.30: Miloš Kosterec (Slovak Academy of Sciences), "New paradox for TIL?"
14.00-14.45: Tom Fery (University of Vienna), “The Apparent Self-Refutation of Equal Weight“
14.45-15.3o: Robin McKenna (University of Vienna), "Epistemological Consequences of Cultural Cognition"
15.45-16.30: Delia Belleri (University of Vienna), "Easy Ontology: Semantic and Epistemic Challenges"
16.30-17.15: Martin Vacek (Slovak Academy of Sciences), "Fiction: Indispensable!"
17.15-18.00: Zsofia Zvolenszky (ELTE, Slovak Academy of Sciences), "Authors’ Error and the Real Foundation of Fictional Worlds"
Dan Zeman, "Multiple Indexing Relativism"
This paper puts forward a novel version of relativism (with focus on predicates of taste), motivated by a recently discussed phenomenon: perspectival plurality. After showing that the phenomenon is problematic for at least some versions of relativism and discussing several possible answers on behalf of the relativist, I put forward my own version. The main feature of the view proposed is the introduction in the circumstances of evaluation/index not of a single parameter for perspectives, but of a (possibly infinite) sequence of such parameters. In the last part of the paper I defend the view from three reasonable, but ultimately unconvincing, objections.
Marián Zouhar, "Non-Doxastic Disagreement about Taste and Requisites"
Hybrid taste-expressivism is currently in vogue because it is supposed to provide a plausible explanation of disagreements about matters of personal taste. It is based on a close alliance between two things, namely the idea that, apart from expressing propositions, taste sentences are used to express evaluative attitudes and the idea that taste disagreements are portrayed as non-doxastic. My aim is to cast some doubt on the prospects of hybrid taste-expressivist accounts of taste disagreements. There are some specific instances of taste disagreement that cannot be explained along these lines. Despite this, however, I take it that this account of taste disagreements is basically on the right track because it treats taste disagreements as non-doxastic. Based on this, I elaborate an alternative explanation that is close enough to hybrid taste-expressivism (in retaining the non-doxastic nature of taste disagreements), but does not suffer from its somewhat limited explanatory power.
Miloš Kosterec, "New paradox for TIL?"
Transparent Intensional Logic (TIL) presents itself as typed system over ramified theory of types. The ramification ought to prevent the paradoxes that plagued e.g. the system of logic and sense of denotation by Alonzo Church. The considerations of infinite quantifies and orderings were enabled by Georg Cantor. One of the main principles that is proven within the set theory is the so called Cantor’s theorem, according to which any set has strictly less members than its powerset. In general, if a theory is proven to be in violation of this principle, it is taken as a strong claim against it and the theory has to motivate this fact. In this talk I will inspect the basic definitions of TIL and their consequences in order to establish, whether the system is in violation of Cantor’s theorem from particular point of view. The question can be asked as follows: how many constructions of the second order are there? If their cardinality is the same as the cardinality of the construction of the first order, then it is a violation of the Cantor’s theorem.
Tom Fery, “The Apparent Self-Refutation of Equal Weight“
The Equal Weight View in the epistemology of disagreements is among the most discussed views in this debate. It, very roughly, states that subjects who find themselves in a peer disagreement about p are rationally required to suspend judgement about p. Some have articulated the worry that the Equal Weight View is self-undermining and is thus either false or else dogmatic regarding its own correctness. Others have responded that, contrary to first appearance, the Equal Weight View is not self-undermining after all. In this talk, I shall address the following issues: 1) What is the Equal Weight View and why does it appear to be self-undermining? 2) How can the apparent self-refutation of the Equal Weight View be blocked? 3) What can we learn about the motivations and the articulation of the view by the strategies offered against the self-refutation charge?
Robin McKenna, "Epistemological Consequences of Cultural Cognition"
Recent work in psychology on 'cultural cognition' suggests that our cultural background drives our attitudes towards a range of contentious issues in science (e.g. climate change, the safety of nuclear power) (see Kahan, Braman and Jenkins-Smith, 'Cultural Cognition of Scientific Consensus'). Those on the political 'right' (in the US sense) tend to disagree with statements like 'there is scientific consensus on whether humans cause climate change'; those on the political 'left' (again in the US sense) tend to disagree with statements like 'there is scientific consensus on whether there are safe ways of disposing of nuclear waste' (there is in fact scientific consensus on both issues). Crucially, these attitudes do not change as scientific literacy increases; in fact, increases in scientific literacy only increase perceptions of scientific disagreement. In this paper I explore the epistemological consequences of cultural cognition.
Delia Belleri, "Easy Ontology: Semantic and Epistemic Challenges"
Easy Ontology is a deflationary ontological project whereby answers to questions of the form "Are there Fs?" are reached via methods that are supposed to be epistemically unproblematic: mainly analytic inferences based on semantic information or empirical observation. In this talk, I argue that: (i) either easy ontology departs excessively from the practice of standard non-deflationary ontology, thereby somehow "changing the subject"; or (ii) easy ontology faces the same difficulties as non-deflationary ontology, especially on the epistemic front.
Martin Vacek, "Fiction: Indispensable!"
A part of the overall reason to prefer modal fictionalism to modal realism is our epistemic access to fictions, in contrast to our inability to access casually isolated spatiotemporal systems. I claim that fictional discourse is indispensable to every metaphysical theorising and, if so, metaphysical theories are on a par when it comes to knowledge of their ontological commitments. First, I introduce the framework within which I build my argument: bevieve vs. make-believe distinction. Second, I draw a line between various understandings of the distinction. Only one such understanding will be of my interest though, and will be discussed in the third part. I illustrate the position on a particular debate in metaphysics and, finally, generalise my view to other debates in metaphysics.
Zsofia Zvolenszky, Authors’ Error and the Real Foundation of Fictional Worlds
My aim in this talk is twofold. First, I will motivate the claim that an author may well be mistaken (or ignorant), in a broad variety of ways, about the fictional world of her novel and the fictional characters inhabiting it. Second, I will bring authors’ error to bear on the Reality Assumption (“everything that is (really) true is also fictionally the case, unless excluded by the work”) advocated by Stacie Friend in her (2016) paper “The Real Foundation of Fictional Worlds” (Australasian Journal of Philosophy). I will argue that the phenomenon of authors’ error provides further reasons to favor Friend’s Reality Assumption over belief-based alternatives.