Tokyo Forum For Analytic Philosophy

Past Events

Wednesday 20 Sep 2017
Rafal Urbaniak

Narration in Judiciary Fact-Finding: A Probabilistic Explication

Speaker: Rafal Urbaniak
From: Ghent University
URL: http://ugent.academia.edu/RafalUrbaniak
Abstract: One of the alternatives to legal probabilism (the view that juridical fact- nding should be modeled using Bayesian methods) is the narration view, according to which instead we should conceptualize the process in terms of competing narrations of what happened. The goal of this paper is to develop a reconciliatory account, on which the narration view is construed from the Bayesian perspective within the framework of formal Bayesian epistemology.

 
 
Wednesday 19 Jul 2017
Shimpei Endo

Irreflexive Similarity: Another Solution to the Sorites Paradox

Speaker: Shimpei Endo
From: ILLC, University of Amsterdam
URL: https://www.illc.uva.nl/MScLogic/people/show_person.php?Person_id=Endo+S.
Abstract: The sorites paradox (i.e. the bald man paradox, paradox of heap) leads to a contradiction from (seemingly) plausible assumptions such as tolerance principle (n hair and n+1 hair are similar with respect to baldness). This paper will outline a new solution to this paradox. I will focus on which any other previous attempts have accepted for granted: reflexivity of similarity. Similarity is usually understood as a binary relation which is symmetric, non-transitive, and reflexive (i.e. x is similar to x itself, for whatever x). I cast a doubt on this reflexivity; There might be something which is not similar to itself (non-reflexive similarity). Even further, it may be that nothing is similar to itself (irreflexive similarity). My talk will begin with a technical argument to see how non-reflexive/irreflexive similarity can block the Sorites paradox. Next, I defend the existence of an object that is not similar to itself. Furthermore, I will discuss connections with my solution and previous attempts, especially Priest's paraconsistent and Williamson's epistemic approaches.

 
 
Friday 14 Jul 2017
Alex Sigman

alarm/will/sound: Identification, Perception, Characterisation, and Interaction Design of Modified Car Alarm Systems

Speaker: Alex Sigman
From: iCLA, YGU
URL: http://lxsigman.com
Abstract: alarm/will/sound is a collaborative artistic and scientific research project, undertaken since 2013 by Alexander Sigman (composer/researcher), Stuttgart-based artist/product designer Matthias Megyeri, and Institut de Recherche et Coordination Artistique/Music (IRCAM) Sound Perception and Design researcher Nicolas Misdariis. Encompassing the domains of sound perception, acoustic modeling, and sound, product, and interaction design, alarm/wil/sound has addressed not only on the repurposing of the audible car alarm, a device that has become more of a nuisance than an effective deterrent in recent decades, but also on the human response to static and dynamic auditory warnings in general, and on the role of the alarm in delineating perceived boundaries between public and private space. Once the salient phases and goals of the project have been outlined, this talk will focus on perceptuo-cognitive issues surrounding (and motivating) the research, and philosophical implications thereof.

 
 
Wednesday 5 Jul 2017
Thomas Mormann

From Chaos to Reality: How Carnap Built Worlds in the 1920s

Speaker: Thomas Mormann
From: University of the Basque Country
URL: http://www.ehu.eus/es/web/miguelsanchezmazaskatedra/praxis/people/members/mormann
Abstract: Rudolf Carnap's first opus magnum The Logical Construction of the World (Der Logische Aufbau der Welt, 1928) aimed for a characterization of the world in terms of a minimal vocabulary, from which all concepts of all sciences could be defined. In Carnap's own - Neo-Kantian jargon - the Aufbau aimed at the construction of a comprehensive constitutional system for all sciences (at least in principle) within a single comprehensive formal system the only primitives of which were the concepts of elementary experiences and (recollection of) similarity.
Since the incisive criticisms of Quine, Goodman, and others the Aufbau project has been considered by many as definitely failed. The aim of this talk is to show that this verdict may have been premature. In particular, I’d like to show that Carnap's attempt of applying his notorious method of "quasi-analysis" to the task of defining properties (or qualities) in terms of similarity does not fall prey to Goodman's "difficulties". To argue for this claim some new mathematical devices are introduced (not available to Goodman), and some arguments are taken into account that can be unearthed from some of Carnap's early unpublished manuscripts of the 1920s in which he dealt with various issues of "world-building".

 
 
Wednesday 21 Jun 2017
Ryoji Sato

Person Perception and Predictive Processing

Speaker: Ryoji Sato
From: The University of Tokyo
URL: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ryoji_Sato
Abstract: We encounter many people in daily life—family, friends, colleagues, shop staff, random pedestrians, etc. When it comes to familiar people, it seems that we can directly perceive their identity. When you see your close friend at a bar, your recognition of him or her is instant and has a perceptual feel (e.g., “I saw Joe”). Most of the time, you don’t need to consciously infer who the person is based on their physical properties; you just know. This aspect is more dramatically highlighted by the existence of disorders of person identification: misidentification syndromes. For example, patients with Capgras delusion, a version of misidentification, typically insist that a close friend or family member has been replaced by an imposter, despite that person not having changed in appearance. Capgras patients admit the similarity of the alleged imposter, yet they insist that the person before them is a different person from the familiar person.

The duual pathway account of person recognition has been popular in the field, but the informational aspect of emotional pathway is rather unexplored. When it is working properly, what kind of information is obtained through the pathway, in other words, what information is lost when the emotional pathway is disrupted? I first discuss William Hirstein’s mindreading account, which argues misidentification syndrome is due to disruption in the mechanism of assigning affective mental representations to other persons. As a response to Hirstein’s view, Elisabeth Pacherie proposed and briefly discussed a view according to which disruption in temporal aspects of person perception plays a significant role in misidentification syndrome. This paper attempts to develop her view in further details and proposes a hierarchical model of a person that can integrate perspective of Hirstein’s and Pacherie’s based on predictive processing framework. I will also argue for perceptual nature of person identification. Identification of a person is thought to be a sophisticated cognitive act-- it seems to require a subject to have the concept of the particular person and integrate relevant information about his/her appearance and how he or she behaves etc. under the concept. Despite its sophistication, person identification is, at least in some familiar cases, phenomenologically direct. This paper supports perceptual account of person identification from a functional point of view.

 
 
Wednesday 14 Jun 2017
Georg Northoff

A spatiotemporal model of consciousness: Can we replace the mind-body problem by the world-brain problem?

Speaker: Georg Northoff
From: University of Ottawa
URL: http://www.georgnorthoff.com/
Abstract: There is much debate about consciousness and mental features in general in both neuroscience and philosophy. However, despite intense debates, both empirical mechanisms and ontological characterization of mental features remain unclear. I here suggest a novel approach to mental features, namely a spatiotemporal approach that can account for both empirical mechanisms and ontological characteristics of mental features. My main argument is that mental features are intrinsically spatiotemporal in that they reflect the construction of time and space by the brain in relation to time and space in both body and world. Empirically, consciousness can be related to the capacity of the brain's spontaneous activity to construct its own "inner time and space". While ontologically, mental features presuppose an ontology that focuses on relation and structure as constructed in spatiotemporal terms. This leads to ontic Structural realism (OSR) of mental features which must be distinguished from the traditional property-based ontology with the assumption of mental and/or physical properties. OSR of mental features considers the relation between world and brain in spatiotemporal terms which makes it possible to establish necessary connection between world-bran relation and mental features. I therefore consider world-brain relation including its spatiotemporal features as necessary condition of possible consciousness, i.e., ontological predisposition of consciousness (OPC). I conclude that the question for mental features can ontologically be addressed in terms of world-brain relation rather than mind-body relation -- the mind-body problem may consecutively be replaced by what I describe as "world-brain problem".

 
 
Wednesday 7 Jun 2017
Masahiro Yamada

Troubles with Constitutivism in Epistemology (and Ethics)

Speaker: Masahiro Yamada
From: Claremont Graduate University
URL: https://www.cgu.edu/people/masahiro-yamada/
Abstract: Suppose belief has a built-in norm: somehow, it is constitutive of belief that it is subject to that norm. For instance, suppose that the constitutive norm of belief is that a belief is correct only if it is true. Some people argue that appealing to such a constitutive norm of belief can explain various features of epistemic norms such as the apparent fact that justification supervenes on facts `internal' to the epistemic agent (Ralph Wedgwood), or the apparent fact that only evidence can justify a belief (Nishi Shah). This is an instance of the more general idea that features of normative facts are to be explained by appeal to some constitutive norms: for instance, some argue that moral norms are to be explained through constitutive norms governing action. In this talk, I will argue that there are in fact two distinct types of constitutive norms that philosophers appeal to and that neither can on its own do the job constitutive norms are supposed to do. I will then use this insight to suggest how one might improve upon the arguments in the epistemological case but also highlight some serious difficulties.

 
 
Wednesday 31 May 2017
Francesco Di Iorio

World 3 and Methodological Individualism in Popper’s Thought

Speaker: Francesco Di Iorio
From: Nankai University
URL: https://francesco-di-iorio.com/
Abstract: Popper’s theory of World 3 is often regarded as incongruent with his defense of methodological individualism. I shall criticize this widespread view. Methodological individualism is said to be at odds with three crucial assumptions of the theory of World 3: (a) the impossibility of reducing World 3 to subjective mental states because it exists objectively, (b) the view that the mental functions cannot be explained by assuming that individuals are isolated atoms, and (c) the idea that World 3 has causal power and influences both individual minds and actions. I shall demonstrate that the inconsistency thesis stems from a confusion between methodological individualism as understood by Popper and reductionism. The reasons for this confusion shall be analyzed and clarified. I shall argue that two variants of methodological individualism can be distinguished, and that unlike psychologistic individualism, Popper’s nonatomistic individualism is fully consistent with his theory of World 3.

 
 
Wednesday 17 May 2017
Rina Tzinman

The New Bodily View: A New Problem Solver?

Speaker: Rina Tzinman
From: Bilkent University
URL: http://rinatzinman.weebly.com/
Abstract: I will defend a view according to which I am a composite object partly composed of a human animal, and partly of property parts (tropes). I will show that this view (which, for reasons I will spell out, I will call the "New Bodily View") allows us to keep the intuitions that motivate constitutionalism about personal identity, and doesn't face the puzzles that constitution views face. After presenting the basics of the view, I will show how it deals with two widely discussed problems about persons and thinking things in their vicinity: the Thinking Animal Puzzle and the Thinking Parts Puzzle. I will also show that its ability to give a unified solution to these puzzles provides us with a positive argument for the New Bodily View.

 
 
Monday 8 May 2017
Joerg Loeschke

Practical Reasons as Appropriate Value Responses (non-standard day: MONDAY!)

Speaker: Joerg Loeschke
From: University of Bern
URL: http://www.philosophie.unibe.ch/about_us/staff/loeschke/index_eng.html
Abstract: In recent years, there has been extensive discussion of the so-called Buck-Passing Account of Value (BPA), according to which reasons have conceptual priority over values. While many authors accept BPA, its shortcomings have become clear by now, and they have triggered new interest in developing value-based theories of reasons. In this talk, I will present one way to spell out such a value-based theory of reasons, namely the view of practical reasons as Appropriate Value Responses (AVR). According to AVR, an agent has a reason to P; iff his P-ing would constitute an appropriate response to some agent-neutral value V. After motivating AVR and defending it against two possible objections, I will explain two important features of the view: that it accommodates agent-relative reasons even if it understands value as agent-neutral, and that it offers a two-level theory of moral requirements.

 
 
Wednesday 26 Apr 2017
Giuliano Torrengo

The Flow of Time (Note updated time: 5-7pm)

Speaker: Giuliano Torrengo
From: University of Milan
URL: http://dipartimento.filosofia.unimi.it/index.php/giuliano-torrengo
Abstract: Everybody agrees that, in some sense, time flows. However, metaphysicians disagree on whether this common sensical aspect of our experience latches on to some genuine, mind-independent feature of reality. Explaining how reality is like if time really flows is both tricky and deep. On the one hand, it is difficult to pin down what the distinction between someone who believes that time really passes and someone who does not is; on the other hand, skepticism towards the substantivity of the debate is a difficult to defend position. In this paper, I explore several strategies to put the issue in the clear. I will suggest that the most promising one is one that encodes what I call vanilla-genuine, rather than robust, passage.

 
 
Wednesday 19 Apr 2017
Tim Bayne

Ensemble Perception, Perceptual Judgement and the Contents Of Visual Experience (NOTE: Updated Time)

Speaker: Tim Bayne
From: Monash University
URL: https://monash.academia.edu/TimBayne
Abstract: Recently, philosophers of mind have been exercised by a debate about the `admissible contents of perceptual experience'. The issue, roughly put, concerns the range of properties that human beings are directly acquainted with in perceptual experience. It is relatively uncontroversial that the following properties can figure in the contents of visual experience: colour, shape, illumination, spatial relations, motion, and texture. The controversy begins when we ask whether any properties besides these figure in visual experience. This paper argues that `ensemble properties'--features that belong to a set of perceptible objects as a whole as opposed to the individuals that constitute that set--can figure in the contents of visual perception.

 
 
Tuesday 4 Apr 2017
Javier Perez Jara

The Feet of Clay Underlying Bertrand Russell's Critiques of Idealism

Speaker: Javier Perez Jara
From: Beijing Foreign Studies University
URL: https://es.linkedin.com/in/javier-p%25C3%25A9rez-jara-67918363
Abstract: Bertrand Russell is one of the central figures in the historical development of analytic philosophy. Russell's ontology and theory of knowledge are often understood in contrast to other philosophical approaches such as idealism, existentialism, Marxism or Christian philosophy. Among Russel's criticisms to other philosophical approaches, his critiques to idealist and monistic philosophies, such as F. H. Bradley's and T. H. Green's, are usually highlighted by historians of philosophy. Nevertheless, my paper argues that Russell's critique of ontological and epistemological idealism is by no means definitive.
Russell's critique can only be understood in terms of his theory of matter and mind, a theory which underwent several changes. Nevertheless, my paper shows that Russell holds at every stage of his philosophical development that idealist premises are indeed ontologically possible, even the most radical ones such as Berkeley's. In Russell's philosophy, the problem of the external world is hence relegated to the issue of beliefs and probabilities. Furthermore, when he accepts neutral monism as a possible solution to the problem of mind and matter, Russell ends up holding a mentalist position which is at times as radical as Mach's.
My conclusion is that Russell's worldview is not as far-removed from idealism as many scholars think. Thanks to this revaluation of Russell's philosophy, I hope to contribute to modern debates about Russell's influence in current analytic philosophy.

 
 
Tuesday 28 Feb 2017
Kourken Michaelian

The Epistemology of Generative Memory

Speaker: Kourken Michaelian
From: University of Otago
URL: http://phil-mem.org/
Abstract: Memory has been claimed to be epistemically generative--generative of new knowledge--in several distinct senses. Inter alia, it has been claimed (first-order generationism) that memory can generate new knowledge by providing the subject with with first-order information about an event that does not originate in his experience of the event, and it has been claimed (second-order generationism) that memory can generate new knowledge by providing the subject with second-order information to the effect that his first-order information about an event originates in his experience of the event. Together, first-order and second-order generationism seem to lead to the conclusion that episodic memory is systematically misleading and therefore unable to provide us with knowledge at all. This talk explores several potential responses to this problem. Should we reject first-order generationism? Should we reject second-order generationism? Or should we perhaps accept them both, grant that memory is systematically misleading, but maintain that this misleadingness is epistemically innocent?

 
 
Monday 13 Feb 2017
Giovanna Miolli

"To Dress Up a Truism in High-flown Language": McDowell and the Identity Theory of Truth (Note: starts at 4pm)

Speaker: Giovanna Miolli
From: University of Padova
URL: https://unipd.academia.edu/GiovannaMiolli
Abstract: Is it possible to argue that truth is identical with reality? What does it mean to say that a thought content (namely, a proposition) is true if and only if it is identical with a real content (namely, a fact)? It is within this problematic framework that the so-called identity theories of truth try to give an account of what truth is. In the first part of my talk, I will offer a survey of the main positions within this "family" of theories, investigating the problem of the mind-world relation. In part two, I will focus on the notions of "identity" and "thought content" as understood within these theories. I will explain the theoretical problems they give rise to. In the last part, moving from this background, I will present McDowell's position and show how his reflections can help us problematize some aspects in which the identity theories get stuck.

 
 
Monday 12 Dec 2016
Tohru Genka

Different Ways to Appreciate Music

Speaker: Tohru Genka
From: University of Tokyo
URL: https://sites.google.com/site/tohrugenka/
Abstract: Music is the artwork of sounds, and sounds are what we hear. So, it is natural to think that when we appreciate music, we should pay attention to only sounds. In this talk, I will argue that such a way of music appreciation is sometimes wrong both psychologically and aesthetically. My talk is based on three considerations. Firstly, the psychological consideration is multi-modality of perception. The perceptual system integrates information picked up by each of the sense modalities (O'Callaghan 2012). And multi-modal perception is also used in appreciation of artworks (Nanay 2012). In appreciating musical performance, we perceive various non-auditory properties, for example, we see an arm movement during playing, and feel sound pressure. Secondly, the aesthetic consideration is aesthetic supervenience (Levinson 1984). Aesthetic property (being graceful, garish, dynamic, etc.) of things is based on, and emerges from its non-aesthetic properties (color, shape, tone, etc.). By virtue of this relation, if we misperceive non-aesthetic properties, we also misperceive aesthetic properties. Together with the first and second considerations; it follows that aesthetic property of musical performance depends on not only auditory but also visual and tactile properties, and that if we want to perceive aesthetic properties of music appropriately, we should not ignore non-auditory properties of the performance. But this claim is true of only musical performance. Thirdly, a further aesthetic consideration is the distinction between live and recorded music (Taniguchi 2010). They are different art forms in the same sense that cinema and theater are different. Different ways of appreciation are needed to appreciate different art forms, and multi-modal appreciation is not needed for recorded music.

 
 
Monday 5 Dec 2016
Adriana Renero

The Knowledge Argument: The Deaf Person Case (Different venue: Building 14, Floor 7, R. 710)

Speaker: Adriana Renero
From: The Graduate Center, CUNY
URL: http://adrianarenero.wixsite.com/philosophy
Abstract: Central contributions to the philosophy of mind by Saul Kripke include well-known refutations of physicalism: the type-type identity theory, e.g. a mental state (a pain) is identical to a physical state (C-fiber stimulation). In 1979 spring lectures at Princeton University, Kripke offers an argument against physicalism via a thought experiment in the auditory domain which has remained unexplored. Kripke claims that the physicalist thesis that "one who knows all the physical truths--or all the physical facts--knows everything" is false. He argues that all the physical truths do not determine the complete truths of the world. He provides an interesting picture of the auditory domain to show the limits of physicalism. I rebuild several cases of deaf people that he provides and adapt those cases into one single case: the deaf person case against physicalism (or "anaudism"). I claim that Kripke's argument is a precursor of Frank Jackson's "knowledge argument against physicalism" i.e. the often-quoted "Mary case" or the blind-color person (1982). I argue that Kripke's deaf person case is more persuasive than Jackson's Mary case. Kripke offers a novel picture of auditory descriptions for the phenomenal character of auditory experiences. I close by showing central parallels of Kripke and Jackson's arguments and I stress important aspects that Jackson's argument misses. (This talk is jointly hosted by TFAP and the Tokyo Colloquium for Cognitive Philosophy (TCCP).)

 
 
Monday 28 Nov 2016
Ryohei Takaya

Content in Embedding Environments

Speaker: Ryohei Takaya
From: Keio University
URL: http://researchmap.jp/r_takaya/?lang=english
Abstract: In this talk, I will examine the assumption that the compositional semantic value of a sentence in a context is identical to its assertoric content (IDENTITY), and conclude that rejecting IDENTITY is a better way to theorize semantics. Although this assumption is an orthodox view in philosophy of language, we will face with alleged counterexamples when trying to explain embedding environments about tense, location, personal taste, and so on. How to avoid this problem and retain IDENTITY? I will discuss two solutions: adopting extensional treatments and revising compositionality. First option, which is popular in formal semantics, is a general solution to the problem. Theorists adopting this option claim that by using quantifiers and variables in object language instead of intensional operators, desired contents can be described without denying IDENTITY. Second option is much less popular, but still attractive for proponents of IDENTITY. According to this view, we can stipulate a weaker compositionality by which embedding problems disappear. I will claim that both cannot explain away the problems even if they seem so at a first glance. My discussion will concentrate mostly on arguments against IDENTITY, but I will finish the talk with suggesting a positive effect of rejecting it.

 
 
Monday 31 Oct 2016
Robert May

Sense and Judgment (Note: Talk will start later, at 7 pm!)

Speaker: Robert May
From: UCDavis
URL: http://philosophy.ucdavis.edu/people/rcmay
Abstract: Hardly anything in Frege is more broadly known than his account of identity statements, the idea that understanding ``a = b'' requires recognizing that ``a'' and ``b'' express different senses. What is innovative about Frege's account (relative to his contemporaries) is his denial that the issue is about propositional content. Rather, the issue is cognitive -- how we, as agentive thinkers recognize the difference in content and the role this recognition plays in our judging the truth of identities. The importance of Frege's framing of the identity puzzle is that it shifts the issue from being about the validity of logicism to a general issue of scientific knowledge. Central to Frege's view is his carefully distinguishing the process of making a judgement from the product of that act, a judgement. Sense is to be understood in this context, but properly understanding this notion requires teasing apart sense as an objective mode of determination of an object and sense as a mode of presentation, a cognitive state of thinkers who have grasped senses. The paper concludes with a discussion of whether Frege has an account of ``a = a'', even supposing that he does have an account of ``a = b''.

 
 
Monday 24 Oct 2016
Yuri Cath

Knowing What It Is Like and Testimony

Speaker: Yuri Cath
From: La Trobe University
URL: https://sites.google.com/site/yuricath/
Abstract: Can I know what it is like to deliver a stand-up comedy routine, give birth to a child, or go to war, without having had those experiences myself? Is it possible to gain this `what it is like'-knowledge by reading stories or talking with the experienced? Philosophers often hold a pessimistic attitude towards this possibility on the grounds that, normally, one can only know what it is like to have an experience if one has had an experience of that same type oneself (Lewis 1998, Paul 2014). And endorsements of this pessimistic attitude can also be found in novels, films, and pop music. But, I shall argue, a puzzle now arises because there are also countless examples of everyday practices and judgments that testify to our holding an optimistic attitude towards this same possibility. In this paper I explore how this puzzle can be illuminated and potentially dissolved by appealing to recent work in epistemology (on the linguistic meaning and form of knowledge-wh ascriptions) and the philosophy of mind (on `what it is like'-knowledge and empathy). I will also discuss a better understanding of this puzzle might help us to evaluate recent arguments by Paul (2014, 2015) concerning `what it is like'-knowledge and transformative choices.

 
 
Monday 17 Oct 2016
Franz Berto

Aboutness and Imagination

Speaker: Franz Berto
From: University of Amsterdam
URL: http://www.uva.nl/over-de-uva/organisatie/medewerkers/content/b/e/f.berto/f.berto.html
Abstract: We present a formal theory of the logic and aboutness of imagination. Aboutness is understood as the relation between meaningful items and what they concern, as per Yablo and Fine's works on the notion. Imagination is understood as per Chalmers' positive conceivability: the intentional state of a subject who conceives that p by imagining a situation - a configuration of objects and properties - verifying p. So far aboutness theory has been developed mainly for linguistic representation, but it is natural to extend it to intentional states. The proposed formal framework combines a modal semantics with a mereology of contents: imagination operators are understood as variably strict quantifiers over worlds with a content-preservation constraint.

 
 
Monday 10 Oct 2016
Chris Tancredi

Attributing Attitudes to the Confused

Speaker: Chris Tancredi
From: Keio University
URL: https://sites.google.com/site/christophertancredi/home
Abstract: It is a common occurrence to find a person who has a misunderstanding of some particular word. When that happens, their understanding of the word affects how we attribute attitudes to them. If John thinks that the word ``prime'' means being equal to the cube of some number minus 1, I can easily say ``John thinks 26 is prime'' while at the same time acknowledging ``John knows 26 to have four factors''. There is no contradiction in my statement, and nor does my statement attribute a contradiction to John. In this talk I propose an analysis of this phenomenon. The core idea of the analysis is that for certain attributions, it is necessary to adjust the meanings of some of the words we use to make their meaning conform to the meaning we take the attitude holder to give to them. I show the necessity of such an analysis by showing that alternative analyses -- particularly de re, de dicto, and de qualitate analyses -- fail to predict the observed facts that this analysis explains. The analysis proposed is semantic in nature, not pragmatic, and the need for it to be semantic will also be argued.

 
 
Thursday 14 Jul 2016
Richard Dietz

Gradability, Vagueness, and Incommensurability

Speaker: Richard Dietz
From: University of Tokyo
URL: http://www.richarddietz.net/index.php
Abstract: This talk brings to bear an idea from value theory to the natural language semantics of gradable adjectives. Delineationists about gradability claim that the meaning of comparatives is reducible to the meaning of embedded gradable adjectives (Kamp; Klein; van Benthem; van Rooij; Burnett). On the other hand, it has been argued that in so-called cases of parity, pairs of items may be comparable with respect to a covering value even if they determinately fail to instantiate the trichotomy of being either better, worse, or equal (Parfit; Griffin; Chang; Gert; Rabinowicz). I will argue that delineationism fails to supply sufficient means of accommodating cases of parity.

 
 
Thursday 7 Jul 2016
Naoya Fujikawa

Anaphora in Attitude Contexts: An Internalist Approach

Speaker: Naoya Fujikawa
From: Tokyo Metropolitan University
URL: http://tmu-jp.academia.edu/NaoyaFujikawa
Abstract: In this talk, I propose a semantic analysis of indefinite NPs and anaphoric pronouns in attitude contexts, in particular, cases of intentional identity exemplified by `Hob believes that a witch blighted Bob's mare. Nob thinks that she killed Cob's sow' (cf. Geach, 1967). Based on the idea in the literature of Discourse Representation Theory (DRT) that discourse referents are mental representations of entities (cf. Kamp, Genabith, and Reyle, 2011), I make the following two points: (a) Indefinites and pronouns appearing in attitude contexts introduce what I call meta discourse referents, discourse referents of discourse referents; (b) what underlies anaphoric links between indefinites and pronouns in attitude contexts can be a certain `psychological' relation ---coordination--- between discourse referents, which is represented by using meta discourse referents in DRSs. I give an implementation of these points in DRT and compare it with the view proposed by Kamp et al. (2011).

Reference
Geach, P. T. (1967). ``Intentional Identity'', Journal of Philosophy, 64: 20, 627-632.

Kamp, H., J. van Genabith, and U. Reyle (2011). Discourse Representation Theory, in D. Gabbay and F. Guenthner (eds.), Handbook of Philosophical Logic, Volume 15, Springer, pp. 125-394.

 
 
Friday 17 Jun 2016
Blake Hestir

Plato on the Metaphysical Foundations of Truth

Speaker: Blake Hestir
From: Texas Christian University
URL: http://philosophy.tcu.edu/faculty-and-staff/blake-hestir/
Abstract: In the Sophist, Plato claims that statement and judgment involve doing something with words and thoughts, respectively, namely asserting or denying, and assertions and denials are either true or false. I argue that although Plato's conception of truth captures the basic correspondence intuition that a statement is true only if there is something in the world in virtue of which it is true, his view lacks a commitment to a correspondence relation between statements and facts or states of affairs that obtain or objects. At the heart of this conception is a particular account of the mechanism of being in predication. The consistency of his metaphysical realism with his conception of truth is one that some philosophers may find more attractive and intuitive than strict minimalist or deflationary views that eschew metaphysics altogether and deny that there is anything significant or interesting to say about truth beyond the platitude `p' is true if and only if p. Finally, I argue that Plato thinks that truth is a legitimate property and substantive, albeit atypical, what one might think of as a second order property.

 
 
Friday 10 Jun 2016
Kevin Craven

Responsibility for Care

Speaker: Kevin Craven
From: University of Michigan
URL: http://lsa.umich.edu/philosophy/people/graduate-students/kcraven.html
Abstract: Care work is socially necessary work. Each of us needs care in childhood and in times of infirmity, and each of us relies on others receiving care when they need it. For this reason, a society cannot leave unanswered the question of who is responsible for providing care. One common answer to this question is what I will call 'the internalization model.' On this model, responsibility for care attaches primarily to the (marital, biological, nuclear) family. I argue that the internalization model's tendency to contain responsibility within the boundaries of the family represents a serious deficiency: it provides an ideological justification for dominant groups' closing ranks and monopolizing vital resources, thereby maintaining inequalities. In response, I offer an alternative model -- 'the distribution model' -- on which responsibility for care is a shared responsibility falling upon society as a whole. This model avoids the problems of the internalization model while retaining its virtues. In making my argument, I appeal to historical cases in which (something like) each of the two models seems to be at work. These cases suggest that the internalization model comes to the fore when a dominant group's control of resources is threatened, and that the distribution model comes to prominence under conditions of social solidarity. This observation both supports my claims regarding the ideological function of the internalization model and clarifies some challenges facing any attempt to put the distribution model into practice.

 
 
Friday 3 Jun 2016
Tomoya Sato

A New Semantic Characterization of Logical Constants

Speaker: Tomoya Sato
From: University of California, San Diego
URL: http://acsweb.ucsd.edu/~tosato/Tomoya_Sato/index.html
Abstract: Characterizing logical constants is necessary for characterizing logically valid arguments. The boundary between logically valid and invalid arguments varies according to a demarcation between logical and non-logical terms: some argument is logically valid under one demarcation and invalid under another demarcation. In the contemporary model-theoretic approach to logic, logical constants have been characterized using the concepts of invariance and similarity relation: a term is logical if its characteristic function is invariant under "appropriate" similarity relations among objects. Regarding what similarity relations are appropriate, several candidates have been proposed, and as a result, there are several theories available. In this presentation, I will introduce a new characterization of logical constants based on a new similarity relation. Prior to the introduction, I will provide a brief summary of the literature and explain the importance of the study of logical constants.

 
 
Friday 20 May 2016
Satoru Suzuki

Measurement-Theoretic Foundations of Observational-Predicate Logic

Speaker: Satoru Suzuki
From: Komazawa University
URL: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Satoru_Suzuki7
Abstract: Vagueness is a ubiquitous feature that we know from many expressions in natural languages.
It can invite a serious problem: the Sorites Paradox.
The Phenomenal Sorites Paradox is a version of the Sorites Paradox, where observational predicates occur.
According to Raffman (2000), we can classify perceptual indiscriminability as follows: (1) s-Indiscriminability: perceptual indiscriminability in the statistical sense, and (2) d-Indiscriminability: perceptual indiscriminability in the non-statistical (dispositional) sense.
The Tolerance Principle on s-Indiscriminability can be false because the objects that are the same may often be recognized discriminable by an examinee A of limited ability of discrimination and the objects that are different may often be recognized indiscriminable by A.
The aim of this talk is to propose a new version of logic for observational predicates---Observational-Predicate Logic (OPL)---that can express formally this solution to the Phenomenal Sorites Paradox on s-Indiscriminability and makes it possible to reason about observational predicates.
To accomplish this aim, we provide the language of OPL with a statistical model in terms of measurement theory.

 
 
Thursday 21 Apr 2016
Kunimasa Sato

Intellectual Autonomy and Understanding

Speaker: Kunimasa Sato
From: Keiai University
URL: http://miamikunickham.wix.com/kunickham
Abstract: This presentation will focus on the role of competence at understanding as it bears on interpersonal justification. Specifically, I will first delineate the dialectical nature of argumentative exchange by developing the notion of a chain of arguments, thus construing it as a form of interpersonal justification. I will then demonstrate that "understanding competence" is a fundamental constituent of intellectual autonomy.

 
 
Thursday 26 Nov 2015
Nikolaj Jang Lee Pedersen

Strong Truth Pluralism (R. 315, Hobun 1, see Building 31 on: www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/content/400020145.pdf)

Speaker: Nikolaj Jang Lee Pedersen
From: Yonsei University
URL: http://www.nikolajpedersen.com/
Abstract: According to strong alethic pluralism truth is Many, not One. For each domain D, there is some property F such that a D-proposition's being true is identical to its being F. For example, for propositions about riverbanks truth simply is correspondence with reality, and for propositions about the law truth simply is coherence with the body of law. Across domains truth is identified with distinct properties, meaning that there is no truth property that applies to any proposition whatsoever, regardless of domain. This amounts to giving up on the idea of truth-as-such, one of the distinctive features of moderate truth pluralism. This paper has three aims. The first aim is to present and develop a novel form of strong alethic pluralism and to do so in considerable detail. This task has been somewhat neglected in the literature, one major reason being that strong pluralism is widely regarded as a non-starter due to a battery of seemingly devastating objections leveled against it. Among these objections the problem of mixed compounds is regarded as being particularly pressing-and difficult-for the strong pluralist to deal with. The second aim of the paper is to give a strongly pluralist response to the problem of mixed compounds. The third aim is to argue against moderate truth pluralism. I do so by appeal to principles concerning ontological economy and ideas about naturalness. THIS IS THE FINAL PART OF PROF. PEDERSEN'S LECTURE SERIES "TRUTH: CONCEPTUALLY ONE, METAPHYSICALLY MANY". FOR FURTHER INFO ON THIS: http://www.richarddietz.net/admin/ckfinder/userfiles/files/
pedersen%20announcement.pdf

 
 
Thursday 19 Nov 2015
Tatsuji Takahashi

Biconditionals and Biconditional Probability (jointly with David Over, Durham University)

Speaker: Tatsuji Takahashi
From: Tokyo Denki University
URL: http://takalabo.rd.dendai.ac.jp/en/tatsujit
Abstract: Psychology of reasoning has seen a shift in its normative theory of language and thought, especially aruond conditionals. This is in parallel with the movement toward constructing probabilistic logic for describing human thoughts, notably in Bayesian frameworks as the language for more flexible generative models (e.g., Lisp-like Church language by Goodman et al., 2008). In this talk, in joint progress with Jean Baratgin, David Over, and Guy Politzer, I will present the results of recent experiments of how people understand and use conditionals. A twist is that the setting for the experiments are more realistic than in previous works, allowing our knowledge of the occurrence of events to be not just true or false, but also uncertain, making the underlying logic three-valued. We also tested the truth table for biconditionals of the form "If p then q, and if q then p," which form a simplest class of composite conditionals. The resulting truth table conforms to the pattern quite frequently found but unexplained in many experiments on conditionals. It is also identical to the pARIs rule (Takahashi et al., 2010) which well describes the data of inductive inference of causal relationship from co-occurrence information.

 
 
Thursday 5 Nov 2015
Michal Nakoneczny

Locutions in Metaphysics of Music and Ordinary Language: A Corpus-Based Study

Speaker: Michal Nakoneczny
From: University of Warsaw
URL: http://filozofia.uw.edu.pl/~nako/
Abstract: In this talk, I offer a new way of evaluating the strength of arguments from ordinary language in contemporary analytic philosophy. I apply this methodology to Kivy's and Dodd's arguments saying that the talk about musical composition is imbued with discovery-words as much as with creation-words. Basing on the British National Corpus, I show that the talk about creating musical works is formulated in both creation-verbs and discovery-verbs, but I show that there is a very strong statistically significant correlation between using creation-verbs rather than discovery-verbs while talking about musical composition. I take this to mean that Kivy and Dodd were wrong in claiming that creation verbs and discovery verbs are equally natural way of talking about the act of musical composition.

 
 
Thursday 22 Oct 2015
Hemdat Lerman

On the Fine-Graininess of the Ways Things are Presented in Experience (2nd pt. of a Perception Symposium, 5:30 - 7 pm)

Speaker: Hemdat Lerman
From: University of Warwick
URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/philosophy/people/associates/lerman/
Abstract: When we see objects they are presented to us in our visual experience as being certain ways -- that is, they are presented as having certain colours, shapes, sizes, locations, and so on. Intuitively, when the conditions are favourable (i.e., when the relevant objects are just in front of us, in clear view, the light is good, etc.) the properties the objects are presented as having include very fine-grained properties -- properties that are as fine-grained as our capacity, in the given circumstances, to discern differences along the relevant dimension (e.g., colour, shape, length, distance). Thus, for example, it seems that when one sees a red pen just in front of one, in good light, etc., one experiences the pen as having a very fine-grained shade of red -- a shade that is the finest one can discriminate from other shades of colour in the given circumstances. My aim in the talk is to question this intuitive view. I'll do so by, first, suggesting an explanation of what makes the view so intuitive, and then questioning the assumptions that figure in the suggested explanation.

 
 
Thursday 22 Oct 2015
Thomas Park

In Defense of a Perceptual View of Feeling Pain (1st part of a Perception Symposium, 4 - 5:30 pm)

Speaker: Thomas Park
From: Seoul National University
URL: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Thomas_Park
Abstract: When we get hurt, sick or suffer from problems like migraine or cavities, we often feel an unpleasant sensation in a certain part of our body. When we thus feel pain, is this feeling a kind of perception on a par with sense modalities like seeing or smelling? I present three criteria for sense modalities introduced by Fiona Macpherson, and argue that feeling pain is part of a distinct sense modality that fulfills these criteria. I will defend my conclusion against the appearance-reality argument and Murat Aydede's argument from focus. According to the first, the apparent lack of a discrepancy between appearance and reality in case of pain makes the feeling of pain different from traditional sense perception. For whereas we distinguish between seeing a bend stick and seeming to see a bend stick, we apparently cannot distinguish between having a pain and seeming to have a pain. However, I argue that we are able to make the relevant distinction with regard to what pain represents, namely disturbances of one's bodily tissue. We can thus distinguish between one's bodily tissue seeming to be disturbed and (really) being disturbed. Aydede's argument, I will argue, focuses too much on vision and audition, and neglects the diversity of our senses. For our standard "perceptual reports" are, pace Aydede, not always about public objects or objective state of affairs, especially when these reports are about the content of olfactory, gustatory or thermal experience. I will corroborate my thesis by means of two examples.

 
 
Thursday 8 Oct 2015
Fabio Ceravolo

A Clash of Necessaritarians: Dispositional Essentialism and Varieties of Necessity

Speaker: Fabio Ceravolo
From: University of Leeds
URL: https://leeds.academia.edu/FabioCeravolo
Abstract: According to necessitarism, some connections between fundamental properties are necessary. As it stands, the view should be further distinguished as for its acceptance of a governance thesis, spelling out how the properties determine the necessary connections. Weak governance imposes strong supervenience of the connection on the properties; strong governance adjoins the further condition that the basic powers cannot change between worlds, and, therefore, that actual connections are necessary and no non-actual one is possible. As an explanation of how connections between properties are necessary I consider dispositional essentialism (DE, Bird 2007). I show that DE is committed to strong governance, an unexpected consequence of the general idea that dispositions ground natural laws independently of their actuality. Adopting weak governance within DE's framework, on the other hand, equals admitting what Kit Fine (2002) calls "varieties of necessity", by which we can take to mean to the failure of necessitarism. Finally, I argue that weak governance still denotes a mature approach to natural necessity,sensible to recognised forms of counterfactual reasoning in the natural sciences, and that a weakened non-dispositional necessitarism can live with Fine's argument.

 
 
Thursday 1 Oct 2015
Rasmus Thybo Jensen

Why Should We Need a Disjunctive Account of Bodily Movements?

Speaker: Rasmus Thybo Jensen
From: University of Tokyo
URL: http://u-tokyo.academia.edu/RasmusThyboJensen
Abstract: A number of authors have proposed a so called disjunctive account of bodily movement to deal with problems in Philosophy of Action. I will discuss three such accounts (Hornsby's, Haddock's and Stout's) that are all presented as analogues to McDowell's disjunctive conception of perceptual appearance. I will address the issue of how we should specify the problem concerning bodily agency that is supposed to be analogous to McDowell's problem concerning perceptual knowledge. I argue that the three accounts in question are in fact three quite different accounts and I suggest that we can understand the differences in terms of differences in the problems the accounts are supposed to deal with.

 
 
Thursday 2 Jul 2015
Bongrae Seok

Embodied Moral Psychology: Empathy and Psychopathy (4 - 5:30 pm --- pt 1 of a Joint HMC+TFAP Symposium)

Speaker: Bongrae Seok
From: Alvernia University
URL: http://www.alvernia.edu/academics/arts-and-sciences/humanities/philosophy/faculty/seok.html
Abstract: Currently, major psychological approaches to moral cognition, such as Kantian, Humean, Rawlsian approaches, focus on deliberate moral reasoning, affective and motivational moral emotions, and implicit moral rules. But the body (i.e., the physical sense and activity) of a moral agent are not fully and seriously considered. In this presentation, I will develop a moral psychology of the body, i.e., a moral psychology of embodied and other-regarding emotion. I will explore this relatively uncharted territory of embodied moral psychology by focusing on the embodied nature of empathy in moral cognition. According to recent brain imaging studies, one's empathy to others' pain is supported by affective resonance and motivational preparedness that are associated with the activities of the anterior insula. The function of the insula, as reported by psychologists, is sensing and reacting to bodily changes. That is, our empathic concern is closely related to our bodily senses. On the contrary, insufficient or disrupted bodily reaction to others' pain and suffering can result in psychopathic orientations. According to several studies, psychopathy is associated with a specific deficit in affective processing that integrates particular type of stimuli with embodied visceral and autonomic reactions. Although psychopathy is a complex psychological phenomenon that cannot be explained by a single cause or a simple set of variables, lack of or disruption in affective and embodied sense and reaction to other's pain is often recognized as a reliably predictor of psychopathic behaviors. Based on these observations, I argue that embodied approach to moral cognition can provide a good theoretical framework that can complement existing approaches to moral psychology.

 
 
Thursday 2 Jul 2015
Masahiro Yamada

Evidential Force and Degrees of Belief (5:30 - 7 pm --- pt. 2 of a Joint HMC+TFAP Symposium)

Speaker: Masahiro Yamada
From: Claremont Graduate University
URL: http://cgu.edu/pages/3983.asp
Abstract: How should one update one's degree of belief that p in the light of new evidence that conclusively shows that q? One popular answer is that one ought to "conditionalize": the updated degree of belief for p ought to be set to the prior conditional probability of p given q. This paper argues that the same considerations that in many cases make conditionalization plausible also show why conditionalization fails in certain counterexamples. The diagnosis of the failure points to a need for reconceptualizing the investigation into updating procedures so as to pay attention to the force of evidence in addition to degrees of belief.

 
 
Thursday 25 Jun 2015
Alessandro Salice

On Sharing One Emotion

Speaker: Alessandro Salice
From: Center for Subjectivity Research (University of Copenhagen)
URL: http://cfs.ku.dk/staff/?pure=en/persons/460617
Abstract: "To share" is quite a common verb in English, and its use is fairly uncontroversial in many contexts. 'Shared' can refer to concrete objects (e.g., a toy that siblings play with and which is "their" toy), abstract objects (e.g., the right of several persons to use a building in usufruct) and perhaps even objects of more questionable status (e.g., persons can share a debt or a need...). But can experiences be shared?

In this talk, I especially focus on shared emotions: recall Max Scheler's famous example of two parents mourning at the grave of their dead child (1913) -- in which sense is this emotion of mourning theirs? In which sense do they 'share' this emotion?

My presentation is organized into three parts. In the first, I introduce Scheler's example against the background of his taxonomy of forms of sociality (mental contagion, empathy, co-experiencing). In the second, I address two possible interpretations of shared emotions, which I respectively label the 'one-token' and the 'multiplicity' view. The first claims that collective emotions are an attitude of a plural subject, whereas the second contends that the notion of collective emotions can be cashed out in terms of singular emotions plus relevant relations held between them. In the final part, I argue in favor of my own take on this, which I develop by employing some of the conceptual tools that can be found in Scheler, and which I understand as a revised version of the 'one-token' view. I maintain that this view is respectful of our phenomenology and, at the same time, that it preserves the robust sense of collectivity one needs if one wants to talk of 'shared' emotions.

 
 
Thursday 18 Jun 2015
Henri Galinon

Towards a Post-Deflationary Conception of Truth

Speaker: Henri Galinon
From: Universite Blaise Pascal
URL: http://phier.univ-bpclermont.fr/article15.html
Abstract:
The view we shall defend is deflationary in the the sense that we accept the main tenets of classical deflationism regarding the role of the notion truth in scientific discourse. More precisely, we shall defend what we call "semantic deflation", arguing that the notion of truth is semantically akin to a logical notion and cannot play a "thick" role in explanations. We shall then explore the possibility to maintain, despite these conclusions, that the notion of truth still plays a substantial regulatory role in rational activity--- in short "functional inflation".

 
 
Thursday 4 Jun 2015
Rob Sinclair

Quine's Naturalism and the Constitutive A Priori

Speaker: Rob Sinclair
From: Soka University
URL: http://suj.academia.edu/RobertSinclair
Abstract: In his Dynamics of Reason, Michael Friedman criticizes Quine's holistic view of human knowledge as unable to make sense of historical revolutions in science, and more crucially, as failing to account for the constitutive nature of the a priori frameworks that make possible the formulation of empirical laws. My paper will focus on this second criticism and demonstrate how recent work on Quine's epistemology of logic shows that his 'web of belief' account contains asymmetric structure with logic and mathematics serving as basic elements that enable both the formulation of scientific theories and their application to empirical phenomena. Friedman is then wrong in claiming that Quine's view can only explain differences in a given theory by degrees of entrenchment, with, for example, our reluctance to revise logical laws stemming from their relatively deep entrenchment within our current theories. This further suggests that Quine's structural holism can capture some of the central aspects of the constitutive a priori that Friedman deems central to scientific theories. I conclude by taking a closer look at the precise role the constitutive a priori frameworks play in Friedman's account, where they are further presented as serving to coordinate the abstract mathematical component of scientific theories with concrete sensible experience. It remains unclear whether Quine's structural holism has the resources to address this 'coordination' problem and this helps to clarify the exact issue at stake between Friedman and Quine concerning the significance of constitutive a priori principles and their role more generally within scientific theories.

 
 
Thursday 28 May 2015
Kengo Miyazono

The Role of Imagination in Philosophical Thought Experiments

Speaker: Kengo Miyazono
From: Keio University
URL: http://kengomiyazono.weebly.com/
Abstract: Is a (scientific or philosophical) thought experiment reducible to an argument (Brown 1991; Gendler 2000; Norton 1991)? Williamson and other philosophers (Ichikawa & Jarvis 2009; Malmgren 2011; Williamson 2007) argue that philosophical thought experiments, such as Gettier thought experiment, can be formalised as arguments. In this paper, I argue that, first, the proposed formalisations of philosophical thought experiments are problematic in one way or another and, second, there is an alternative account according to which a philosophical thought experiment does not have an argument-like structure. According to the account, a philosophical thought experiment is a special kind of imaginability-based modal judgment, where the imagination involves what I call "higher-level imagination". The phenomenon called "imaginative resistance" (Gendler 2000; Weatherson 2004) tells us about the peculiar features of higher-level imagination, and we can provide a plausible account of the nature of philosophical experiments in terms of these features.

 
 
Thursday 14 May 2015
Akiko Frischhut

Temporal Passage and Ontological Regress

Speaker: Akiko Frischhut
From: University of Geneva
URL: http://unige.academia.edu/AkikoFrischhut
Abstract: See attachment.

 
 
Thursday 7 May 2015
Ben Burgis

Negation is Failure: A Semantic Defense of Excluded Middle and Non-Contradiction

Speaker: Ben Burgis
From: Yonsei University
URL: http://uic.yonsei.ac.kr/academics/faculty_profiles_view.asp?page=1&idx=165&fndfield=&fndstr=&srhctgr=200102&fndName=&fndMajor=Common+Curriculum
Abstract: The most traditional reason to doubt the unrestricted truth of the Law of the Excluded Middle (LEM) is the problem of future contingents. This is a metaphysical objection, based on the claim that the world is not such as to make true every instance of the LEM. On the contemporary scene, it is far more popular to doubt the LEM on the basis of "purely semantic" considerations. For example, Scott Soames and Jamie Tappenden have argued that natural language includes "partially defined predicates." The rules governing whether some object falls within the extension of some predicate (or its negation) are silent in some cases. Ed Mares has endorsed this claim and argued on parallel grounds that natural language includes "overdefined predicates." Unlike Graham Priest, who (on some interpretations of Priest's project) believes that the world is such as to make some contradictions true, Mares believes the Law of Non-Contradiction (LNC) fails for purely semantic reasons. This version of dialetheism is widely seen as relatively innocent, since it doesn't violate the intuition that objective reality is in some important sense "consistent," but I argue that the consequences of "semantic" dialetheism are actually far more counter-intuitive than the consequences of "Priestly" dialetheism. The picture we get when we start taking "overdefined predicates" seriously should actually count as a reductio of the Tappenden-Soames thesis.

 
 
Thursday 23 Apr 2015
Peter Kung

Is Bias Always Unreasonable?

Speaker: Peter Kung
From: Pomona College
URL: http://pages.pomona.edu/~pfk04747/
Abstract: Cognitive biases are typically conceived as mistakes in reasoning. They are epistemically unwarranted conclusions. The conclusion you reach is epistemically unreasonable because of the way that you arrived at it: e.g., you sought only evidence that confirmed your prior view; you failed to give adequate consideration to situational factors in explaining another's behavior; you regard information that you can easily recall as representative. It is natural to think that the explosion of recent findings in social psychology about implicit biases fits the same pattern. In judging a woman candidate to be less qualified than an equivalent male candidate, for example (which both men and women seem to do), you have exhibited flawed reasoning. Your conclusion is epistemically unreasonable because of the way that you arrived at that belief: you were sensitive to a factor, the candidate's sex, that you yourself regard as evidentially irrelevant. I think this is a mistake. I argue that social biases are not necessarily cases of epistemically flawed reasoning, and that, in some sense, the judgments under scrutiny can be epistemically justified. If (as I think is independently plausible) we deny the uniqueness thesis---the thesis that a body of evidence justifies at most one doxastic attitude toward a proposition---then the fact that evidentially irrelevant factors seem to make a difference to our judgment on an issue is not enough, by itself, to show that the those judgments are epistemically unreasonable. We must locate what's problematic about implicit biases in another place.

 
 
Tuesday 21 Apr 2015
Luca Ferrero

Mortality, Finitude, and the Temporal Structure of Agency (6:10-7:40pm, pt. 2 of a Joint HMC+TFAP Symposium)

Speaker: Luca Ferrero
From: UW-Milwaukee
URL: https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ferrero/www/
Abstract: Many contemporary analytic philosophers have followed Bernard Williams in arguing that, for beings like us, an immortal life is either inconceivable or undesirable. This is for two reasons: we can only conceive of our life only as temporally bounded, and the things we cherish most are essentially tied to finite lives. In this paper, I will consider the question of how the finite and bounded character of affects the basic structure of our temporal agency, ends, and values. I will argue that there are different ways in which we might talk of our temporal existence as being finite or bounded. These ways concern its temporal extension, the temporal horizon of identification, the distribution and accessibility of opportunities for action, and the structure of ends. Human lives appear to be finite along all of these dimensions. However, these dimensions are in principle independent of each other and they bear differently on the structure of our agency and axiology. In particular, I will argue that the kind of finitude that is most intimately connected with our distinctive form of extended agency and existence is not the necessity of death but the limitation in the distribution and accessibility of opportunities for action. I will then consider how this finitude might affect the basic principles of diachronic practical rationality and why it might still make the prospects of an indefinitely long life unappealing.

 
 
Tuesday 21 Apr 2015
Peter Graham

Proper Functionalism and the Proper Theory of Functions (4:40-6:10pm, pt. 1 of a Joint HMC+TFAP Symposium)

Speaker: Peter Graham
From: University of California, Riverside
URL: http://faculty.ucr.edu/~peterg/
Abstract: ---

 
 
Thursday 2 Apr 2015
Mark Colyvan

Decision-Theoretic Models of Moral Agents

Speaker: Mark Colyvan
From: University of Sydney
URL: http://www.colyvan.com/
Abstract: In this paper I will discuss some of the work on formal models of moral decision making (Colyvan, Cox and Steele 2010; Jackson 2001; Jackson manuscript; Jackson and Smith 2006). These models all adopt a decision theoretic, and hence consequentialist, framework. Despite apparently stacking the deck in favour of consequentialist moral theories, I will argue that there is nothing improper about using this framework for moral decision making, even for the moral decisions of virtue ethical agents or deontological agents. Virtue theorists and deontologists may well reject models formulated using this framework as models of the relevant moral psychologies, but there is no need to reject the models in question as models of the behaviour of the relevant agents.

 
 
Thursday 27 Nov 2014
John Michael

Minimal Commitment -- 4:00-5:30 pm

Speaker: John Michael
From: Central European University (Budapest)
URL: http://ceu.academia.edu/JohnMichael
Abstract: This paper sets out a framework that specifies the psychological mechanisms with which agents identify and assess the level of their own and others' interpersonal commitments. I begin by formulating three desiderata for a theoretical account of commitment: to identify the motivational factors that lead agents to honor commitments and which thereby make those commitments credible, to pick out the psychological mechanisms and situational factors that lead agents to sense that implicit commitments are in place, and to illuminate the onto- and phylogenetic origins of commitment. In order to satisfy these three desiderata, I propose to conceptualize a broad category of phenomena of which commitment in the strict sense is a special case, and introduce the term 'minimal commitment' to designate this broad category. The conditions are then specified under which minimal commitments obtain, and five factors are identified that modulate the level of minimal commitment. Finally, I relate the minimal approach offered here to standard accounts of commitment found in the literature, in particular in Bratman and Gilbert.

 
 
Thursday 27 Nov 2014
Alessandro Salice

Collective Commitments: Instrumental vs Communal -- 5:30-7:00 pm

Speaker: Alessandro Salice
From: Center for Subjectivity Research, University of Copenhagen
URL: http://cfs.ku.dk/staff/?pure=en/persons/460617
Abstract: This talk tackles the notion of collective commitment. One influential view about collective commitments maintains that these commitments come only in one kind: if you and I are committed to a goal so that my commitment is conditional on yours and yours is conditional on mine, then there is a collective commitment at place. In the present paper, we intend to resist this view and to defend the claim that collective commitments come in, at least, two different forms.

The first occurs when two or more individuals decide to join their forces based on instrumental considerations. If I intend to reach a goal by means of a specific strategy in which you figures as a contributor and if you intend to reach the same goal by means of a strategy in which I figure as a contributor, then you and I have a collective 'strategic' commitment to reach that goal.

A different kind of collective commitment (call this a 'communal' or a 'we-' commitment) is created when a we-group (i.e., a group with a social identity or a we-perspective) is committed to a given goal. Here, individual commitments arise due to the individuals belonging to the we-group at stake.

After distinguishing, describing and elucidating these two kinds of commitments in the first part of the talk, some conclusions for social ontology and the theory of collective intentionality will be drawn in its second and last part.

 
 
Thursday 20 Nov 2014
Kristina Liefke

Montague Reduction, Confirmation, and the Syntax-Semantics Relation (joint work with Stephan Hartmann, MCMP)

Speaker: Kristina Liefke
From: Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)
URL: http://www.mcmp.philosophie.uni-muenchen.de/people/faculty/liefke/index.html
Abstract: Intertheoretic relations are an important topic in the philosophy of science. However, since their classical discussion by Ernest Nagel, such relations have mostly been restricted to relations between pairs of theories in the natural sciences. In this talk, I will present a model of a new type of intertheoretic relation, called *Montague Reduction*, which is inspired by Montague's framework for the analysis and interpretation of natural language syntax. To motivate the adoption of this new model, I show that this model extends the scope of application of the Nagelian (or related) models, and that it shares the epistemological advantages of the Nagelian model. The latter is achieved in a Bayesian framework.

 
 
Thursday 6 Nov 2014
Chen Bo

A Descriptivist Refutation of Kripke's Modal Argument of Soames's Defence

Speaker: Chen Bo
From: Peking University
URL: http://www.phil.pku.edu.cn/personal/chenbo/resume.htm
Abstract: This talk systematically challenges Kripke's modal argument and Soames's defence of this argument by arguing that, just like descriptions, names can take narrow or wide scopes over modalities, and that there is a big difference between the wide scope reading and the narrow scope reading of a modal sentence with a name. Its final conclusions are that all of Kripke's and Soames's arguments are untenable due to some fallacies or mistakes; names are not "rigid designators"; if there were rigid designators, description(s) could be rigidified to refer fixedly to objects; so names cannot be distinguished in this way from the corresponding descriptions. A descriptivist account of names is still correct; and there is no justification for Kripke's theory of rigid designation and its consequences.

 
 
Thursday 16 Oct 2014
Ryo Chonabayashi

Moral Explanations, Expressivism and Normative Theorising

Speaker: Ryo Chonabayashi
From:
URL: http://independent.academia.edu/RyoChonabayashi
Abstract: Neil Sinclair has recently proposed an expressivist account of moral explanations which is an attempt to defend the old noncognitivist project of accommodating moral explanations without moral realism. Sinclair's suggestion is worth being assessed. If the expressivist can successfully accommodate moral explanations within an expressivist picture of morality, then one popular argument for moral realism which appeals to moral explanations loses its grounds. According to this argument, one brand of naturalistic moral realism is established if the explanatory virtue of moral explanations is accepted. Sinclair's expressivist account of moral explanations might block this reasoning: even if the explanatory virtue of moral explanations is accepted, we may not be able to reach the conclusion that naturalistic moral realism is true due to an alternative account of moral explanations, namely the expressivist account of moral explanations which denies the referential role of moral predicates in those moral explanations. In this paper I shall argue that Sinclair's attempt fails because Sinclair's account cannot appreciate an important role moral explanations play in our normative theorising. The role of moral explanations I shall highlight in this paper is that the change of our moral views often occurs due to our convictions in those moral explanations.

 
 
Wednesday 8 Oct 2014
Benjamin Schnieder

Aristotle's Insight and the Modest Conception of Truth

Speaker: Benjamin Schnieder
From: University of Hamburg
URL: http://www.philosophie.uni-hamburg.de/Team/Schnieder/
Abstract: Aristotle famously remarked: That you are pale is true because you are pale--but not vice versa. This Aristotelian Insight on truth plays a major role in the recent debate about truth. But it is controversial of how the Aristotelian Insight can be accounted for. After discussing some existing proposals, I will develop a justification of Aristotle's Insight that builds on the recent debate about grounding, to which philosophers such as Kit Fine or Jonathan Schaffer made prominent contributions.

 
 
Friday 4 Jul 2014
David Hilbert

Perceivers, Circumstances, Seeing Color (Part of the 1st TODAI PERCEPTION WORKSHOP; for the FULL PROGRAM, see: http://tinyurl.com/mgwpsym).

Speaker: David Hilbert
From: University of Illinois at Chicago
URL: http://tigger.uic.edu/~hilbert/
Abstract: The fact that perceived color varies with both the circumstances of perception and with the characteristics of the perceiver is often thought to have important consequences for the ontology of color. The precise nature of these consequences is a disputed matter but nearly all agree that the ontological consequences of variability in perceived color are important. All such arguments, however, rely on substantial and controversial assumptions about perception and ontology. Consequently, it is possible to evade the force of these arguments by denying the perceptual and metaphysical assumptions implicit in the argument. In other words, these arguments primarily serve to highlight disagreements about perception in general and metaphysics in general and are only secondarily of significance for color. Facts about perceptual variation should take their place among the many interesting facts about color and color perception that any theory of color should account for and lose the special significance they have had in recent discussions of color.

 
 
Thursday 19 Jun 2014
Colin Caret

Commitment, Closure, Consequence

Speaker: Colin Caret
From: Yonsei University
URL: https://sites.google.com/site/colincaret/
Abstract: The recent literature on logic and paradox divides between advocates of non-transitive and non-contractive theories. In this paper, I argue that the only viable option in this debate is to reject contraction. The argument turns on the normative role of logic in the cognitive economy. Logical consequence codifies the relation between belief and commitment, i.e. the operation that determines what an agent is committed to in virtue of what she believes. I argue that such commitments are complete in an important sense. The driving intuition is that the normative force of doxastic commitment ramifies counterfactually, in that an agent cannot rationally disbelieve any of the commitments she would have if she were to believe all of her commitments. As a result, doxastic commitment is what Tarski called a closure operation. The relation of logical consequence, in turn, is a closure relation on belief states. On any generalization of logical consequence qua closure relation on beliefs, it must be a transitive relation. However, if beliefs aggregate in more fine-grained collections than ordinary sets, then there are counterexamples to contraction that are consonant with the conceptual role of logical consequence. I argue that there is a conception of propositional content on which beliefs aggregate into multisets rather than sets. This shows that transitivity is a constitutive feature of logical consequence, while contraction is not.

 
 
Thursday 12 Jun 2014
Shunsuke Yatabe

Truth, Omega-Inconsistency and Harmony (Part 1 of a joint HMC + TFAP event on the Philosophy of Logic)

Speaker: Shunsuke Yatabe
From: Kyoto University
URL: http://researchmap.jp/ytb/?lang=english
Abstract: See attachment.

 
 
Thursday 12 Jun 2014
Gila Sher

Truth as Composite Correspondence (Part 2 of a joint HMC + TFAP event on the Philosophy of Logic)

Speaker: Gila Sher
From: University of California, San Diego
URL: http://philosophyfaculty.ucsd.edu/faculty/gsher/
Abstract: Given the complexity of the world on the one hand and the intricacy (capacities, limitations) of the human mind on the other, the question arises what standard of truth is appropriate for our theories. I propose a "composite correspondence" standard. The idea is that the correspondence relation between sentences (theories) and reality may assume diverse patterns, some simpler, others more complex. I apply this approach to a traditionally problematic field of truth - mathematics, show its advantages in solving well-known problems for traditional correspondence theory, connect it to other historical and current approaches, and point to further extensions.

 
 
Tuesday 10 Jun 2014
Richard Samuels

Can Number Concepts Be Bootstrapped?

Speaker: Richard Samuels
From: Ohio State University
URL:
Abstract: Susan Carey has recently argued that our number concepts, including those acquired by very young children, can be learned via processes she refers to as "boot-strapping". While this account has been immensely influential, its evidential support is entirely unclear. In this talk I raise doubts about the adequacy of Carey's boot-strapping account of number concept acquisition as well as an accompanying mechanistic specification of the account advocated by Joshua Tenenbaum.

 
 
Thursday 29 May 2014
Yu Izumi

Is `Cat' A Proper Name?: An Argument Against Millianism (Part 1 of a joint HMC + TFAP event on the Philosophy of Language and Metaphysics)

Speaker: Yu Izumi
From: Osaka University and Takarazuka University
URL: https://sites.google.com/site/yuizumi/
Abstract: In recent years, the view that proper names, such as `Mary,' are monadic predicates in their own right has received renewed attention in the philosophical literature (for example, Graff 2013 and Jeshion 2014). In order to defend this view, predicativism, I develop a reductio argument against the opposing position, Millianism, according to which the semantic contents of proper names are exhausted by their referents. The reductio argument extends Millianism to clearly predicative expressions in natural language, such as `cat,' and `car,' by drawing on the data from Japanese, which lacks the article system and highlights the parallelism between proper and common nouns. I examine some of the considerations that are alleged to support Millianism, and argue that they support `Millianism about common nouns' equally well. Any attempt to resist `Millianism about common nouns' will undermine the standard Millian view about proper names. When we take an articleless language as a point of departure for the semantics of proper names, Millianism loses its intuitive appeal.

 
 
Thursday 29 May 2014
Ben Caplan

Brutal Propositions (joint work with Chris Tillman) (Part 2 of a joint HMC + TFAP event on the Philosophy of Language and Metaphysics)

Speaker: Ben Caplan
From: Ohio State University
URL: http://philosophy.osu.edu/people/caplan
Abstract: There are propositions. For example, the sentence `Ethan abides' expresses the proposition that Ethan abides. Propositions have truth-conditional properties. For example, the proposition that Ethan abides has the property being true if and only if Ethan abides. And propositions have objects, properties, and relations as parts. For example, the proposition that Ethan abides has Ethan and the property abiding as parts. None of these claims is particularly surprising on its own. But, as Trenton Merricks has recently pointed out, there seems to be some kind of strange harmony between the truth-conditional facts and the parthood facts. For example. the proposition that Ethan abides has being true if and only if Ethan abides, and Ethan andabiding are parts of it. In this paper, we work out what one kind of explanation of this harmony would look like. The explanation that we pursue appeals to a brute fact about the complicated essence of a primitive entity.

 
 
Thursday 22 May 2014
Seishu Nishimura

Iconic Memory and Non-Conceptualism

Speaker: Seishu Nishimura
From: Shiga University
URL: http://kenkyu-web.biwako.shiga-u.ac.jp/Profiles/15/0001434/profile.html
Abstract: Since 1980s, it has been rigorously discussed whether or not perceptual content is conceptual. Conceptualism is the view that answers this question positively. Nonconceptualism is a view that denies conceptualism. Recently, assuming that nonconceptual content exists, a couple of philosophers have argued that nonconceptualism is supported by scientific studies of visual memory. For instance, Athanassios Raftopoulos maintains that perceptual content is nonconceptual because the information stored in iconic memory is pre-attentional so that it is not cognitively accessible. Iconic memory is a visual system in the earliest stage of ventral pathway, in which pre-categorical images are stored for a very short time. According to Raftopoulos, the information stored here becomes conceptual only when it is sent to working memory via attention where it receives an informational feedback from the higher executive areas in brain. Therefore, the information stored in iconic memory is nonconceptual. Jesse J. Prinz also suggests that the information which still has not been encoded in working memory, though it is attended, cannot be regarded as conceptual. According to Prinz, this nonconceptual information is stored in iconic memory which is prior to working memory. In today's talk, I defend a version of conceptualism by arguing that these philosophers do not fully succeed in establishing that the content of iconic memory is nonconceptual.

 
 
Thursday 15 May 2014
Mandel Cabrera

Irony, Personal Identity, and the Ethics of Detachment

Speaker: Mandel Cabrera
From: Yonsei University
URL: https://sites.google.com/site/mandelcabrera/
Abstract: Although Kierkegaard only mentions irony in passing in "The Present Age," it is in effect an indictment of the role that perverse forms of irony play in modern life -- one that prefigures critiques of irony in contemporary culture. In this essay, I sketch and argue for the philosophical picture of personal identity and human agency that underlies Kierkegaard's polemic. In particular, I argue that the central distinction of the essay -- that between Passion and Reflection -- is a distinction between two fundamental capacities: respectively, the capacity for identification and the capacity for detachment. After clarifying this distinction in terms of Kierkegaard's conception of personal identity, I use it to interpret the ideal of 'the single individual' as found in "The Present Age," and use this interpretation to understand the philosophical stakes of Kierkegaard's criticisms of modern culture in that work.

 
 
Thursday 24 Apr 2014
Masashi Kasaki

Virtue Epistemology Multiplied

Speaker: Masashi Kasaki
From: Kyoto University and Osaka University
URL: https://sites.google.com/site/masashikasaki/
Abstract: It is well-known that virtue epistemology, as Ernest Sosa and John Greco, among others, propose, faces a notorious dilemma: the virtue-theoretic conditions for knowledge must be strong enough to evade counterexamples of one kind, whereas it must be weak enough to evade counterexamples of another kind. In my forthcoming paper (Virtue Epistemology and Environmental Luck, the Journal of Philosophical Research), I have argued that at least alleged counterexamples of the first kind are no threat to virtue epistemology. Although I have suggested possible ways to deal with the dilemma, I grant that my defense of virtue epistemology against the dilemma is at best incomplete. The key for my defense of virtue epistemology is to allow that multiple virtues, rather than a single one, may be in play in producing true belief. With this idea at hand, in this paper, I attempt to extend my defense to counterexamples of the second kind and complete my defense of virtue epistemology against the dilemma. First, I describe the putative dilemma for virtue epistemology. Second, I explain how multiple virtues work together in alleged counterexamples of the first kind. Third, I introduce the virtue of trust, and argue that it gives resources to handle alleged counterexamples of the second kind, if combined with other virtues.

 
 
Wednesday 15 Jan 2014
Istvan Zardai

How to Handle Actions?

Speaker: Istvan Zardai
From: Oxford Brookes University
URL: http://www.history.brookes.ac.uk/students/students_history_iZoltanZardai.asp
Abstract: It is a tough task to tell what actions are. Many theories have been put forward, the most prominent of them claiming that actions are events. After 50 years of debate on this question - since Donald Davidson's publication of "Actions, Reasons, and Causes" - we can say that although event views have been widely endorsed there seem to be problems which they cannot solve, like providing adequate identity criteria for events. In three recent publications Jennifer Hornsby put forward a new theory that places a large emphasis on the distinction between processes and events. Hornsby claims that the combination of processes and events can help us to accommodate a substantial notion of agency and solve some problems that plague event accounts of action and acting. In my presentation I offer a concise overview of the debate on what actions are and in light of that comment on the strengths and weaknesses of Hornsby's new view.

 
 
Thursday 12 Dec 2013
Shogo Shimizu

Does Motion Make Visual Perception Three-Dimensional?

Speaker: Shogo Shimizu
From: University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy (UTCP)
URL: http://utcp.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp/members/data/shimizu_shogo/index_en.php
Abstract: Imagine that the image of a cubical box is projected onto a screen. It appears to a subject as though there is a black polygonal shape on the screen. Then the box is rotated, and it appears to the subject as though the shape on the screen is cubical (and therefore three-dimensional). It might be plausible to say that such is the case even when the object of sight is not one on a screen - that although visual perception is originally two-dimensional, motion by which we view an object from many points of view enables us to see it three-dimensionally. Laura Berchielli attributes to Locke an account of this kind. I will argue that the view Berchielli attributes to Locke is incompatible with Locke's basic assumption that perception is passive. Through this argument, I will show that the account in question is equivocal in the sense that it can be construed to imply either that the mind performs cognitive activity at a higher stage than the stage of visual perception, or that visual perception itself includes the result of the mind's cognitive activity. I will conclude my talk by suggesting that the cognitive activity required by the account would be primarily related to congruence rather than to depth or the third dimension, and that the question should be why the cognition of congruence entails that of depth.

 
 
Thursday 5 Dec 2013
Kazuhiro Watanabe

A Missing Shade of Grue: Resemblance, Induction and General Representation

Speaker: Kazuhiro Watanabe
From: University of Tokyo
URL:
Abstract: Imagine a person who has enjoyed her vision for reasonably long time and thus been acquainted with all kinds of color but one particular shade of blue. Suppose that we present to her a sequence of all different shades of blue, starting from the lightest to the darkest, except the one that she has never encountered. No doubt she will perceive a gap, or a blank, in the various gradations of blue. Question: is she capable of filling the gap by making up, of her own, a mental representation of the missing shade of blue? David Hume answered yes, admitting that it is against a fundamental principle for his theory of ideas that every simple idea has its corresponding simple impression. This is a brief version of 'the problem of a missing shade of blue' that has been a perplexity for Hume scholars and aroused debates aimed at a coherent interpretation of apparently incoherent passages of A Treatise of Human Nature where Hume discusses abstract or general ideas. In this talk, I am going to take a problem of broader philosophical significance out of the interpretational debate over the original problem of a missing shade of blue, which I believe would be of general interest for philosophers today. It shall first be pointed out that the past attempts at solving the original puzzle will make Hume merit Nelson Goodman's famous stricture on similarity. I will then contend that the problem does involve Goodman's new riddle of induction, or the so-called grue problem. My goal in this talk is to provide a Goodmanean way to deal with this new yet classic problem that lies deep beneath both inductions and general representations.

 
 
Wednesday 27 Nov 2013
Wolfgang Ertl

Kant's Dual Track Account of Things in Themselves and Appearances

Speaker: Wolfgang Ertl
From: Keio University
URL: http://www.flet.keio.ac.jp/~w.ertl/page0/page0.html
Abstract: The distinction of things in themselves and appearances, though not particularly popular in some quarters of philosophy, is an integral element of Kant's transcendental idealism. In his critical works, there are basically two different models in which Kant elucidates this distinction. Most commonly, these models are labelled "two-aspect" (TA) and "two-world view" (TW) respectively. It is not entirely clear, however, what the point of disagreement between these two views is, but most commonly it is assumed that according to a TA view things in themselves and appearances are numerically identical, while according to a TW view they are not only numerically distinct, but occupy different realms of being. Although it has long been assumed that one model is sufficient to account for the philosophical points at issue, a number of scholars have started suggesting that this dual track account is itself an integral part of Kant's strategy. However, if this is indeed the case, and since the two models appear to be downright incompatible, such an approach raises important problems in its own right, for example with regard to the methodological status of these models in the first place.

In my talk, I will try to offer an alternative account of the two models in question, and sketch a new way of reconciling them, i.e. of rendering them compatible. In doing so, I will draw on discussions connecting the concept of things in themselves with divine cognition and examine in some detail Kant's doctrine of the divine intellect which, as surprising as it may seem, bears striking similarities to early modern scholastic accounts. The main question will be as to whether the assumptions made in these doctrines can be reconciled with the strictures of Kant's critical programme as a whole.

 
 
Thursday 14 Nov 2013
Takeshi Yamada

Reconsidering "What is a Theory of Meaning? (I)"

Speaker: Takeshi Yamada
From: University of Tokyo
URL:
Abstract: Dummett has long criticized the Davidsonian conception of a theory of meaning as a Tarskian truth theory, and his famous paper "What is a Theory of Meaning? (I)" (1975) marks the beginning of the debate between them. He introduced here the notion of modest / full-blooded theories of meaning, and argued that Davidsonian conception yields only a modest theory and that a theory of meaning should be full-blooded. His points, however, have not been well understood. McDowell has offered an influential interpretation of the paper, but his interpretation neglect the structure of Dummett's argument and does not reveal how Dummett criticized Davidson. In this talk, I give a detailed reconstruction of Dummett's critique of Davidson in his 1975, elucidating the theoretical framework behind the critique, and discuss how the critique relates to the later debate between Dummett and Davidson.

 
 
Wednesday 23 Oct 2013
Matthias Schirn

Logical Objects by Abstraction and their Criteria of Identity

Speaker: Matthias Schirn
From: Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)
URL: http://www.philosophie.uni-muenchen.de/lehreinheiten/wissenschaftstheorie/personen/ehemalige/schirn/index.html
Abstract: In Grundlagen, Frege suggests the following strategy for the envisaged introduction of the real and complex numbers as logical objects: it should proceed along the lines of his introduction of the cardinals, namely by starting with a tentative contextual definition of a suitable number operator in terms of an abstraction principle whose right-hand side (a second-order or higher-order equivalence relation) was couched in purely logical terms, and by finally defining these numbers as equivalence classes of the relevant equivalence relation. In this talk, I discuss Frege's introduction of the cardinals as well as his projected introduction of the "higher" numbers with special emphasis on the so-called Julius Caesar problem. Moreover, I analyze the variant of this problem that Frege faces in Grundgesetze when he comes to introduce his prototype of logical objects, namely courses-of-values, by means of a stipulation later to be embodied in Basic Law V. The problem is now clad in formal garb. A second main issue, closely related to the first, is the nature and role of Frege's criteria of identity for logical objects. I argue (i) that pursuing the above strategy for the introduction of the higher numbers would inevitably lead to a whole family of possibly intractable Caesar problems; (ii) that in Grundlagen Frege considers the domain of the first order variables to be all-encompassing, while in Grundgesetze there is a serious conflict between (a) his practice of taking the first-order domain to be all-inclusive when he elucidates and defines first-level functions and (b) the assumption underlying his proof of referentiality in sect. 31 that the domain is restricted to the two truth-values and courses-of-values; (iii) that the range of applicability of the criteria of identity inherent in Hume's Principle and in Axiom V --- equinumerosity and coextensiveness of first-level concepts (functions) --- lack the requisite unbounded generality even after having undergone considerable extension; (iv) that regarding the Caesar problem for cardinal numbers and its alleged solution the situation in Grundgesetze differs significantly from that in Grundlagen; (v) that despite the identification of cardinals with courses-of-values in Grundgesetze equinumerosity is, to some extent, still needed in its function as governing the identity conditions of cardinals. If time allows, I shall also respond to the hypothetical question whether under certain conditions and especially in the aftermath of Russell's Paradox Frege could have introduced the real numbers via an appropriate abstraction principle without offending against his logicist credo. I conclude with remarks on the status of Frege's logicism with respect to both cardinal arithmetic and real analysis.

 
 
Wednesday 16 Oct 2013
Martijn Boot

Conflicts of Justice

Speaker: Martijn Boot
From: Waseda University
URL: http://martijnboot.wordpress.com/
Abstract: The paper which I will present discusses conflicts of justice rather than interpersonal conflicts on justice: it analyses possible tensions within justice itself (conflicting demands of justice) and between justice and other weighty human interests. Justice may be regarded as a multifaceted concept of which the aspects are related to plural ethical values, such as basic liberties, equal opportunities, distribution of advantages according to need/equality/desert, and right to privacy. Some of these values may conflict mutually and/or with other important human values such as welfare-maximization, efficient use of scarce resources and public security. As a corollary, requirements of justice may conflict mutually ('internal conflicts of justice') and with other human interests ('external conflicts of justice'). Usually one supposes that conflicts of values can be resolved by assignment of weights. However, in some internal and external conflicts of justice incommensurability of the relevant values prevents a determinate and impartial weighing of competing demands. In those cases the justification of either decision between two rival claims can only be partial in the double sense of incomplete and biased: either decision acts against reasons which are not outweighed by the reasons in favour of which the decision is taken. The result is an ethical dilemma in which neither decision seems capable of avoiding an injustice or other 'ethical deficit'.

 
 
Wednesday 9 Oct 2013
Yasuo Deguchi

Quine vs Statistics Revisited

Speaker: Yasuo Deguchi
From: Kyoto University
URL: http://homepage2.nifty.com/ydeguchi/index_e.html
Abstract: How are evidence and our theory about the world interrelated? This is one of the central questions of Quine's philosophy. Then what is evidence? How is it produced? Quine would reply; a direct witness of what is going on just in front of our eye is a typical example of evidence. But this is not the case in today's science. Such a direct witness is too naive to generate scientific evidence. Rather scientific evidence is to be produced only through applications of one or another of highly elaborated statistical methodologies. Then, if those methodologies are taken into account, I argue, we should revise Quine's schema of empirical refutation; H1 & ...& Hn -> O, not-O -> not-H1 v ...v not-Hn. The revision has the following three significant epistemological consequences. First, a subtle but crucial distinction should be made among scientific observations that would trigger modification of our scientific theory; observation as evidence or reason and observation as occasion or cause. This distinction leads us to sort empirical refutation into two kinds; evidence based rejection and observation motivated change. Finally, based on those distinctions, we claim that Quinean holism should be replaced by a sort of methodological transcendentalism.

 
 
Wednesday 2 Oct 2013
Teru Miyake

Dealing with Underdetermination: Inverse Problems and the Epistemology of Seismology

Speaker: Teru Miyake
From: Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
URL: http://philosophy.hss.ntu.edu.sg/Pages/TeruMiyake.aspx
Abstract: This talk examines the epistemological implications of underdetermination in the determination of properties of the deep interior of the earth. Since at least the late 1960's, geophysicists have explicitly recognized this underdetermination and its associated epistemological problems, and have developed methods for dealing with it. I argue that there are at least two different kinds of underdetermination at work here, each of which have been dealt with in different ways by geophysicists. I find that actual underdetermination problems can be vastly complex, with different sources of underdetermination having different epistemological implications. A better understanding of actual cases of underdetermination is needed before we can make epistemological conclusions based on underdetermination.

 
 
Wednesday 10 Jul 2013
Kazunobu Narita

Past Desires and Well-Being

Speaker: Kazunobu Narita
From: Keio University
URL: http://k-ris.keio.ac.jp/Profiles/0050/0006068/prof_e.html
Abstract: I take it that a person's well-being is the state of things going well for him. There are several views about what this sense of well-being consists of. The desire fulfillment theory is one of them. The basic tenet of this theory is that a person's well-being consists only of fulfillment of his desires. According to this theory, things go well for a person to the extent that his desires are fulfilled, and things go badly for him to the extent that his desires are frustrated.
Some desires are conditional on their persistence and some are not. Call the former 'p-conditional desires' and the latter 'p-unconditional desires.' There are desires that a person had in the past but has already lost. Call these desires 'past desires.' There are past desires that have as their object what happens at present. Call them 'past desires for the present.' Some desire fulfillment theorists take the view that fulfillment of a person's past p-unconditional desires for the present contributes to her well-being. The aim of this presentation is to show that desire theorists have a compelling reason to concede that this view is false.

 
 
Wednesday 3 Jul 2013
Ricki Bliss

Circles of Ground

Speaker: Ricki Bliss
From: Kyoto University
URL: http://kyoto-u.academia.edu/RickiBliss
Abstract: Philosophers interested in the notion of ground tend to be of the view that it is just obvious that no fact can be self-grounded, or patently absurd to think that any fact can exist in this way. This attitude is quite striking in the face of what appear to be a substantial number of example instances of self-groundedness. In this talk, I consider possible reasons we might have for supposing that there can be no circles of ground. I argue that, contrary to the more common view, any issue we might have with self-groundedness is explanatory rather than metaphysical.

 
 
Thursday 27 Jun 2013
Daisuke Kaida

Intrinsic Finks and the Individuation of Dispositions

Speaker: Daisuke Kaida
From: Kyoto University
URL:
Abstract: Sungho Choi (2005) claims that dispositions are not intrinsically
finkable, whereas categorical properties are. He also suggests that the
intrinsic finkability should serve as a criterion for the dispositional/
categorical distinction. In this talk, I will try to argue, against Choi,
that both dispositions and categorical properties are intrinsically
finkable. I contemplate the individuation of dispositions and argue that,
although Choi's claim has intuitive plausibility, nothing in the concept
of dispositions would bar dispositions (at least fundamental ones) from
having their intrinsic finks or masks.

 
 
Wednesday 26 Jun 2013
Masaharu Mizumoto

Knowledge First Semantics and Linguistic Normativity

Speaker: Masaharu Mizumoto
From: Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST)
URL: http://www.jaist.ac.jp/profiles/info.php?profile_id=600
Abstract: Question 1: What is it to accept linguistic norms?

Question 2: How are linguistic norms different from other (typically, moral) norms?

The answer to Question 1 must be a middle way between two extremes, merely saying or believing that one accepts some linguistic norms, and always actually following the norms. In this talk I will present an explanation of such a middle way, which will then constitute a naturalistic account of the linguistic content. But this answer will also require the answer to Question 2.

What I call knowledge-first semantics, obviously alluding to T. Williamson's knowledge-first epistemology, is an attempt to explain the linguistic content in terms of the speaker's content of knowledge (rather than that of belief), in particular practical knowledge in Anscombe's sense, knowledge of what one is saying by the sentence (knowing if implicitly what rules one is following). It gives the meaning of a statement in terms of what I called elsewhere knowledge-condition, which, just like the case of truth condition, is not necessarily what is actually known.

Unlike Williamson, however, I do not think that the analysis of knowledge is impossible, and I even submit that Williamson's "knowledge account of assertion" should be rather a consequence of knowledge-first semantics. Allowing the analysis is compatible with the sense of "knowledge-first", in that the content of knowledge plays a primitive and primary role in explaining linguistic contents. Then the analysis of knowledge I assume here will help us give a (partially) reductive account of linguistic normativity by giving a naturalistic answer to Question 1.

I will first sketch a general framework of this semantics and then give some specific examples, especially 1) the linguistic content involving both the truth-conditional content and pragmatic content (mainly conventional implicature) as a primitive whole, and 2) the reference of proper names and natural kind terms or semantic externalism in general, in terms of the knowledge condition.

Such considerations will reveal the importance of Wittgenstein's notion of form of life to semantics, and will answer to several worries about the present approach ("Only speaker meaning?", "Only propositional content?", etc.) based on misunderstandings. Finally, I will briefly comment on the implication of this view of meaning to the role or status of experimental philosophy, and the importance of cross-linguistic considerations in philosophy in general.

 
 
Wednesday 19 Jun 2013
Hidenori Kurokawa

The Knower Paradox Revisited

Speaker: Hidenori Kurokawa
From: Kobe University
URL:
Abstract: The Paradox of the Knower was originally presented by Montague & Ka-
plan in 1960 as a puzzle about the status of the naive" or everyday notion of
knowledge in the face of self-reference. The paradox shows that any theory con-
taining Robinson arithmetic and a predicate K(x) which is assumed to satisfy
the factivity principle customarily associated with knowledge (i.e. K(A) -> A)
as well as a few other epistemically plausible principles is inconsistent.
A variety of resolutions to the Knower have been proposed in the intervening
years -- e.g. a adopting a hierarchy of knowledge predicates, or denying that
knowledge should be treated as a predicate at all. Rather than surveying these
developments systematically, this talk will focus on a series of papers by Charles
Cross and Gabriel Uzquiano which have recently appeared in Mind about the
role of epistemic closure principles in the Knower.
We will suggest this debate sheds new light on the concept of knowledge
which is at issue in the paradox -- i.e. is it a `thin' notion divorced from concepts
such as evidence or justi cation, or is it a `thick' notion more closely resembling
mathematical proof? We will argue that the latter option is more plausible.
On this basis we will provide both a reconstruction of the paradox using a
quanti ed variant of Artemov's Logic of Proofs, as well as series of results
linking the original formulation of the paradox to formal re
ection principles for arithmetic. (This is joint work with Walter Dean).

 
 
Wednesday 12 Jun 2013
Jake Chandler

Reasons to Believe and Reasons to Not

Speaker: Jake Chandler
From: University of Leuven
URL: http://www.jakechandler.com/
Abstract: The provision of a precise, formal treatment of the relation of evidential relevance--i.e. of providing a reason to hold or to withhold a belief--has arguably constituted the principal selling point of Bayesian modeling in contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science. By the same token, the lack of an analogous proposal in so-called AGM belief revision theory a powerful and elegant qualitative alternative to the Bayesian framework, is likely to have significantly contributed to its relatively marginal status in the philosophical mainstream.

In the present talk, I sketch out a corrective to this deficiency, offering a suggestion, within the context of belief revision theory, concerning the relation between beliefs about evidential relevance and commitments to certain policies of belief change. Aside from shedding light on the status of various important evidential `transmission' principles, this proposal also constitutes a promising basis for the elaboration of a logic of so-called epistemic defeaters.

 
 
Wednesday 5 Jun 2013
Lajos Brons

Davidson's Triangle of Interpretation: Reconstruction and Appraisal

Speaker: Lajos Brons
From: Nihon University and Lakeland College (Japan Campus)
URL: http://www.lajosbrons.net/
Abstract: Donald Davidson first suggested "triangulation" as an analogy in "Rational Animals" (1982). The notion returned in two talks in 1988 and became a central concept in his papers of the 1990s. In those papers, triangulation appears in various forms, guises and contexts -- sometimes related to first language learning, sometimes in opposition to skepticism, sometimes in further, often subtly different contexts. Because of this, it is difficult to say what exactly Davidson's theory (or theories) of triangulation is (are). What is considerably less ambiguous, however, is the idea's reception: that is almost unanimously negative. But because of the ambiguity of the idea(s), some of this critique is difficult to judge on its merit -- as is the idea itself -- and some critics seem to have missed important points. Hence, to judge the theory/theories of triangulation and its/their critics, it is essential to first reconstruct it/them. This reconstruction will be the topic of this talk.

 
 
Wednesday 29 May 2013
Youichi Matsusaka

Personal Pronouns

Speaker: Youichi Matsusaka
From: Tokyo Metropolitan University
URL:
Abstract: Semantics for natural language has been conducted on the Fregean
assumption that a sentence, or an utterance of it, has a content that is
neutral to its speaker and hearer. In this talk I wish to pursue a
"Lockean" picture, according to which an utterance is, in the first
place, an externalization of the speaker's internal state. I will
propose to take the notion of speakers' internal, representational
states as primitive, and analyze the meanings of expressions in terms of
how a speaker uses them in verbalizing his relevant internal state. As
a case study I will take up personal pronouns such as "I", "you", and
"he/she", and consider how the analysis of these expressions on this
approach will differ from the classic study given by Kaplan.

 
 
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Rafael De Clercq

Is There a Problem with the Causal Criterion of Event Identity?

Speaker: Rafael De Clercq
From: Lingnan University
URL: http://www.ln.edu.hk/visual/cvrafael.php
Abstract: In this paper, we take another look at the reasons for which the causal criterion of event identity has been abandoned. We argue that the reasons are not strong. First of all, there is a criterion in the neighborhood of the causal criterion---the counterfactual criterion---that is not vulnerable to any of the putative counterexamples brought up in the literature. Secondly, neither the causal criterion nor the counterfactual criterion suffers from any form of vicious circularity. Nonetheless, we do not recommend adopting either the causal or the counterfactual criterion because, given a sufficiently lax principle of event composition, neither criterion can be applied to complex events. This we regard as a (prima facie) undesirable restriction on their applicability.

 
 
Wednesday 15 May 2013
Jan Wislicki

Are All Impure Quotations Equally Impure?

Speaker: Jan Wislicki
From: University of Warsaw
URL:
Abstract: Suppose one read aloud a written passage. Did she say something informatively or not? On the one hand, the answer is no: she just reproduced someone's words. On the other hand, the answer is yes: she translated an utterance from one sign system to another. That kind of transformation can yield various utterances taking always the same string as an argument. Thus, it represents a set of functions, rather than a single function. Nevertheless, the difference between that kind of quotation and the standard impure quotation is fundamental: it is a sign system shift, not grammatical or semantic operation, that grounds the former. I call it Intersystemic Quotation (IQ). The aim of this talk is threefold. First, it is to present and endorse a theory of quotation proposed in 1938 by Czech logician Reach. Second, it is to discuss the most influential theories of quotation in light of both: Reach's concept and the problem of IQ. Three, it is to present a stronger version of Reach's theory that measures up to the demands of IQ and shows the influence of transformation type on information structure.

 
 
Wednesday 8 May 2013
MIneki Oguchi

Does Perception Admit of Contradiction?

Speaker: MIneki Oguchi
From: Tamagawa University
URL: http://utcp.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp/members/data/oguchi_mineki/index_en.php
Abstract: In this talk, I shall defend conceptualism of perceptual experience through responding to one of the classical arguments for nonconceptualism.

Nonconceptualists claim that, whereas belief has a conceptually structured content, perceptual experience has a different kind of content from belief, that is, nonconceptual content. Arguing in favor of nonconceptualism, Tim Crane states that the waterfall illusion (a kind of motion aftereffect) shows that perception is admissible of contradiction unlike belief. When we switch our gaze to a stationary object after taking a long look at a waterfall, the object will appear to move in the opposite direction to that of the waterfall. He said that, while the object appears to move, it also does not appear to move relative to the background of the scene.

If the waterfall illusion does contain a contradictory content such as 'the object moves and does not move at the same time,' it will serve as powerful evidence for nonconceptualism. For, if the content of perception is conceptually structured as that of belief, perceptual experience should not admit obviously contradictory contents.

The admissibility of contradiction in perceptual experience seems to pose a serious problem to conceptualists because they claim that the content of perceptual experience is conceptually structured. How can conceptualists respond to this argument? To my knowledge, no conceptualist has given a direct answer to this problem. In this talk, I shall try to answer this problem by applying 'the sensory classification theory' (Matthen 2005)

According to the sensory classification theory, our sensory system works as parallel classification mechanisms that process input sensory properties into distinct sensory classes. These sensory classes then constitute conceptually structured contents by being predicated to the relevant sensory objects. In this framework, different kinds of sensory properties are represented by corresponding 'feature maps. 'In each feature map,' irrelevant sensory properties are discarded in the sense of Dretske's argument about the digital coding of information. For instance, the information about motion is simply discarded in the location map, and conversely the information about location is simply discarded in the motion map. The sensory information that a certain motion direction is being detected, thus, does not imply the sensory information that a certain location change is being detected. Therefore, if the signal that a certain motion exists and the signal that no location change exists are integrated into a sensory object, the integrated information does not include any contradiction at least where the content of perception is concerned. These two signals come to contradict each other when they are incorporated into our belief system and are combined with our background belief that the motion of an object always accompanies its location change. The waterfall illusion is explained by the fact that the motion information and the location information can be dissociated without any implication about each other. If this interpretation is correct, the waterfall illusion does not include contradiction against Crane's claim.

I shall conclude that Crane's interpretation that the waterfall illusion shows the admissibility of contradiction in perceptual experience is not tenable. We should carefully consider (so to speak) 'the language of perception' when we try to explore what should be seen as contradictory in perceptual experience.

 
 
Wednesday 24 Apr 2013
Ryoji Sato

From Beliefs about Consciousness to Consciousness Itself

Speaker: Ryoji Sato
From: University of Tokyo
URL:
Abstract: There are many scientific theories of consciousness in the market. Some say activation of global workspace is important for consciousness, some say thalamocortical loops play a key role in consciousness, some say higher-order processes are responsible for consciousness , some say conscious representations are intermediate-level representations that are accessible to working memory and some say local feedback loops between sensory cortices are crucial for consciousness. How can we adjudicate between those theories?
One important difference lies in how to move from our beliefs about consciousness to brain activities that realize consciousness. Many theories look for brain activities that have properties we believe consciousness to have. For example, Block takes on an intuition that our phenomenal consciousness contains much more than we can report on, and claims local feedback loops in visual cortices, which he thinks store fine-grained visual details, are neural bases of visual consciousness. However, Dennett notoriously argues against this kind of uncritical stance toward our beliefs and all we need to explain is third person data: reports, introspective beliefs, and so on. I argue Dennett is right in thinking phenomenology of richness does not guarantee actual informationally rich processes in the brain but Dennett has gone too far. Chalmers criticizes Dennett in this respect and says "[T]he science of consciousness is not primarily about verbal reports or even about introspective judgments. It is about the experiences that the reports and judgments are reports and judgments of" (Chalmers 2010). I agree with Chalmers and argue there is a midway. What we need to find are some processes that are responsible for the phenomenology, and this will certainly narrow down the options.

 
 
Wednesday 30 Jan 2013
Shun Tsugita

Intellectualist Views on Know How and Philosophy of Mind

Speaker: Shun Tsugita
From: University of Tokyo
URL:
Abstract: Since Gilbert Ryle's works were published in 1940s, it has been widely accepted that know how and know that are fundamentally different sorts of our knowledge. Such a conception of know how is often called "anti-intellectualism." Whereas Ryle's solution to the mind-body problem is not at all mainstream now, his anti-intellectualism is still the received view. Many authors seem to think that anti-intellectualism fits with phenomenology of our action. However, intellectualism has been recently rehabilitated by some scholars. They argue that know how is a state of mind of the subject which involves her having some relevant propositional attitude. Indeed, they think Ryle's central argument against intellectualism (so-called "regress argument") is less persuasive. In this talk, I defend such intellectualist conception of know how. This talk discusses the psychological nature of know how and states of intelligence. I do not touch conceptual analysis of knowledge expressions; e.g., the linguistic approach to the ascription of know-how, which is related to the studies of formal semantics of wh-questions. The argument proceeds in the following way. Firstly, as a preparation, I provide a taxonomy to regiment the use of know how and other relevant notions (e.g., practical abilities, procedural knowledge, and so on). Secondly, I give a sketch of how to interpret Ryle's association between anti-intellectualism and behaviorism. I would like to suggest that the decline of behaviorism at least weakens the motivation for anti-intellectualism. Finally, I consider David Wiggins' latest article to defend Ryle's view.

 
 
Wednesday 23 Jan 2013
Satoshi Fukama

Rethinking Survivor Guilt: An Attempt at a Philosophical Interpretation

Speaker: Satoshi Fukama
From: University of Tokyo
URL: http://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/coe/english/achievements/report11.html
Abstract: In this paper I investigate the emotion of guilt, especially survivor guilt, to find its moral significance. The Phenomenon of survivor guilt has been mainly studied in the fields of psychology from pathological and/or evolutionary viewpoints. After the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami (March 11, 2011) and the subsequent large-scale radiation leak that occurred at the Fukushima No. 1 (Dai-Ichi) nuclear power plant, many Japanese became depressed, suffered from fatigue, and then felt a vague sense of fear about their own future. One cause of this mood may be feelings of uneasiness, regret, sorrow, and unbearableness; that is, feelings of guilt about the victims of the disaster and the refugees who were evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture. In general, this feeling of guilt is called survivor guilt.

Survivor guilt is narrowly defined as guilt over surviving the death of a loved one, or broadly defined as guilt about being better off than others. The important feature of this guilt is that it is not directly connected with our voluntary wrong actions. Guilt, especially moral guilt, is an emotion one feels over disobeying a rule or command whose authority one accepts; in this case, the guilt is characterized as the feeling one has about one's wrongdoing. Typically, wrongdoing that is under one's control and for which one can take responsibility is an appropriate object of one's feeling of guilt. However, according to this characterization of guilt, survivor guilt seems to be an inappropriate and irrational emotion. This is because the person who feels survivor guilt has really not done anything wrong.

But is this feeling of guilt really inappropriate and irrational? If the people who suffered depression from survivor guilt are actually inflicted with an inappropriate and irrational emotion, should they instead be regarded as suffering from a pathological condition? Some psychologists (and also some philosophers) think so. However, I cannot agree with them because their understanding of survivor guilt is unilateral and insufficient. In this paper I try to investigate the phenomenon of survivor guilt from a philosophical perspective and explicate its features and practical meaning to justify this feeling of guilt in terms of the fact that only moral superiors can have it rationally and appropriately.

 
 
Tuesday 15 Jan 2013
Eric McCready

Recovering Speaker Meanings

Speaker: Eric McCready
From: Aoyama Gakuin University
URL:
Abstract: Natural language contains many expressions with underspecified emotive content. This paper proposes a way to resolve such underspecification. Nonmonotonic inference over a knowledge base is used to derive an expected interpretation for emotive expressions in a particular context. This 'normal' meaning is then taken to influence the hearer's expectations about probable interpretations, and, because of these probable interpretations, the decisions of the speaker about when use of underspecified emotive terms is appropriate.

 
 
Wednesday 12 Dec 2012
Yuko Murakami

Logic Education for Philosophers: A Case in Japan

Speaker: Yuko Murakami
From: Tohoku University
URL: http://homepage3.nifty.com/yuko_murakami/
Abstract: It was a cliche that Japanese are not logical. Such a claim was heard almost every day on major newspapers twenty years ago. Many logic books in Japanese were published since then. Murakami (1998), a report of logic education in an American philosophy education system in the domestic context, focuses rather on pedagogical problem in higher education: lack of practice sessions due to just nominal TA system, for example.
Murakami (2009) proposes integrating logic component in philosophy education to PSSJ members with consideration of reality of Japanese higher education. The proposal is in fact under implementation with a partial support by JSPS Grant-in-aid Project "Promotion of Advanced Logic for Philosophers" (2011-2014) with Shunsuke Yatabe. The project aims to draft a teaching material of advanced logic in Japanese. Discussion has included coverage of topics and implementation of pedagogical training. Project members have given courses in proof theory and logic in philosophy as well as a short lecture series in Kyoto.
While such intermediate and advanced courses have been tried, an introductory course of logic became available as a massive open online course (MOOC). It may change the learning environment for everybody who can access online. Currently COURSERA does not offer a transcript in Japanese for courses of the first-year courses, but it is possible in a few years.
In this talk, findings from trial runs of such courses will be discussed. Comments are welcome.

 
 
Wednesday 5 Dec 2012
Sung-il Han

Temporary Intrinsics and the Problem of Alienation

Speaker: Sung-il Han
From: Seoul National University
URL:
Abstract: It is widely agreed that Lewis's argument from temporary intrinsics against endurantism is a failed one and the problem of temporary intrinsics plays no significant role in the debate over persistence. In this paper, I argue that the near consensus is premature by achieving two aims. First, I aim to show that, contrary to the wide agreement, Lewis's argument works effectively against endurantism. The standard response to Lewis's argument is simply to dismiss one main premise as a question-begging restatement of Lewis's intuition - the premise that objects have their intrinsic properties simpliciter. I argue that, what Lewis means (or should mean) by the main premise, contrary to a popular understanding, is that if one accepts endurantism, on the face of the problem of temporary intrinsics, one cannot but "alienate" persisting objects from their temporary intrinsics. But, Lewis left unanswered what is wrong with the alienation of an object from its intrinsic properties. I fill in the justificatory blank by arguing that anyone who subscribes to the intra-object alienation faces what I call the problem of alienation. My second aim is to show that the consequences of accepting Lewis's argument are more radical than Lewis realized. While Lewis repudiates the intra-object alienation, he commits himself to the alienation of objects from other objects or the inter-object alienation. I argue that Lewis's argument can be extended to refute the inter-object alienation as well. The right moral to draw from the problem of temporary intrinsics is that an adequate account of persistence should be explored within the ontology of alienation-free time-bound objects.

 
 
Wednesday 28 Nov 2012
Takashi Iida

On the Concept of a Token Generator

Speaker: Takashi Iida
From: Nihon University
URL: http://www.chs.nihon-u.ac.jp/philosophy/faculty/iida/index.html
Abstract: Type entities like words, songs, and novels are supposed to be abstract
in the sense that they do not have specific spatial and temporal
location, while their tokens are concrete entities that are located in
some specific place and time. We frequently speak, however, of a word
which existed twenty years ago but does not exist now, or a novel
written in Heian-era which no longer exists. Such a fact seems to
suggest that type entities are at least temporal entities. But then
several questions arise immediately: If a type entity is a temporal
entity, when does it exist? Does it exist only when some of its tokens exist?
Does a word as a type cease to exist in the period when none of its
tokens are uttered? If so, a type would exist only discontinuously in time,
but why can a type retain its identity in spite of such a discontinuity?

I would like to introduce the concept of a token generator, which is
some concrete entity which contains a specification of a procedure for
producing a token, and argue that we can answer the questions
like above by means of this concept. Further, I would like to extend
this concept in such a way that a speaker of a language can be seen as a
kind of a token generator.

 
 
Wednesday 21 Nov 2012
Tetsuji Iseda

Epistemic Diversity as a Means for Mutual Checking

Speaker: Tetsuji Iseda
From: Kyoto University
URL: http://www.bun.kyoto-u.ac.jp/~tiseda/
Abstract: In this presentation, I explore the role of epistemic
diversity in an academic field. An academic field (including natural
science, social science and humanities) can be diverse in many different
senses. Some diversities (such as theoretical diversity and
methodological diversity) are "epistemic" in the sense that they are
directly related to the research in the field. Such epistemic diversity
has been one of main concerns of social epistemology (Solomon 2006).
In Iseda 2011, I proposed a model of epistemic diversity, according to
which diversity can serve as a means for mutual checking under certain
circumstances (which I call Diversity for Mutual Checking, DMC for
short). This is of course an old idea originating Mill and developed by
Popper, but DMC is new in the sense that it tries to specify the
conditions for a diversity to be productive. In this presentation, I
will look at several paramaters that influence such productivity.

 
 
Wednesday 14 Nov 2012
Masahiro Yamada

Sometimes You Just Got Lucky

Speaker: Masahiro Yamada
From: Claremont Graduate University
URL: http://www.cgu.edu/pages/3983.asp
Abstract: Our existence is said to require a fine-tuned universe. Some people think that therefore our own existence is evidence that there are multiple universes; others that our existence is evidence that there is an intelligent designer. Such views enjoy apparent support from probabilistic arguments. This paper argues that such views depend on an overly simplistic application of probability theory. In particular, a more careful approach to the assignment of relevant prior probabilities shows that our existence is no evidence for either multiple universes or an intelligent designer. One can rationally maintain that our existence is due to luck.

 
 
Wednesday 7 Nov 2012
Stephen P. Stich

Experimental Philosophy and the Bankruptcy of the Great Tradition

Speaker: Stephen P. Stich
From: Rutgers University
URL: http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~stich/
Abstract: From Plato to the present, appeal to intuition has played a central role in philosophy. However, recent work in experimental philosophy has shown that in many cases intuition cannot be a reliable source of evidence for philosophical theories. Without careful empirical work, there is no way of knowing which intuitions are unreliable. Thus the venerable tradition that views philosophy as a largely a priori discipline that can be pursued from the armchair is untenable. This talk will survey some of the ways in which intuition is used in philosophy, give an overview of the growing body of evidence indicating that intuition is often unreliable, and develop the argument that this evidence undermines the tradition of armchair philosophy. Several new studies focusing on the intuitions of professional philosophers will be discussed.

 
 
Wednesday 31 Oct 2012
Conrad Asmus

Cross Term Restrictions in the Theory of Logical Consequence

Speaker: Conrad Asmus
From: Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST)
URL: http://www.conradasmus.com/Default.aspx
Abstract: In The Concept of Logical Consequence, John Etchemendy argues against interpretational theories of consequence. An interpretational theory of consequence deems A to be a consequence of B if and only if, for every interpretation of the non-logical vocabulary in A and B, if B is true, so is A. Only the interpretation of non-logical vocabulary is allowed to vary; other than this, the way that the world is must remain constant. Etchemendy demonstrates that any interpretational theory of consequence for classical logic (where the domains of quantification vary) relies on cross term restrictions. A cross term restriction is a restriction on the variation of interpretations between logical categories. This is an unwarranted restriction on all possible interpretations and is, according to Etchemendy, unmotivated in the interpretational context. I will show that there are standard free logics that do motivate some cross term restriction. I will then discuss observations from Dummett's Frege: philosophy of language that provide different ways of motivating cross term restrictions in the non-free logic cases. If any of these motivations are acceptable, then classical logic can be recaptured. Finally, I will discuss the importance of this discussion for noninterpretational theories.

 
 
Wednesday 24 Oct 2012
Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen

Grounding Alethic Pluralism

Speaker: Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen
From: Yonsei University
URL: http://www.nikolajpedersen.com/
Abstract: According to alethic pluralism, the nature of truth varies from subject matter to subject matter. It might be that propositions concerning ordinary physical objects, say, are true in virtue of corresponding with reality while arithmetical propositions are true in virtue of cohering with the axioms of Peano Arithmetic. Most pluralist views are moderate in nature. While they incorporate the idea that propositions from different domains may be true in virtue of possessing di fferent properties, they likewise acknowledge the existence of a single truth property---truth-as-such---applicable within all domains of discourse. Thus, on moderate pluralist views truth is both One and Many. Moderate pluralists owe a story about the relationship between the One and the Many. In this paper I critically discuss two moderate pluralist accounts of the One-Many relationship. In light of this discussion I proceed to develop my own account.

 
 
Wednesday 17 Oct 2012
Kengo Okamoto

An Attempt at the Logic of "Hypothetical Actualization of (Im/)Possibilities"

Speaker: Kengo Okamoto
From: Tokyo Metropolitan University
URL: http://www.tmu.ac.jp/stafflist/data/a/350.html
Abstract: Owing to unavailability of relevant information, we often hypothesize certain possibilities (or, as the case may be, even impossibilities) as "actualized in midst of our reality" and by so doing derive various consequences about "the reality extended with the hypothesized (im)possibilities", as e.g. in the following reasoning. (Lost in the mountains) Suppose we are not so far from where our guidebook would take us. Then, as the book instructs us, there is a spring nearby.
Among specific features of this kind of examples seem to be the following.
(1) Although this reasoning could be reformulated as asserting the conditional: If we are not far from ..., then, ..., this conditional neither can be classified as a material conditional, nor as a counterfactual conditional (since the antecedent might really turn out to be true), nor as a so-called indicative conditional (such as could be interpreted as expressing some appropriate conditional probability).
(2) On the other hand, it would not be proper simply to reduce the reasoning to an instance of the well known scheme of hypothetico-deductive reasoning, since we are here not hypothesizing certain lawlike general statements (indeed, these would correspond in our case to the content of the guidebook, whose reliability we are not questioning at all), deducing their consequences and thereby attempting to confirm or falsify them; rather we just augment our presupposed set of information of the reality by assuming actualizations of certain (im)possible facts and just look at what will actually come out of this extended set of our presuppositions and assumptions.
Ordinary modal logics, including epistemic logics, do not immediately provide us with means of dealing with this kind of reasoning sufficiently. So we will propose that we should make use of various ideas from hybrid logics, relevant logics and Izumi Takeuti's Logic of Hearsay.

 
 
Sunday 14 Oct 2012
Andrew Moore

The Job of 'Ethics Committees'

Speaker: Andrew Moore
From: Otago University
URL: http://www.otago.ac.nz/philosophy/Staff/andrew_moore.html
Abstract: Is it best to give ethics committees the job of review for consistency with duly established standards, or instead the job of review for ethical acceptability? I show that each of these two views is present in leading guidelines and scholarly writings. I present arguments for the established-standards view and arguments against the ethical-acceptability view. I also argue that the best criticisms of the established-standards view fail; arguments from: counter-example, committee independence, ethical judgment, anti-hypocrisy, criticism of 'rule of law' views, the name 'ethics committee', and the idea that there is really just one ethics committee job description here. Finally, I argue for revision of influential guidelines worldwide, on the name of the committees, their job description, and their membership requirements.

 
 
Sunday 7 Oct 2012
Szu-Ting Chen

Imagining the Imaginable Causal Stories on the Basis of Causal Models: A Causal Structuralist Interpretation of Economic Theorization

Speaker: Szu-Ting Chen
From: National Tsing Hua University
URL: http://www.phil.nthu.edu.tw/index.php/faculty/show/id/9/typeid/1
Abstract: In this presentation, I illustrate that, as is manifested in the practices of economic theorization, a theoretical representation between a theory and the world can be decomposed into two component representations: a formal representation and a causal narrative representation. I further maintain that, with respect to both component representations, the concern of isomorphism is important in that it is the guiding idea that underlies economists' practice of identifying both an adequate formal model and a plausible causal story to represent the targeted phenomenon. As a result, it can be argued that the nature of the representational relation is manifested in the practices of economists as they imagine the imaginable causal stories on the basis of imaginative causal structures depicted in the causal models of the targeted phenomenon.

 
 
Wednesday 3 Oct 2012
Kengo Miyazono

Imaginative Resistance and Higher-Lower Inconsistency

Speaker: Kengo Miyazono
From: University of Tokyo
URL: http://kengomiyazono.com/index-en.html
Abstract: What is the crucial feature of the stories evoking so-called "imaginative resistance"? In this article, I examine "Higher-Lower Inconsistency View (HLI)" according to which the crucial feature is the inconsistency between higher-level propositions and lower-level propositions in the stories (Weatherson). I compare two possible interpretations of HLI; HLI (1) regards the higher-lower inconsistency in explicitly written story-texts as crucial, while HLI (2) takes the higher-lower inconsistency in what I call "extended stories" as crucial. I argue for HLI (2) by showing that HLI (2) solves some problems for HLI (1). In this talk, I will also discuss the relationship between imaginative resistance (a philosophical puzzle) and moral/conventional task (a task used in moral psychological experiments). I will argue that these two can't be independent from each other since there is very interesting connections between the them.

 
 
Wednesday 11 Jul 2012
Yukihiro Nobuhara

Reason, Emotion, and Moral Judgment

Speaker: Yukihiro Nobuhara
From: University of Tokyo
URL: http://utcp.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp/members/data/nobuhara_yukihiro/index_en.php
Abstract: Neuroscientific study on moral cognition has demonstrated that emotion plays an important role in moral judgment. But what role does emotion play in moral judgment? It would not be surprising if emotion only distorts moral judgments. The interesting question is whether emotion at least sometimes promotes rational moral judgments. To address this question, I examine two models of moral cognition. One is Greene's cognitive control model, in which emotion only distorts moral cognition. The other is Moll's cortico-limbic integration model, in which emotion cooperates with reason to promote adequate moral cognition. I argue that Moll's model is superior to Greene's. Finally, although Moll's model emphasizes the integration of reason and emotion in moral cognition, I argue that the phenomena of weakness of the moral will show the existence of a purely rational system.

The slide show is made on the basis of my paper written in Japanese(「道徳の神経科学」『社会意識を育む脳——神経哲学と神経倫理学』新曜社、近刊).

 
 
Wednesday 4 Jul 2012
Tomoyuki Yamada

On the Very Idea of Imperative Inference

Speaker: Tomoyuki Yamada
From: Hokkaido University
URL: http://www.hucc.hokudai.ac.jp/~k15696/home/yamada/yamada.html
Abstract: Suppose you are on a team of researchers and the leader of the
group orders you to give a presentation of the results of the research
project the team has been engaged in at a one day international workshop
to be held in Sao Paulo on August 9 this year. Suppose, in
addition, you are also a member of a political group and you have
received a letter from the guru of the group in which she commands
you to join an important demonstration in Sapporo on the very same
day. Although the time in Sao Paulo is 12 hours behind the time in
Sapporo, you will not be able to attend the workshop in Sao Paulo if
you join the demonstration in Sapporo. The possibility of conflicts of
this kind among orders, commands, and so on clearly shows that there
are various logical relations among them, and the idea of imperative
inference looks attractive. But it is not clear how these relations are
to be captured in a systematic way. Are they relations between imperative
sentences? Or between imperative utterances? Or between what
are expressed by uttering imperative sentences? The purpose of this
paper is to examine what light a formal theory of directive speech acts
developed in the form of dynami ed deontic logic can shed on these
and related issues.

 
 
Wednesday 27 Jun 2012
Michael Sands

False `Explanantia' and the Enhanced Indispensability Argument

Speaker: Michael Sands
From: University of Pittsburgh
URL: http://www.philosophy.pitt.edu/people/graduates/sands.php
Abstract: In recent debates about mathematical ontology, the "enhanced
indispensability" argument has been advanced in favor of Platonism:

1. We ought rationally to believe in the existence of any entity that plays
an indispensable explanatory role in our best scientific theories.
2. Mathematical objects play an indispensable explanatory role in science.
3. Hence, we ought rationally to believe in the existence of mathematical
objects.

Much debate has surrounded the second premise, with debates about whether
genuine mathematical examples exist. However, I will criticize the first premise by arguing first that it relies on the supposition that every `explanans' must be true in an ontologically committing way. Second, I will undermine this supposition by presenting a plausible conception of explanation, championed by Robert Batterman and Mark Wilson, that permits false `explanantia'.

 
 
Wednesday 20 Jun 2012
John O'Dea

Is an "Objective" Description of Conscious Phenomenology Possible?

Speaker: John O'Dea
From: University of Tokyo
URL: http://jodea.net/
Abstract: In this paper I argue that the central premise in the so-called "Knowledge Argument" is not as well supported as many suppose. This is the premise that it will seem to Mary (the hypothetical ideal neuroscientist made famous by Frank Jackson) that she learns something about consciousness when she has a new experience, namely, what the experience "feels like". I elaborate on a recent response to the Knowledge Argument by Jackson himself to motivate the Dennettian view that Mary already knew what experiences feel like.

 
 
Wednesday 6 Jun 2012
Mitsu Okada

Wittgenstein and Arithmetical Proofs

Speaker: Mitsu Okada
From: Keio University
URL: http://abelard.flet.keio.ac.jp/person/mitsu/jindex.html
Abstract: In the transition period Wittgenstein often used examples from mathematics to experiment on his philosophical arguments. In this talk we focus on Wittgenstein's discussion of arithmetical "proofs" in his Big Typescript/Philosophical Grammar, in which he presented his own modified form of recursive proofs, now known as "uniqueness" proofs; this modification is not at all a trivial one. We explain why Wittgenstein considered this modified form of proofs to be particularly important, in terms of his "saying- showing" distinction a "proposition-as-proof" standpoint, and a (non-strict) finitism standpoint, among others. We also argue that this modified form marks an important difference between his philosophy of arithmetic in Tractatus and that of his later texts. We then discuss the influence from Skolem's equational arithmetic on Wittgenstein, and that of Wittgenstein on Goodstein's constructive arithmetic. We will then conclude with a discussion of the importance of Wittgenstein's ideas within contemporary philosophy of mathematics. (This work is partly a joint work with Mathieu Marion.)

 
 
Monday 28 May 2012
Takashi Yagisawa

A Deflationary Theory of Existence (Part 1)

Speaker: Takashi Yagisawa
From: California State University, Northridge
URL: http://www.csun.edu/~vcoao0fk/index.html
Abstract: I propose and defend a theory of existence according to which existence is a relation between a thing and a collection of things. A thing x exists relative to a collection C of things if and only if x belongs to C. This demystifies existence. Existence is brought down to earth and reduced to the non-exotic notions of collection and collection membership. In most cases of particular existence statements, the membership in a collection C is definable as `for any x, x is in C iff x is F,' where F is a fairly straightforward predicate. When this is the case, existence relative to C simply amounts to being F. This is the sense in which my proposal is deflationary; understanding existence does not go beyond understanding the membership in C, or being F.
My proposal allows many things to exist, including abstract things, Cartesian egos, merely possible things, and even impossible things, as long as the right collection is chosen as the second relatum. In this sense, my proposal is tolerant of ontological inflation. It offers a lean and reductive analysis of the notion of existence but allows anything to exist as long as an appropriate collection is chosen. It is a theory that is deflationary with respect to existence but tolerant of inflation with respect to existents, one might say.


NOTE: Part 2 will be given in the Hongo Metaphysics Club (Dept. of Philosophy, Univ. of Tokyo) on May 30, 4-7 PM. Further particulars on this event will be posted in due time under: http://www.l.u-tokyo.ac.jp/philosophy/index-e.html

 
 
Sunday 13 May 2012
David Etlin

Affective Beliefs, Cognitive Desires, and Value Invariance

Speaker: David Etlin
From: University of Groningen
URL: http://sites.google.com/site/davidetlin2/
Abstract:

 
 
Wednesday 9 May 2012
Daisuke Kachi

Endurance and Pure Becoming

Speaker: Daisuke Kachi
From: Saitama University
URL: http://www.kyy.saitama-u.ac.jp/~kachi/prof.html
Abstract: Firstly I characterize endurance with the concept of R. Taylor's pure becoming, believing that the reality of endurance is another side of the reality of becoming. Secondly I try to defend the endurantism based on pure becoming from the attack on the ground of its being incompatible with the theory of special relativity.

 
 
Wednesday 25 Apr 2012
Nick Zangwill

Knowledge and Dependence

Speaker: Nick Zangwill
From: Durham University
URL: http://www.dur.ac.uk/nick.zangwill
Abstract: I foreground principle of epistemic dependence. I isolate that relation and distinguish it from other relations and note what it does and does not entail. In particular, I insist on the distinction between dependence and necessitation. This has many interesting consequences. On the negative side, many standard arguments in epistemology are subverted. But, more positively, once we are liberated from the necessary and sufficient conditions project, many fruitful paths for future epistemological investigation open up.

 
 
Wednesday 11 Apr 2012
Masaki Ichinose

Probabilistic Causality Revisited (Inaugural Talk)

Speaker: Masaki Ichinose
From: University of Tokyo
URL: http://www.l.u-tokyo.ac.jp/philosophy/profichinose.html
Abstract: In this talk I will discuss the problem of how to specify a particular causal relation. After initially referring to a negative attitude towards causation proposed by Russell, I will confirm how indispensable causal judgement is to our lives through remembering the intrinsic connection between causality and responsibility. Then, I will examine an idea of what is called "probabilistic causality", as the idea seems to be quite dominant in the contemporary context on the philosophy of causation. Scrutinizing the Bayesian method and "Simpson's paradox" with mentioning Cartwright's argument, I eventually consider a normative nature that causation should be essentially involved in.