Tokyo Forum For Analytic Philosophy


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
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(not available to Goodman), and some arguments are taken into account that can be unearthed from some of Carnap's early unpublished manuscripts of the 1920s in which he dealt with various issues of "world-building".

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
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 19 Jul 2017
Shimpei Endo

Irreflexive Similarity: Another Solution to the Sorites Paradox

Speaker: Shimpei Endo
From: ILLC, University of Amsterdam
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.

Monday 25 Sep 2017
Hidenori Kurakawa


Speaker: Hidenori Kurakawa
From: Kanazawa University
Abstract: TBA

Monday 20 Nov 2017
Yoshiyuki Hayashi


Speaker: Yoshiyuki Hayashi
From: University of Tokyo
Abstract: TBA

Wednesday 29 Nov 2017
Rob Sinclair


Speaker: Rob Sinclair
From: Soka University
Abstract: TBA