Tokyo Forum For Analytic Philosophy

Program

Monday 20 Nov 2017
Brian Epstein

Two Ways of Making the Social World

Speaker: Brian Epstein
From: Tufts University
URL: https://epstein.org/
Abstract: This talk sets out an organizing framework for the field of social ontology---the study of the nature of the social world. I discuss the subject matter of social ontology, and present a model aiming to clarify a variety of projects that have been traditionally confused with one another. The model helps explain and situate, for instance, varieties of individualism, theories of the building blocks of the social world, and theories of convention and collective intentionality. It is built on the distinction between two different inquiries: the study of the grounding of social facts, and the study of how social categories are "anchored" or set up. In the talk I explore these inquiries and discuss some applications.

 
 
Monday 27 Nov 2017
Rob Sinclair

Quine's Critical Turn? `Truth by Convention' and Conceptual Pragmatism

Speaker: Rob Sinclair
From: Soka University
URL: http://fila.soka.ac.jp/en/faculty_sinclair.html
Abstract: Quine's `Truth by Convention' (TC) has often been presented as containing the seeds of his later more radical criticisms of analyticity. Others have challenged this view arguing that TC does not contain any criticism of Carnap's position, but offers a carefully constructed request for further clarification concerning the conventional status of mathematics and logic. These and other studies all highlight the way Quine's famous criticism of the analytic-synthetic distinction developed slowly in stages, with Quine maintaining a stalwart conviction that an adequate scientific clarification of analytic truth remained forthcoming. My presentation tries to further our understanding of some of the historical episodes in this development. It summarizes recent work discussing C.I. Lewis's pragmatic conception of the a priori as Quine’s main critical target in TC. It further attempts to locate this critical stance within Lewis's conceptual pragmatism, by examining Quine's unpublished graduate papers and other work from this period. Further support is given for the view that Quine's appropriation of Lewis's pragmatic, conventional conception of the a priori is used both as a critical tool, and as playing a positive constructive role in our justification of both the conventional and non-conventional aspects of science.

 
 
Monday 4 Dec 2017
Shuhei Shimamura

What Do Variables Mean in Nonlogical Inferences? --- A Logical Inferentialist Expressivist Reply to Russell's Paradox on Variables

Speaker: Shuhei Shimamura
From: Nihon University
URL: http://researchmap.jp/sshimamura/?lang=english
Abstract: What do variables mean? This question is known to perplex Russell (and his followers), who believes that the meaning of a name is its referent and that a variable is a name. One natural way out of this impasse is to think that a variable is not actually a name, but rather a (part of) logical operator, and that the meaning of a logical operator is explained by specifying its inferential role instead of its referent. In this talk, I shall pursue this inferentialist line of reply to Russell's paradox on variables. First, I argue that the standard inferential rules for the universal quantifier in familiar proof systems (e.g., NJ and LJ) are flawed for the following reason: In the presence of (some) nonlogical axioms, they do not satisfy a condition that is supposed to be essential for the meaning of the universal. Second, I propose an alternative proof system, QNM, which circumvents this problem. Finally, based on the relevant inferential rules of QNM, I offer a Brandomian logical inferentialist expressivist explanation of the meanings of variables and universals.

 
 
Monday 11 Dec 2017
Akira Inoue

TBA

Speaker: Akira Inoue
From: University of Tokyo
URL: http://u-tokyo.academia.edu/AkiraInoue
Abstract: TBA

 
 
Monday 18 Dec 2017
Yoshiyuki Hayashi

The Insignificance of Phenomenal Consciousness to Personal Identity

Speaker: Yoshiyuki Hayashi
From: University of Tokyo
URL: http://researchmap.jp/yoshiyuki_hayashi/
Abstract: Some claim that if we lost phenomenal consciousness, that would affect our identity. In this talk, I argue that that is not the case. I examine various types of phenomenal approach to personal identity, according to which our existence is guaranteed by a stream of consciousness. I claim that any forms of it will ensure neither diachronic nor synchronic identity, citing thought experiments invoked by a subject with damages to area MT, and split-brain. I also draw some implications from this conclusion. Some claim that if we lost phenomenal consciousness, that would affect our identity. In this talk, I argue that that is not the case. I examine various types of phenomenal approach to personal identity, according to which our existence is guaranteed by a stream of consciousness. I claim that any forms of it will ensure neither diachronic nor synchronic identity, citing thought experiments invoked by a subject with damages to area MT, and split-brain. I also draw some implications from this conclusion.

 
 
Monday 22 Jan 2018
Jesse Mulder

TBA

Speaker: Jesse Mulder
From: University of Utrecht
URL: http://jessemulder.com/
Abstract: TBA