9/9Philosophy Department Colloquium: Amie Thomasson
Philosophy Department Colloquium: Amie ThomassonFriday, September 9th, 202204:00 PM - 06:00 PMStorrs CampusHumanities Institute Conference Room, Homer Babbidge Library
"Starting a step back: Redirecting Metaphysics"
Metaphysics traditionally answers questions such as “Are there properties, universals, numbers, composite artifacts, fictional characters…?’ ‘(If so), what are they like? How are they related to minds, physical objects, etc.? Does ‘positing’ these things add explanatory power to our theories?’… Here I will argue that we should bracket those questions and begin our questioning back a step, by asking instead: “How does talk of properties, numbers, ... enter language, and what functions does it serve?” For starting with the earlier questions about the functions different parts of language serve, and the ways they enter language can show us things about the later 'metaphysical' questions: how they arise from mistakes generated by failing to appreciate the diverse functions areas of language can and do serve, and why they might lead us astray into paradoxes, pseudo problems, and irrelevant debates.
In this paper I also aim to take the next steps to develop the functional pluralist idea in ways that make clear how we can more systematically think about and identify linguistic functions. I aim to show what difference this functional work makes to reevaluating old metaphysical debates, reassessing criteria used in metaphysics, and redirecting metaphysics towards more fruitful work. In short, I will argue that appreciating functional pluralism in language, and developing a more explicit way of analyzing and assessing the functions language can serve, may lead metaphysics away from misguided old tangles into fruitful new directions.
9/16Logic Colloquium: Florio, Shapiro, & Snyder: Semantics And Logic; Logic And Semantics
Logic Colloquium: Florio, Shapiro, & Snyder: Semantics And Logic; Logic And SemanticsFriday, September 16th, 202211:15 AM - 12:45 PMStorrs CampusHybrid: ITE 336 & Zoom
Salvatore Florio, Stewart Shapiro, and Eric Snyder:
"Semantics and logic; logic and semantics"
It is widely (but not universally) held that logical consequence is determined (at least in part) by the meanings of the logical terminology. One might think that this is an empirical claim that can be tested by the usual methods of linguistic semantics. Yet most philosophers who hold views about logic like this do not engage in empirical research to test the main thesis. Sometimes the thesis is just stated, without argument, and sometimes it is argued for on a priori grounds. Moreover, many linguistic studies of words like “or”, the conditional, and the quantifiers run directly contrary to the thesis in question.
From the other direction, much of the work in linguistic semantics uses logical symbols. For example, it is typical for a semanticist to write a biconditional, in a formal language, whose left hand side has a symbol for the meaning of an expression in natural language and whose right hand side is a formula consisting of lambda-terms and other symbols from standard logic works: quantifiers ∀, ∃ and connectives ¬, →, ∧, ∨, ↔. This enterprise thus seems to presuppose that readers already understand the formal logical symbols, and the semanticist uses this understanding to shed light on the meanings of expressions in natural language. This occurs even if the natural language expressions are natural language terms corresponding to the logical ones: “or”, “not”, “forall”, and the like.
The purpose of this talk is to explore the relation between logic and the practice of empirical semantics, hoping to shed light, in some way, on both enterprises.
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9/23Logic Colloquium: Hitoshi Omori (Bochum)
Logic Colloquium: Hitoshi Omori (Bochum)Friday, September 23rd, 202211:15 AM - 12:45 PMStorrs Campusonline
"Three questions on Jaskowski's discussive logic"
Abstract: Stanislaw Jaskowski is known to be one of the modern founders of paraconsistent logic, together with Newton C. A. da Costa. The most important contribution of Jaskowski is that he clearly distinguished two notions for a theory, namely a theory being contradictory (or inconsistent) and a theory being trivial (or overfilled). In addition to this distinction, he also presented a system of paraconsistent logic known as D2 which is often referred to as discursive logic or discussive logic. Very briefly put, D2 was introduced via modal logic S5, building on a certain idea related to discussion, and seen as a typical non-adjunctive system of paraconsistent logic.
The aim of this talk is to address the following three questions:
(i) Are there other modal logics than S5 that will be sufficient to define D2?
(ii) Are there other ways to capture Jaskowski's idea than the well-known translation?
(iii) Is there more to discussive logic than being non-adjunctive?
These questions are, of course, not entirely new. In particular, the first question has led to a number of interesting and non-trivial results. However, there seem to be other answers than those already discussed in the literature, and I will present some new answers to the above questions.
(The results related to the first and the second questions build on joint work with Fabio De Martin Polo and Igor Sedlar, respectively.)
9/28ECOM Spotlight Series: Michael Hegarty
ECOM Spotlight Series: Michael HegartyWednesday, September 28th, 202202:00 PM - 03:30 PMStorrs CampusZoom
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9/30Parcells Lecture: Roger Crisp (Oxford University)
Parcells Lecture: Roger Crisp (Oxford University)Friday, September 30th, 202204:00 PM - 07:00 PMStorrs CampusKonover Auditorium
"What Can We Learn from Moral Luck?"
Lecture and Q&A followed by a light reception.
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