Tommaso Piazza

University of Pavia & LanCog

Second Thoughts on Pollock’s Notion of a Defeater

11 October 2019, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: In this talk I re-examine Pollock’s general characterization of a defeater (DEF), and Chandler 2013’s (until now unchallenged) objection against it. Chandler’s objection takes the form of a dilemma. He presents an example in which it is intuitive that D is a defeater for E as a reason for P, and E is not a defeater for D as a reason for P. On one horn of the dilemma allegedly illustrated by this example, DEF commits to denying that D is a defeater for E as a reason for P. On the other, it commits to saying that E is a defeater for D as a reason for P. Chandler’s objection can be resisted by showing that it presupposes a notion of reason that is different than the notion of reason to which DEF is meant to apply. Then I address the question about whether better examples can be devised that presuppose Pollock’s notion of a reason and illustrate the kind of dilemma Chandler has in mind. I show that standard Gettier cases (and possibly similar cases) provide initially more promising examples; however, on closer inspection they only raise a harmless variant of Chandler’s original dilemma. Thus, I conclude that Pollock’s DEF has not been successfully challenged by Chandler.

Dina Mendonça

IFILNOVA, New University of Lisbon

Situated Approach to Emotions and Emotional Depth

4 October 2019, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: The paper shows how the Situated Approach to Emotions can better grasp the notion of emotional depth. The first part puts forward the general frame of work of a situated approach to emotions, identifying some of the various ways in which it brings insight into the nature of emotions. In the second part, the presentation examines the way emotional depth is present in a situation and how it can be better understood within a narrative. After revising the existing literature about emotional depth it is argued that the emotional perspective is grasped by the narrative structure of emotion because it offers a way to deal with different layers of emotional meaning while it also provides a structure to describe how persons distinguish deep and shallow in various situations both in the events as in the selves within the situated whole. Finally, the paper points out how emotional depth provides a further understanding of emotional norms and insights into shared emotions.

André J. Abath

Fedeeral University of Minas Gerais

On Knowing What Something Is:
Towards an Account of Concept Attributions

20 September 2019, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: In recent years, attributions of knowledge-wh—knowledge who, what, when, where, which, why etc.—have attracted much attention from philosophers and linguists alike, with many arguing that a unified linguistic account of these attributions can be given (Karttunen, 1977; Groenendijk & Stokhof, 1982; Schaffer, 2007). These attributions have also attracted attention from those interested in the debate surrounding states of knowing how, such as Stanley and Williamson (2001), who have tried to show that the nature of these states can be clarified by unifying attributions of know-how with those of knowledge-wh. In this talk, I will try to show that existing accounts of knowledge-wh can also throw light in a different philosophical debate, that concerning concepts. More specifically, I will try to show that there is much to be gained by analyzing direct concept attributions in terms of attributions of a kind of knowledge-wh, the knowledge of what something is. Thus, a direct concept attribution, such as (1) “Jane has the concept of a jaguar”, is to be analyzed in terms of (2) “Jane knows what a jaguar is”. Once we do so, the accounts of knowledge-wh available in the literature can help us to provide a framework for a systematic treatment of concept attributions. Given that any such treatment is lacking in the literature, this is of interest in itself. But I will also try to show that issues related to concept possession and concept learning can also be clarified by the account of concept attributions to be sketched here.

Elton Marques, full member of LanCog, was accepted to attend The Metaphysics of Time Continuum Summer School organized by the Society for the Philosophy of Time, the University of Siegen, the Goethe Institut in Genova, the Theatre Spazio Vuoto and the online journal Philosophy Kitchen.

This year edition will be devoted to the question of continuity of time, by analysing the works of Aristotle, Kant, and Bergson.


The Summer School will be held in Imperia, Italy, from the 2nd to the 4th of September 2019.

The latest issue of Disputatio (vol. XI, Nº52, May 2019) is now available!

This regular issue has articles on propostions, personal identity and John Searle.


Disputatio is an open access journal published by the De Gruyter, and is available here.


Jacek Wawer

Jagiellonian University, Kraków

Ockhamism without Molinism

24 June 2019, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: “Ockhamism” and “Molinism” are labels used to designate distinct, but closely related theories in the debate over future contingents. According to Ockhamism some future contingents are true: a true future contingent faithfully represents what will happen in the actual future. It turns out that a simple-minded representation of Ockhamism within the framework of Branching Time proves to be highly problematic, as it gives no interpretation of future tense in non-actual circumstances and, as a result, disables compositional semantics. As a response, many BT theorists turned to Molinism – a theory that assigns truth values not only to actual future contingents, but also to merely possible ones. Such a theory was naturally understood as a strengthening of Ockhamism according to which some of the so-called counterfactuals of freedom (i.e., counterfactuals with a contingent consequent) are true. According to Ockhamism the future contingent, “The coin will land heads,” uttered before the coin toss may be true. According to Molinism, even if I don’t toss the coin, the counterfactual future contingent “Had I tossed the coin, it would’ve landed heads,” may still be true. I will first explain that one can (and probably should) address the formal problems of Ockhamism without resorting to Molinism. Then, I outline the intuition that Molinism is indeed a strengthening of Ockhamism and that one could subscribe to the second without subscribing to the first. Finally, I present a formal theory that allows Ockhamism without Molinism. According to this theory, every future contingent is either true or false, while all the counterfactual future contingents are neither true nor false.