A segunda edição revista e aumentada do livro “Memórias Socráticas” de Johann Georg Hamann, tradução, notas, cronologia e posfácio de José Miranda Justo já se encontra disponível no Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de Lisboa.
Abstract: An error theory for some particular expression holds that its semantics is truth-conditional and it is used in non-fictional assertoric judgments, but these systematically fail to be true. Most well-known cases are moral error theories, which hold that judgments like “Murder is wrong” can’t be true because the world doesn’t instantiate the property the moral expression attributes. Such error theories are normally defended for judgments which exhibit a clash between what speakers intend to talk about and which properties the world has. Let us call the view “the traditional error theory”. The debates on the semantics of knowledge claims and judgments of taste among others have brought up another way in which speakers might be in error: they might be mistaken about what certain expressions or judgments mean or what their truth- conditions are, a phenomenon known as “semantic blindness”. Let us call the view “the new error theory”. Under certain plausible assumptions judgments of taste, aesthetics, colour, morality and knowledge claims are candidates for either a traditional or new error theory. Roughly the assumptions are that those are relational phenomena but people don’t take them to be relational. We’ll presuppose this for the sake of the argument. This talk has two aims. The first is to discuss the metasemantic commitments that lead to the two kinds of error theories. The second is to argue for a particular externalist metasemantics which will tip the balance in favour of the new error theory for these expressions.
Abstract: Arguments are usually understood as having one or more premises and only one conclusion. A generalisation of this notion allows for several disjunctively connected conclusions. This is a contentious generalisation; I will argue that it is, nonetheless, justified. I set forth the thesis that multiple conclusions are epiphenomena of the logical connectives. Some connectives induce multiple-conclusion derivations. In this sense, such derivations are completely natural. Moreover, I argue that they can safely be used in the proof-theoretic semantics.
Are there any embedded conversational implicatures?
10 March 2017, 16:00
Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa
Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)
Abstract: There is a well-known kind of objection to Grice’s account of conversational implicatures (CI) — one which, while not threatening the very notion, identifies a problem with the way Grice and most of mainstream subsequent work in philosophy of language has implemented it. The objection builds on cases of alleged conversational implicatures which seem to be generated from clauses which fall under the scope of some logical operator or propositional attitude verb. These apparently challenge Grice’s account of CIs, as it is arguably committed to CIs being generated from complete utterances, rather than from unasserted sub-clauses. This is then taken to generate a reductio argument against the possibility of embedded CIs, and hence to show that the data that allegedly exemplify them must be accounted for in some other way. In the talk I will review some of the recent discussion on the subject while trying to make sense of embedded CIs.
Abstract: Human rights philosophies are nowadays often divided into three basic categories: naturalism; consensus theories; and the practical or “political” approach. In addition, these three categories are generally seen as mutually exclusive. My presentation is intended to criticize this prevailing view by showing that the three theories in question are not incompatible because they are specific answers to three distinct philosophical problems, namely, about the philosophical foundation of human rights, about the permanence of doctrinal pluralism, and about the character of the current human rights regime.
Abstract: There are many ways of dividing or disaggregating testimony into different kinds on epistemic grounds. Probably the most influential such distinction in the contemporary literature on testimony has been that proposed between testimony that is reasonably accepted by default, automatically, and testimony accepted on the basis of some reasoning about its felicity. Philosophers with very different general approaches to social epistemology have nevertheless agreed, typically on the basis of a range of cases or examples, that this distinction in the cognitive or doxastic testimonial phenomena reflects a fairly significant underlying epistemic difference between (roughly) evidential/justifica-tory and non-evidential/entitlement epistemologies. I reject this disaggregative view in favour of a unitary conception of testimony. Cognitive phenomena at the point of testimonial uptake leave out a great deal of what matters to the reasonableness of accepting testimony; when we consider more of the relevant factors, the seeming distinctions evaporate. And when we consider the range of testimonial phenomena in their real diversity, we find a far more fine-grained set of distinctions or a continuum of cases, rather than a difference answering to a single evidential/non-evidential divide.
Contra Tantum Reasons
Luís Duarte d’Almeida
University of Edinburgh
17 February 2017, 16:00
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa
Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)
Abstract: In this paper, co-authored with Euan MacDonald, we offer an account of reasons as facts that support ought-propositions; and we set this account against the standard account of reasons as facts that count either in favour or against something. After offering a characterisation of the support relationship, we show how the familiar notion of a pro tanto reason (a notion that can also be defined in the standard counting for/against terms) can be defined in support terms. Alongside pro tanto reasons, however, there are also, we suggest, what we propose to call contra tantum reasons: facts that support negative ought-propositions—propositions e.g. of the form “it is not the case that P ought/ought not to F”—without also supporting any positive ought-proposition. The notion of a contra tantum reason, unlike that of a pro tanto reason, cannot, we argue, be defined in the standard counting for/against terms. We conclude by suggesting that the inability of the standard account to accommodate contra tantum reasons may help explain why some familiar issues in moral philosophy (e.g. issues involving supererogation) have appeared to be more puzzling than they are.