Diogo Santos

LANCOG Universidade de Lisboa

Evaluating metalinguistic negotiation

29 September 2017, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: The phenomenon of persistent disagreement has been at the forefront of the debate between philosophers of language on the semantics of evaluative predicates. Metalinguistic negotiation largely limits the scope of the objection from lost disagreement against contextualist views. Sundell (2016) argues that aesthetic adjectives are not semantically evaluative and that their meaning is in some way relative to a standard. Data in Liao, McNally, and Meskin (2016) apparently undermine Sundell’s view, by showing that aesthetic adjectives behave as absolute gradable adjectives – specifically, with respect to the comparison class not being contextually determined. This signals that the standard of comparison is semantically encoded and not contextually triggered. If so, then there is reason to think that aesthetic adjectives’ meaning is in some way relative to a standard. This paper rehearses what Sundell can say to account for the linguistic data. Nonetheless, it concludes – following Marques (2017) – that metalinguistic negotiation does not accommodate the puzzle from persistent disagreement and, thus, that Sundell (2016) has not shown that there is no independent motivation to endorse the thesis that aesthetic adjectives are semantically evaluative and relative to a standard.

Tommaso Piazza

Università di Pavia

How to Defeat a Seeming

25 July 2017, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: In this talk I draw a distinction between the direct and indirect contribution of a mental state to the epistemic justification of a subject’s beliefs. In terms of this distinction, I describe a puzzle surrounding the conditions on which S’s direct justification for believing P originating from S’s seeming that P is undercut. On the one hand the direct justification from the seeming seems to be undercut exactly when the indirect justification from the seeming is. On the other hand, however, the general characterization of the distinction between the direct and indirect contribution of a mental state to the justification of a belief motivates the expectation that what undercuts the indirect justification originating from it should not have the power to also undercut the direct justification. This leaves unexplained why, when S acquires an undercutting defeater of the indirect justification, S is apparently left with no justification for believing P. I explore three solutions to this puzzle. The first solution eliminates the puzzle by simply conjecturing that S’s seeming that P only supplies indirect justification for believing P. The second solution eliminates the puzzle by conjecturing that S’s indirect justification replaces S’s direct justification from the seeming. The third one, which I defend, rest on a principle distilled by N. Silins, and conjectures that an undercutting defeater of S’s indirect justification from the seeming affects S’s direct justification from the seeming by rebutting one presupposition of it.

Agnaldo Cuoco Portugal

Universidade de Brasília

Disagreement on Belief in God
and Bayesian Conditions for Convergence

25 July 2017, 11:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: The Existence of God (1979, 2004) by Richard Swinburne is one of the most influential books in contemporary analytic philosophy of religion. Among its many virtues, it proposes to frame the traditional arguments of natural theology (teleological, cosmological, the problem of evil, etc.) in an inductive probabilistic form. This way, each argument does not aim to lead to a necessary deductive conclusion about the existence of God, but only to increase or decrease its probability, following an epistemic interpretation of Bayes’s theorem as a formal reasoning tool. The proposal of the seminar is to discuss an alternative way to use the theorem as a structure for interpreting the disagreement involved in the discussion about the justification of theism. In this proposal, I will suggest both a theory of probability and an assessment of the priors assigned to theism by the main parties involved, which are different from the ones employed by Swinburne. As a result, another manner of conceiving the rationality of the belief in God will be put forward in this disagreement scenario.

 

Free Attendance

Disputatio has been classified Q2 in Scimago Journal Rank for the third consecutive year. It has also been promoted to A2 in Qualis.

Ned Markosian

University of Massachusetts – Amherst

First Lecture

The Dynamic Theory of Time and Time Travel to the Past

 

24 July 2017, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

 

 

Second Lecture

The Open Future

26 July 2017, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

 

 

 

 

Free Attendance

Ricardo Santos

Universidade de Lisboa

The Fitch-Church Argument, the Knower Paradox and Paraconsistency

21 July 2017, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: We surely do not know everything, but some philosophers have thought that every truth can be known – by following the right method (be it the Cartesian method, or ‘the’ scientific method). An interesting argument first published by Frederic Fitch, but most likely due to Alonzo Church, purports to show that those philosophers are wrong, and that there are necessary limits to what can be known by non-omniscient beings like us. For many people of a more realist persuasion, that there are unknowable truths is good news, so they tend to look favorably to the Fitch-Church argument. But the argument looks suspicious, because it performs a kind of modal collapse, allegedly showing that if every truth is knowable, then every truth is known – so it invites looking for ways to resist it. In this talk, I will examine one way in which the Fitch-Church argument may be blocked, namely by adopting a paraconsistent logic and a dialetheic view of knowledge, independently motivated by another important problem, the Knower Paradox (due to Richard Montague). The dialetheic approach to both problems faces some objections, which I will discuss. I will argue that dialetheism proves better as a solution to the Knower than as a solution to the more general knowability problem.

Free Attendance

For further information, please contact CFUL at c.filosofia@letras.ulisboa.pt

A revista de filosofia DisputatioInternational Journal of Philosophy, publicada pelo Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de Lisboa, foi avaliada com a categoria Q2 pelo terceiro ano consecutivo no ranking SCImago/Scopus, o que faz com que ela seja actualmente a revista de Filosofia publicada num país iberoamericano em melhor posição naquele ranking. Conferir:

http://www.scimagojr.com/journalsearch.php?q=21100202749&tip=sid&clean=0

Alyssa Ney

UC Davis

Physics and Fundamentality

14 July 2017, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: What justifies the allocation of funding to research in physics when many would argue research in the life and social sciences may have more immediate impact in transforming our world for the better? Many of the justifications for such spending depend on the claim that physics enjoys a kind of special status vis-a-vis the other sciences, that physics or at least some branches of physics exhibit a form of fundamentality. The goal of this paper is to articulate a conception of fundamentality that can support such justifications. I argue that traditional conceptions of fundamentality in terms of dynamical or ontic completeness rest on mistaken assumptions about the nature and scope of physical explanations.

Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de Lisboa

LanCog Group (Language, Mind and Cognition Research Group)

http://www.lancog.com

Centro de Filosofia das Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa

http://cfcul.fc.ul.pt