Vitalij Dolgorukov

Higher School of Economics, Moscow

Irony, Deception and Lying: an Epistemic Taxonomy for Assertions

5 April 2019, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: We aim to present a taxonomy for assertions, describing both cooperative and non-cooperative types of the speaker’s behaviour.  Our model involves the combination of 4 parameters of assertions: its relation to reality, its relation to the shared speaker’s and hearer’s doxastic attitudes, its relation to speaker’s doxastic attitudes, and the degree of a speech act indirectness. The different combinations of these parameters yield 20 types of assertions, including different forms of lying, deceiving, irony and misleading. Also, we will demonstrate that our approach can shed some light on some other issues in pragmatics: the distinction between generalized and particularized implicatures, logical properties of the common ground, an explanation for the hierarchical order of Gricean maxims and some others.

Ricardo Miguel

LANCOG, University of Lisbon

Higher Standards for the Right Labels

29 March 2019, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: The Vegan Trademark, by The Vegan Society, is used to certify that products are suitable for vegans. Despite the benefits of this vegan label, I argue that the standards of the labelling practice should be changed, since the core reason that excludes some products from having the label is not excluding other products. I begin with what veganism is, what the related labelling standards are and with a description of two cases. Then I defend that the labelling practice treats those like cases differently. I conclude by saying how the standards should be changed in agreement with veganism.

Diogo Santos

LANCOG, University of Lisbon

Amending Assessment-Sensitivity

22 March 2019, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: According to Dummett (1978) to understand the point of truth is to understand the normative role it plays in the governing of our asserting practices. Dummett’s approach has influenced Assessment-sensitivity views (AS) (e.g. Egan, 2007; MacFarlane, 2011, 2014). AS holds that truth and, hence, the correctness of making and withdrawing assertions is assessment-sensitive. What practically distinguishes this theory from its rivals is its claim about the normative role of truth in the withdrawal of assertions. According to the view, an agent in C2 is obliged to retract an (unretracted) assertion that p made in context C1 if p is not true as originally used (in C1) and assessed from C2. Crucially, the retraction rule renders that an agent is sometimes obliged to retract an assertion that was correct for her to make. Recent experimental data (Dinges & Zakkou, Fintel & Gillies, Kneer, Knobe & Yalcin, Marques) on discourse about personal taste and epistemic modals show that AS’s retraction predictions are in conflict with ordinary speakers’ intuitions. This greatly undermines the purported empirical support for AS. The experimental findings indicate that there is no empirical support for a retraction rule for assertions and that retraction and truth come apart. In this paper I diagnose why AS’s predictions conflict with the empirical data and explain what is wrong with the theory’s depiction of the normative role of truth in the withdrawal of assertions. The diagnosis importantly relies on the claim that retraction is not the only exercitive that agents may use to withdraw the assertoric commitments undertaken by the original assertion – something that those involved in the debate have overlooked.

Raimundo Henriques

LANCOG, University of Lisbon

Architectural Functionalism and Wittgenstein

15 March 2019, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: Intuitively, the austerity of Wittgenstein’s house (1926-28) can be explained by the naïve functionalist hypothesis (NFH), according to which, for all x, if x is a constituent of the house, then x has a specific function. This hypothesis allows for an interesting connection between the house and the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921), but the analogy breaks down for lack of support in architectural theory. Architectural functionalism will, hence, be considered in its own terms. Three clarifications will be provided, yielding the existence of (at least) eight different theses designated by ‘functionalism’. It will be argued that atomistic functionalism—the kind suggested by the NFH—is either dependent upon the highly problematic notion of ‘structure’ or must be made subsidiary to functionalism about whole buildings (rather than parts of them)—holistic functionalism. Two objections to holistic functionalism will be presented and answered. It will be argued that, with some qualifications, this sort of functionalism is a good candidate to explain Wittgenstein’s architectural endeavors.

António Lopes

LANCOG, University of Lisbon

Sense and Sensibility: Musical Meaning, Expression and Sincerity in Atonal Serialism

8 March 2019, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: Steven Cavell famously asked “Must We Mean What We Say?” (1969). Applied to twelve-tone, serial music, the question would be: must serial composers mean what they write? This is due to features and limitations of the serial style or idiom. But are not composers responsible for choosing a style, at least since the 20th century, and thus, to be criticized if the idiom they chose cannot express most of the central musical meanings usually expressible in almost all other musical idioms, from folk music to contemporary non-serial classical music? I will rely mainly on the critique of serialism by Diana Raffman, and on the facts about the limits of musical cognition and memory to which results in recent psychology of music point to, but also on arguments by Roger Scruton, before presenting mine. If the critiques are convincing and those limitations are indeed a fact about human psychology, then, given the prestige and dominance of serialism as the only new “serious” compositional style during the three last quarters of the previous century, in spite of its rejection by the vast majority of a sophisticated public such as the average one for classical music, we may ask: might not artistic sincerity or integrity be at stake in the acceptance of an ineffective idiom such as serialism as the only possible next step in the evolution of music by composers, academics, concert managers, critics, minus the public (and possibly most performers)? I’ll claim that it may, in at least two senses, one of which is relevant to the topic of artistic value and authorial creative merit at the “high art” level at issue here.

Meir Buzaglo

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

On Proving the Unprovability of God’s Existence

1 March 2019, 15:45

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: In my talk I use “theology” in a narrow sense, i.e., the analysis of proofs for the existence of God. Meta-theology is the study of the very possibility to prove God’s existence and of whether belief in God is a matter of rational thinking or an issue that must be left to faith. Thus, the lively discussion on Gödel’s ontological argument belongs to theology, while Kant’s attempt in the Critique of Pure Reason (CPR) to disprove all possible proofs for the existence of God belongs to meta-theology. In the talk, I wish to explore the possible application of Gödel’s Second Theorem (GST) to meta-theology. After showing why there is prima facie evidence for the relevance of GST to meta-theology, I argue that in one sense – which is to be clearly defined below – it is pointless to try to prove that God’s existence is unprovable. As it turns out, this conclusion is not confined to the existence of God and can be generalized to other claims of proving unprovability.

The latest issue has been released in November 2018!

Disputatio is the journal of LanCog, and is published by the prestigious publisher De Gruyter.

The journal is entirely Open Access.

 

You can access the journal webpages here and here.

 

The latest issue of Phainomenon is now available (entirely in Open Access)!

 

This issue on Philosophy and Psychopathology: phenomenological perspectives was organized by Elisabeta Basso and gathers several contributions resulting from a conference on the matter.

 

From the Editor’s Introduction:

«Over the last twenty years, we have been witnessing in the international context the emergence of what is presented as a “new research domain” within the philosophical field, the so – called “philosophy of psychiatry”. In order to define this new domain, the Anglo – American authors, in particular, go back to Karl Jaspers’ Allgemeine Psychopathologie and his attempt, at the beginning of the 20th century, to refound psychopathology on the basis of the phenomenological method. Indeed, according to this view, “philosophy of psychiatry” would come to exist together with an appeal to phenomenology, in order to provide psychiatry with a systematic method for investigating the psychopathological phenomena. Now, in fact, the perspectives labelling themselves as “phenomenological” in psychopathology are quite heterogeneous, and it is necessary to study them thoroughly, from both an epistemological and historical point of view, if we actually want to understand and benefit from them at present.».

Roberto Giuntini

University of Cagliari &

Centro Linceo Interdisciplinare Benaminio Segre

Yes, No, Perhaps: A Logical Introduction to Quantum Computation

22 February 2019, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: Quantum computation has suggested new kinds of logic, which are deeply different both from Boolean logic (the logical background of classical computation) and from multi-valued (fuzzy) logics. The most striking feature of quantum computational logic is the introduction in the realm of pure logic of new and physically motivated connectives (gates) that have neither a classical nor a fuzzy-like analogue. In this talk, we will present some of these connectives (in particular, the square-root of negation and the square-root of the identity) and we will discuss some of their most funny and illogical properties.