Luís Estevinha Rodrigues

Federal University of Ceará & LanCog

Belief-Basing, Epistemic Justification and Luck

27 April 2018, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: Bondy & Pritchard (2016, henceforth B&P) claim to have discovered a novel kind of harmful epistemic luck that can explain improper belief-basing. They call it propositional epistemic luck. In this talk, I examine their account of improper belief-basing and try to make salient some issues that, I think, militate against it. First, I tackle the example that B&P offer to illustrate their view, arguing that its plausibility depends on the acceptance of mundane epistemological aspects and occurrences that have little to do with epistemic luck. Secondly, I contend that the line between proper and improper belief-basing must be drawn within the realm of doxastic justification, and not of propositional justification, as suggested by B&P, since some highly doxastically justified beliefs can also be affected by a luck-basing phenomenon (which I will call ‘doxastic-basing luck’), thereby also failing to be properly based beliefs. At the end of my talk, I will submit a tentative clarification of what it takes for a belief to be properly based. I will hold that – having in mind an accurate epistemic performance and knowledge as primary goals of believing – a properly based belief must be a non-lucky fully doxastically justified belief.

Elia Zardini

LANCOG University of Lisbon

Generalised Tarski’s Thesis Hits Substructure

20 April 2018, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: At the core of JC Beall and Greg Restall’s brand of logical pluralism is “Generalised Tarski’s Thesis”, according to which a relation of logical consequence is characterised by the fact that, in every “case” where every premise is true, so is the conclusion (with different specifications of “case” yielding different relations of logical consequence). I argue that the thesis implies that many philosophically interesting substructural logics (non-reflexive, non-monotonic, non-transitive, non-contractive and non-commutative ones) are not relations of logical consequence. I then diagnose the clash as due to the fact that the thesis is not sensitive to plurality in designated value, in connection between premises and conclusion, in premise occurrences and in models. I then extend the argument to the effect that the more general conception of logical consequence as necessary truth preservation clashes with substructurality. I conclude by sketching a proposal as to how we can still uphold a broadly semantic conception of logical consequence. Basically, given a substructural logic L, we can reinterpret truth-preservation conditionals with the notions of conjunction and implication available in L, and say that the fact that, in L, P,Q,R…S logically entail T is grounded in the fact that, in L, the conditional ‘If ‘P’ is true and ‘Q’ is true and ‘R’ is true… and ‘S’ is true, then ‘T’ is true’ is valid. On this proposal, contrary to the contemporary vulgate, it is logical consequence that is grounded in logical truth rather than vice versa.

Hili Razinsky

LANCOG University of Lisbon

Interactive Subjects

13 April 2018, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: Interpersonal interaction is a pervasive and multifarious phenomenon. I shall delineate some features of the relations between interaction and subjectivity and by the same token argue that neither social ontology nor a philosophy of mind may neglect it, distinguishing it in particular both from groups and from a notion of intersubjectivity as the background of subjectivity.

Raimundo Henriques

LANCOG University of Lisbon

Ornament and Nonsense

6 April 2018, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: In 1932 Wittgenstein stated that the use of nonsense in philosophy is “in a sense really a requirement of style” and hence similar to the use of ornamentation. The aim of this talk is to clarify the nature of this analogy by appeal to Adolf Loos’s thought, the influence of which Wittgenstein recognized in the same remark. I will argue that the best way to account for Wittgenstein’s suggestion is by taking the ‘sense-nonsense’ and ‘structure-ornament’ distinctions, not as theoretical ends accompanied by (a sort of) Ockham’s razor, but rather as theoretical means to a normative end.

Diogo Santos e Ricardo Miguel

LANCOG University of Lisbon

Reflections on the Mirror

23 March 2018, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: The standard deprivation account of the badness of death is vulnerable to a reformulation of the Mirror Image Argument. Together with a plausible principle linking values and attitudes towards them, the account implies that we should have negative attitudes towards prenatal and postmortem non-existence (since they both deprive). However, this seems unreasonable – it makes sense, e.g. to fear postmortem but not prenatal non-existence. To answer this challenge, a deprivationist should either (i) explain in what sense both non-existences are relevantly dissimilar or (ii) explain the asymmetrical attitudes, even though both non-existences are relevantly similar. We briefly consider and dismiss two replies that claim that, while a person could have died later than the actual moment she did, she could not have come into existence earlier. Then we assess Brueckner and Fischer’s (1986) reply, which explains the attitudinal asymmetry by appealing to a bias in favour of future pleasures. A careful look into Yi’s (2012, 2016) criticism of this latter proposal leads us to distinguish between a local and a global kind of deprivation. Given the distinction, Brueckner and Fischer’s proposal is incomplete for it only works with local deprivation. Finally, we suggest an explanation that works with both kinds of deprivation and, hence, offers a complete response to the challenge. The explanation appeals to a bias in favour of interests that are closer to our present ones.

Rui Silva

University of the Azores

Naturalism and Normativism in the Theory of Rationality

16 March 2018, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: According to a traditional and influential view, human beings are rational beings and the norms of human rationality are given by normative theories like logic, probability theory or rational choice theory. However, empirical research over the last decades in the field of cognitive science and psychology has challenged this traditional view. On the one hand, the so-called heuristics-and-biases program (sometimes erroneously interpreted as claiming that humans are irrational) investigated common and widespread violations of normative principles of rationality. On the other hand, proponents of a ‘bounded’ or ‘ecological’ rationality argue that human rationality should be understood in naturalistic and evolutionary terms, in sharp contrast with normative theories. I propose a conciliatory approach to the conflict between normativism and naturalism in the theory of rationality, inspired by a particular version of the method of reflective equilibrium, according to which the acceptance of normative principles as standards of human rationality should be balanced against our common intuitions, considerations of psychological plausibility and educational constraints.

André Santos Campos

New University of Lisbon, IFILNOVA

Rights of Future Persons and the Non-Identity Problem

9 March 2018, 15:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: This talk aims at identifying the challenges posed by the non-identity problem to the idea of rights of future persons. Firstly, I will present a survey of the different responses to the non-identity problem that support some version of the rights of future persons. Secondly, I will connect those responses to the non-identity problem’s underlying metaphysics of time and modality, as well as to the language of rights it employs, and I will demonstrate that none of them is able to support the existence of rights of future persons in the light of the nature of correlativity between duties and rights. Thirdly, I will offer an alternative reading of the deontic relations between members of non-necessarily-overlapping generations, either by derogating the language of rights (in a present-future kind of temporal order) or by restricting it to temporally-overlapping persons (in a semi-future conception of the present).

Zach Weber

University of Otago

At the Limits of Thought

26 February 2018, 16:30

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Room 2.13

Abstract: The Inclosure Schema, proposed by Priest, suggests that many famous paradoxes are caused by the collision of “transcendence” and “closure” at the limits of thought. The Schema is, prima facie, a unified and explanatory analysis of the paradoxes of self-reference. Taking this analysis seriously is an important argument for dialetheism (the truth of some contradictions), and with that, a thoroughgoingly paraconsistent logic. But what happens once this program is followed out? That is, what happens when one re-considers the Inclosure Schema from a purely paraconsistent viewpoint? We will look at how the inclosure arguments play out. I will argue that the Inclosure Schema points outwards – too far outwards, beyond inconsistency and into absurdity. I will discuss how a reappraisal points inwards instead: true contradictions are better thought of as local, not “limit” phenomena. Dialetheism leads back from the edge of thought, to the inconsistent in the everyday.

Stewart Shapiro

Ohio State University

Making Truth Safe For Intuitionists
(joint work with Andrew Tedder)

21 February 2018, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Room 2.13

Abstract: We consider a handful of solutions to the liar paradox which admit a naive truth predicate and employ a non-classical logic, and which include a proposal for classical recapture. Classical recapture is essentially the property that the paradox solvent (in this case, the non-classical interpretation of the connectives) only affects the portion of the language not including the truth predicate – so that the connectives can be interpreted classically in sentences in which the truth predicate does not occur. We consider a variation on this theme where the logic to be recaptured is not classical but rather intuitionist logic, and consider the extent to which these handful of solutions to the liar admit of intuitionist recapture by sketching potential ways of altering their various methods for classical recapture to suit an intuitionist framework.

Graham Priest

City University of New York

Logic and Metaphysics: an Observation in Metametaphysics

26 February 2018, 14:30

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Room 2.13

Abstract: In this talk I will demonstrate a connection between logic (qua theory) and metaphysics. A number of historical case studies show clearly that these two things are intimately entangled. I end by raising the single most important philosophical issue that this raises: which, if either, is the more fundamental?