The LanCog Research Group, University of Lisbon, welcomes expressions of interest from suitably qualified candidates interested in applying for fix-term (up to 6 years) research positions funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) in the following conditions:

 

The FCT is the Portuguese national funding agency for academic research and development. In 2022, the FCT will fund the hiring of 400 researchers, holders of PhDs at various stages of career, to carry out their activity in research centres throughout Portugal. The selected researchers are hired by the host institution through a framework-contract between the host and the FCT, which guarantees the funding. In the previous edition, 21 positions have gone for philosophers, and LanCog has a very strong record of supporting successful candidates.

 

The FCT will accept applications between 3 February and 3 March 2022 (17:00 Lisbon time). Candidates will apply online directly to the FCT, but their application must be supported by a host institution.

 

The application, written in English, must include the following:

–    A research plan, including a description of the main activities to be undertaken, the expected results, as well as an indication of how the research project fits with (at least one of) the goals set out in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;

–    A brief description of previous academic and scientific experience, highlighting the main activities and results obtained in the last 5 years;

–    Curriculum vitae;

–    Motivation letter, identifying up to two main contributions of the candidate in the last 5 years and the expected main contributions for the next years;

–    A brief description of the conditions provided by the host institution and of how the proposed research plan fits into the overall strategy of the research centre.

 

Applications will be assessed by an international panel, according to the following criteria:

–    The candidate’s scientific experience, with emphasis on the last 5 years (60%);

–    The proposed research plan (40%).

 

Each applicant can submit only one application for one of the following types of positions:

Junior researcher: PhD holders with up to 5 years of post-doctoral experience in the scientific area of application – 2.134,73€ gross wage (c. 1.400-1.500€ net wage for 14 months/year, depending on several specific factors related to the family composition and income);

Assistant researcher: PhD holders with more than 5 and up to 12 years of post-doctoral research, with relevant experience in the scientific area of application and limited scientific independence* – 3.201,39€ gross wage (c. 1.800-1.950€ net wage 14 months/year, depending on several specific factors related to the family composition and income);

Principal researcher: PhD holders with more than 12 years of post-doctoral research, with relevant experience in the scientific area of application and demonstrating scientific independence* for the last 3 years – 3.611,83€ gross wage (c. 2.100-2300€ net wage 14 months/year, depending on several specific factors related to the family composition and income);

Coordinating researcher: PhD holders with more than 12 years of post-doctoral research, holders of an academic title of ‘Agregado’ (or ‘Habilitation’) awarded in Portugal, with relevant experience and demonstrating scientific independence and recognized leadership in the scientific area of application – 4.678,96€ gross wage (c. 2.350-2500€ net wage 14 months/year, depending on several specific factors related to the family composition and income).

 

*Research independence is demonstrated through scientific competence, originality and international recognition, by experience in doctoral or post-doctoral supervision, or by the competitive research funds attracted at national or international level.

 

It is the applicant’s responsibility to choose the contract level best suited to their career stage.

 

It is mandatory to upload the doctoral diploma. In order to comply with the Portuguese legislation concerning the recognition of foreign qualifications, all the doctoral degrees granted by foreign higher education institutions should be duly recognized**. Applicants are advised to visit the website of the Direção-Geral do Ensino Superior (DGES) for further information:https://www.dges.gov.pt/en/pagina/degree-and-diploma-recognition. If possible, the recognition certificate (or proof that one has been requested) should be uploaded together with the diploma. Applications will be considered even if the recognition certificate is not available. However, the recognition must be obtained before signing the contract.

 

** Cf. Decree-Law No. 66/2018, of 16 August; Portaria No. 33/2019, of 25 January; Portaria No. 43/2020, of 14 February.

 

More information about the call, including a link to the application portal, is available here.

 

Interested candidates are invited to contact Dr. Domingos Faria (at domingosfaria@edu.ulisboa.pt), with a brief description of their intended research and current CV no later than 2 February.

Unconscious Mental Imagery Requires Unconscious Mental Qualities
Sam Coleman (University of Hertfordshire)

17 December 2021, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – GMT) | Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: It is widely agreed that conscious mental imagery features phenomenology, or conscious mental qualities, as I will say. Moreover, conscious imagery is accorded an important role in various sorts of action guidance. Unconscious mental imagery is also widely posited, and is held to share an important neurophysiological basis with conscious imagery (especially in the visual case I focus on). And unconscious imagery is accorded a very similar role in action guidance. But it is almost universally denied that unconscious imagery features mental qualities. I argue that unless we ascribe unconscious mental qualities to unconscious imagery, the behavioural contribution of conscious mental imagery is threatened, indeed, that conscious imagery is rendered epiphenomenal.

 

The room has a limited number of seats. Pre-registration is required at <info@lancog.com> until a day before the event. Note that this is an in-person event and everyone should wear a mask.

‘Actually, Scratch That’: A Tour into the Illocutionary Fabric of Retraction
Laura Caponetto (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan)

03 December 2021, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – GMT) | Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: Just as we can do things with words, so too we can use words to take back what we did in speaking. Political history is filled with such ‘u-turns’. Consider, for example, Nigel Farage’s ‘unresignation’ in May 2015, or Al Gore’s decision to ‘unconcede’ to George W. Bush in 2000. Retraction maneuvers are common currency and play a significant role in our discursive practices, as well as in our social and political lives. Still, very little attention has been paid among speech act theorists to how retraction works. By expanding upon previous work (Caponetto 2020) and engaging with recent contributions to the topic (e.g. Kukla & Steinberg 2021), I set out to unpack the illocutionary fabric of retraction – i.e. the illocutionary category it belongs to, its felicity conditions, the normative changes it effects. I construe retraction as a higher-order speech act whose definitional function is to cancel the deontic update enacted by some previous, lower-order speech act. After identifying its general (definitional) felicity conditions, I pause on the special felicity conditions for retracting specific illocutionary types. I conclude by saying something on “I-never-said-that!” kind of moves and how they differ from retractions.

 

The room has a limited number of seats. Pre-registration is required at <c.filosofia@letras.ulisboa.pt> until a day before the event. Note that this is an in-person event and everyone should wear a mask.

Awareness of Universals
Alex Grzankowski (Birkbeck, University of London)

26 November 2021, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – GMT) | Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: A number of intentionalists (many of whom are also physicalists) about consciousness hold that when one hallucinates, one is aware of an uninstantiated universal. According to some commentators, this is an odd view, if not an absurd one. In this talk, I’ll spell out how intentionalists ought to think about this claim and explain the ways in which it is in keeping with a story about other intentional states (such as propositional desire) that relate their subjects to abstracta. A kind of confusion, I speculate, has been driven by failing to attend to a familiar ambiguity found in intensional transitive verb constructions.

 

The room has a limited number of seats. Pre-registration is required at <c.filosofia@letras.ulisboa.pt> until a day before the event. Note that this is an in-person event and everyone should wear a mask.

Scientific Fictional Properties and Their Explanatory Power
Vera Matarese (University of Bern)

19 November 2021, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – GMT) | Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: According to what I call the “orthodox view”, we should grant the existence of scientific properties like mass, charge, spin, because they have explanatory power. Without them, indeed, we would be unable to explain particle trajectories. In this talk, I will articulate a “fictionalist view” that regards these properties to be mere scientific fictions. Fictionalists have two options. The first is to deny, like Super-Humeans, that scientific properties have explanatory power. The second is to admit that they have explanatory power, but deny that, in virtue of this, we should grant them existence. I will take this second route. The challenge will then be to clarify how fictional properties can be explanatorily powerful without being part of our ontology.

 

The room has a limited number of seats. Pre-registration is required at <c.filosofia@letras.ulisboa.pt> until a day before the event. Note that this is an in-person event and everyone should wear a mask.

Harmful habits: Responsibility for implicitly biased behaviour
Josefa Toribio (Logos, ICREA, University of Barcelona)

12 November 2021, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – GMT+1) | Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: This talk has a two-fold goal. First, I defend the view that the prejudicial behaviour that results from implicit biases is best understood as a type of habitual action — as a harmful, yet deeply entrenched, passively acquired, socially relevant type of habit. Second, I explore how characterizing such implicitly biased behaviour as a habit aids our understanding of the responsibility we bear for it. As habits are ultimately susceptible of being controlled, agents ought to be held responsible for their implicit biased actions. Yet, the blaming response should target agents only insofar as they have failed (while being able) to develop a particular kind of ability: the ability to spot the kind of situations that require the exercise of the relevant intellectual, moral, social, and prudential obligations. Being thus responsible, however, is consistent with the agent’s not being blameworthy. For the automaticity of the blamed agent’s implicitly biased behaviour makes it unintentional relative to intellectual, moral, social, and prudential values that she already cares about.

 

The room has a limited number of seats. Pre-registration is required at <centrofilosofialisboa@gmail.com> until a day before the event. Note that this is an in-person event and everyone should wear a mask.

Linguistic Intentions
Indrek Reiland (University of Vienna)

05 November 2021, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – GMT+1) | Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: What is the proper role of intention in a theory of linguistic meaning? On individualist views (Davidson, Bilgrami), meaning intentions have a direct role in imbuing uses of words with particular meanings. In this talk, I will approach the question from the contrasting public language perspective (Austin, Dummett, Kaplan, Lewis etc.) with the aim of explaining why we still have to appeal to something like linguistic intentions. Intentions play a very different role on this view: they activate the meaning that words already have in a particular language and thereby make it the case that the speaker’s use is a use with a particular meaning in that language. These sorts of linguistic intentions also play a role in disambiguation. However, contrary to widespread recent opinion, I will argue that they do not play a role in determining the reference of context-sensitive expressions. That is not settled by intention at all.

 

The room has a limited number of seats. Pre-registration is required at <c.filosofia@letras.ulisboa.pt> until a day before the event. Note that this is an in-person event and everyone should wear a mask.

When reality is confusing: Distinguishing confused perceptions from imagination
Ophelia Deroy (LMU)

29 October 2021, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – GMT+1) | Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: We ordinarily track whether something is real or imagined. To explain this, philosophers and cognitive scientists posit a subjective sense of reality which ‘tags’ certain representations as real or not. In this talk, I argue that this sense of reality is insufficient to account for what I call ‘extraordinary perceptions’, that is experiences occurring in virtual reality, derealisation, or under various forms of stimulants which can be confusing yet continue to tell us that we perceive something which is real and independent of us.

To account for it, we need to accept that the subjective signature of reality is a composite. On the negative side, this raises issues for current accounts, notably bayesian, which see the sense of reality as varying only on one dimension. On the positive side, our new account makes new predictions regarding the non- linear development and possible breakdowns of the subjective sense of reality in perception.

Implicit knowledge: expanding the bounds of agency
Arnon Cahen (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

22 October 2021, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – GMT+1) | Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: In their classic (1977), ‘Telling more than we can Know’, Nisbett and Wilson purportedly show that we are often blind to factors influencing our actions. When explaining our actions, we are prone to confabulation. Underlying these confabulations is the fact that we attempt to ‘tell’ more than we ‘can know’. Their work has bred a vast empirical literature pointing in the same direction – a proper explanation of our actions commonly appeals to features of which we are completely unaware. One unsettling consequence of such research, which many have been quick to draw, is that our commonsensical conceptions of human agency, freedom, and (epistemic, moral, and legal) responsibility, must be abandoned or, at least, substantially modified. Our actions, the story goes, can no longer be seen as outcomes of our conscious, rational, assessment of our situation. Rather, they are controlled by situational factors of which we are unaware; factors that ‘bypass’ our conscious decision-making processes altogether. In this talk I aim to uncover, and call into question, some of the assumptions embodied in this literature. I cast doubt on the transition from our ‘failure to tell’ and ‘inability to know’. Indeed, I argue, a ‘failure to tell’ is characteristic of the kind of knowing underlying the bulk of our genuinely agential engagements with the world. Rather than presenting a threat to our notion of agency, such literature calls for a broadening of its proper scope of applicability.