The plan for this term is now ready, as follows:

February 19 – Davide Romano (LanCog)
February 26 – Michel Croce (Dublin/LanCog) & Tommaso Piazza (Pavia/LanCog)
March 5 – Julien Dutant (King’s College London)
March 12 – Kevin Dorst (University of Pittsburgh)
March 19 – Timothy Sundell (University of Kentucky)
March 26 – Delia Belleri (LanCog)
April 9 – Julia Zakkou (Bielefeld University)
April 16 – Robert Williams (University of Leeds)
April 23 – Francisca Silva (LanCog)
April 30 – Bruno Jacinto (CFCUL/LanCog) & José Mestre (Stirling/LanCog)
May 7 – Philip Ebert (University of Stirling)
May 14 – Arturs Logins (University of Zürich)
May 21 – Hugo Luzio (LanCog)
May 28 – epistemology workshop (org. Domingos Faria & Michel Croce)
June 4 – Diogo Santos (LanCog)
June 11 – David Papineau (London)
June 18 – Adam Carter (Glasgow) & Emma Gordon (Glasgow)
June 25 – Liz Jackson (Ryerson University)

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 2021, 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 each of the previous editions, 10 to 13 positions have gone for philosophers, and LanCog has a strong record of supporting successful candidates.

 

The FCT will accept applications between 29 January and 26 February 2021 (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 (70%);
  • The proposed research plan (30%).

 

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

Junior researcher: PhD holders with limited 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 years of post-doctoral research, with relevant experience in the scientific area of application and limited scientific independence* – 3.201,40€ 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 5 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 5 years of post-doctoral research, holders of a title of ‘Agregado’ (or ‘Habilitation’), 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 5 February.

The Expression of Hate in Hate Speech
Teresa Marques (University of Barcelona)

18 December 2020, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa
Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia) & live-streamed

Abstract: This paper offers an account of how hate speech expresses hate. In so doing, it answers two objections to expressivist views. It further gives a hypothesis to explain how and when hate speech can correlate with hate crimes. It combines an account of the illocutionary structure of conversational contexts and of the normative requirements that speech makes on context, and recent accounts of the attitudes or sentiments expressed through hate speech. It concludes that hate speech is illocutionarily expressive, and presupposes ongoing hate as a sentiment which “organizes people’s social world” (Fischer et al 2018, p. 311).

Free Attendance, but preregistration required: https://cful.letras.ulisboa.pt/lancog/registration/

The Logic of Polyreference
Laura Delgado (LanCog, University of Lisbon)

11 December 2020, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa
Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia) & live-streamed

Abstract: I have defended a novel view of the semantic of proper names, i.e., the Polyreferential View. According to this view, proper names can have more than one semantic referent, indeed as many as bearers of the name there are. This has the implication that a sentence containing a polyreferential name would thereby express many propositions or contents. I believe this way of thinking of the content expressed by ordinary sentences as multiple could have useful applications beyond theorizing about proper names. My current project has two main goals: one would be to develop the logic of this new semantic relation of polyreference and give an account of compositionality. The second goal would be to explore its applications to other areas of research. This talk presents a first approximation to a logic of polyreference.

Free Attendance, but preregistration required: https://cful.letras.ulisboa.pt/lancog/registration/

Knowledge, Luck and Individualised Evidence
Dario Mortini (Cogito, University of Glasgow)

4 December 2020, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa
Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia) & live-streamed

Abstract: It is intuitively impermissible to convict someone on the basis of mere statistical evidence, but it is intuitively permissible to convict someone on the basis of eye-witness testimony – evidence which is individualised to the incriminating facts. Why? What’s so special about individualised evidence? These are the main questions raised by the puzzle of statistical evidence, and while the notion of individualised evidence may hold the key to solve it, there’s still no agreement on how exactly to define it. To make progress on the problem, epistemologists have proposed accounts of individualised evidence in terms of single causal and modal anti-luck conditions on knowledge like causation (Thomson 1986), sensitivity (Enoch et al. 2012) and safety (Pritchard 2018). In this talk, I show that each of these fails as satisfactory anti-luck condition, and that such failure lends abductive support to the following conclusion: once the familiar anti-luck intuition on knowledge is extended to individualised evidence, an adequate account of individualised evidence will have to invoke knowledge directly rather than separate (and defective) anti-luck conditions on knowledge.

Free Attendance, but preregistration required: https://cful.letras.ulisboa.pt/lancog/registration/

On the Optimality of Vagueness
Paul Egré (joint work with Benjamin Spector, Adèle Mortier, Steven Verheyen)
Institute Jean Nicod and École Normale Supériore

27 November 2020, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa
Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia) & live-streamed

Abstract: What is the function of vagueness in language? We argue that in contexts in which a cooperative speaker is not perfectly informed about the world, the use of vague expressions can offer an optimal trade-off between truthfulness (Gricean Quality) and informativeness (Gricean Quantity). Focusing on expressions of approximation such as “around”’, which are semantically vague, we show that they allow the speaker to convey indirect probabilistic information, in a way that can give the listener a more accurate representation of the information available to the speaker than any more precise expression would (intervals of the form “between”). We give a probabilistic treatment of the interpretation of “around”, and offer a model for the interpretation and use of “around”-statements within the Rational Speech Act (RSA) framework. Broader lessons are drawn concerning the semantic flexibility of vague expressions.

Free Attendance, but preregistration required: https://cful.letras.ulisboa.pt/lancog/registration/

Natural Kinds, Mind-Independence, and Unification Principles
Tuomas Tahko (University of Bristol)

20 November 2020, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa
Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia) & live-streamed

Abstract: A group of entities may share a number of properties without being a natural kind (say, all green and round things). It’s often enough for our scientific goals of explanation and prediction that there are one or more shared properties among a given sample set. Yet, there is more to being a member of a natural kind than sharing properties with other members of the kind. There have been many attempts to determine what makes a natural kind real, chief among them is the criterion according to which natural kinds must be mind-independent. But it is difficult to specify this criterion: many seemingly natural kinds have an element of mind-dependence. I will argue that the mind-independence criterion is nevertheless a good one, if correctly understood: the mind-independence criterion concerns the unification principles for natural kinds. Unification principles explain how natural kinds unify their properties.

Free Attendance, but preregistration required: https://cful.letras.ulisboa.pt/lancog/registration/

The Fundamentality of Fundamental Powers
Joaquim Giannotti (University of Birmingham)

13 November 2020, 16:00 | The talk will be given in a mixed presence regime

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa
Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia) & live-streamed

Abstract: Dispositional essentialism is the view that all or many fundamental properties are essentially dispositional, or powers. The literature on the dispositional essence of powers is abundant. In contrast, the question of how to understand the fundamentality of fundamental powers has received scarce interest. Therefore, the fundamentality of powers stands in need of clarification. There are three main conceptions of the fundamental, namely as that which is: (i) metaphysically independent; or (ii) belonging to a minimally complete basis; or (iii) perfectly natural. Here I present and discuss each of these approaches from the viewpoint of dispositional essentialism. I show that (i) is incompatible with the metaphysics of powers and (ii) – (iii) have more drawbacks than merits. Therefore, the dispositional essentialist should favour a different approach. To this end, I defend a primitivist conception of the absolute fundamentality of powers, which has the virtues of (i) – (iii) but none of the vices.

Free Attendance, but preregistration required: https://cful.letras.ulisboa.pt/lancog/registration/

Grounding the Future (and the Future of Grounding)
Roberto Loss (University of Hamburg)

6 November 2020, 16:00 | The talk will be given in a mixed presence regime

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa
Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia) & live-streamed

Abstract: According to what may be labelled ‘serious Ockhamism’, (i) the future is open, (ii) the openness of the future consists in the fact that what exists is insufficient to determine the truth-value of (at least some) future-directed statements, and yet (iii) future-directed statements all possess a determinate truth-value. Serious Ockhamism appears to be in tension with the idea that truth is grounded in reality. Some serious Ockhamists bite the bullet and accept some truths to be indeed ungrounded. Others prefer, instead, a more sophisticated approach and claim that even if future-contingent statements are not grounded in the way reality is, they are nevertheless not ungrounded, as they are ‘cross-temporally’ grounded in the way reality will be. In this talk I will construe the grounding challenge faced by serious Ockhamists as involving the notion of metaphysical grounding and I will argue that, although the kind of ‘cross-temporal grounding’ serious Ockhamists appeal to is in tension with a set of rather ‘orthodox’ grounding principles, serious Ockhamists appear to have independent reasons to embrace at least a certain kind of grounding ‘heresy’.

Free Attendance, but preregistration required: https://cful.letras.ulisboa.pt/lancog/registration/

Against the Pretense View of Fiction
Manuel García-Carpintero (University of Barcelona / LOGOS / LanCog)

30 October 2020, 16:00 | Online, via Zoom

Abstract: In his classic paper “The Logical Status of Fictional Discourse” (1974/5), John Searle argued that fictions don’t result from dedicated, sui generis acts (or, in to me equivalent terms, are not dedicated, sui generis artefacts) in the way assertions, questions or directives are; they are just pretenses of acts like those – the view had been defended earlier by Margaret MacDonald (1954) and Richard Gale (1971). Searle’s arguments were seriously challenged by Currie and Walton, proponents of different versions of the dedicated artefact view in their respective very influential 1990 books. In recent work, Peter Alward and Stefano Predelli have argued for a more sophisticated version of a Searlian view. In this paper I’ll confront their arguments, in defense of (my own version of) the dedicated artefact view. I’ll elaborate in my own terms on two decisive objections, not adequately acknowledged by either Currie or Walton: first, that the Searlian view is implausibly committed to there being fictional narrators in all fictions; second, that the view has implausible commitments on how referential expressions work in fictional discourse, implying that (as van Inwagen and Kripke put it in work in the 1970s) fictional utterances including them “don’t express propositions”.

Free Attendance, but preregistration required: https://cful.letras.ulisboa.pt/lancog/registration/