The applicant should submit an individual research project in one of the following areas of study: (a) history of philosophy, (b) analytic philosophy or (c) practical philosophy, including an explanation of how they consider that the project fits into the plan of activities and contributes to the strategy of the Research Group they intend to join.

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

  • Curriculum vitae;
  • Research plan (up to 4,000 words);
  • An academic essay (up to 6,000 words);
  • Motivation letter (up to 1,200 words);
  • Indication of one or two references, who can provide a letter of recommendation (optional).


Applicants must be enrolled (or willing and have the conditions to be enrolled) as PhD Students (Bolsa de Investigação) in Philosophy at School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon.

CFUL is interested in hosting high-quality doctoral students in a wide range of areas in History of Philosophy, Analytic Philosophy and Practical Philosophy.

Date foreseen for the opening of the call: February 6th 2023

Date foreseen for the deadline of the call: February 19th 2023


Hylomorphism, Causal Closure, and the Fundamentality of the Familiar

David Yates

LanCog, University of Lisbon


21 October 2022, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Hylomorphists follow Aristotle in thinking that there are fundamental complex particulars and that the form or structure of such particulars is somehow responsible for their fundamentality. So-called “staunch hylomorphists” hold that the form of a complex whole plays a fundamental role in determining the identities, and hence the powers, of its proper parts. Staunch hylomorphism faces a dilemma: how can a whole be grounded in its proper parts and yet also be fundamental, given that grounding is a relative fundamentality relation? We can put the point in terms of causation: if a whole is grounded in its parts, then its causal powers should also be so grounded, but in that case the whole cannot be fundamental. Conversely, if we endorse what Inman calls the “fundamentality of the familiar”, it seems we need to reject the idea that wholes are grounded in their parts and embrace some form of emergentism in which it is wholes that ground their parts and not vice-versa (Scaltsas, Marmodoro, Koons). In this paper I explore the possibility of a version of staunch hylomorphism based solely on the claim that there are irreducibly structural constraints on the manifestations of fundamental powers. If this is correct, then the relevant structural properties are what I will refer to as “causally fundamental”. Since they are the bearers of causally fundamental properties, complex wholes can also be treated as causally fundamental without any corresponding commitment to their fundamentality simpliciter. No special formal powers are needed, no causal closure violations are involved, and complex wholes are grounded in their proper parts. I will also suggest that, since the functional roles of components within a mechanism derive in part from structural constraints, such constraints can indeed be conceived as changing the identities of the components.

Date: November 17 and 18, 2022.

The Cogito research group (University of Glasgow) and the LanCog research group (University of Lisbon) are glad to announce the upcoming Epistemology Workshop, which will take place on November 17 and 18, 2022, at Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon.






November 17 (Thursday)

  • 2.00-3.45 – Mona Simion (University of Glasgow)
  • 4.00-5.45 – Matt McGrath (Washington University St Louis)

November 18 (Friday)

  • 9.00-10.45 – Michel Croce & Matt Jope (University of Genoa & University of Edinburgh)
  • 11.00-12.45 – Claire Fields (University of Stirling)
  • 12.45-2.00 Lunch
  • 2.00-3.45 – Domingos Faria (University of Porto)
  • 4.00-5.45 – Chris Kelp (University of Glasgow)


Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon, B112B Room (Library building)



Mona Simion and Domingos Faria


Inferential Constraint and If φ ought φ Problem

Una Stojnić

Princeton University

23 September 2022, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: The standard semantics for modality, together with the influential restrictor analysis of conditionals (Kratzer 1986; 2012) renders conditional ‘ought’ claims like (1) trivially true:

  1. If John’s stealing, he ought to be stealing.

While this might seem like a problem specifically for the restrictor analysis, the issue is far more general. For any account must predict that modals in the consequent sometimes receive obligatorily unrestricted interpretation, as in (1), but sometimes appear restricted, as in (2):

  1. If John’s speeding, he ought to pay the fine.

And the problem runs deeper, for there are non-conditional variants of the data. Thus, the solution cannot lie in adopting a particular analysis of conditionals, nor a specific account of the interaction between conditionals and modals. Indeed, with minimal assumptions, the standard account of modality will render a massive number of claims about what one ought to, must, or may, do trivially true. Worse, the problem extends to a wide range of non-deontic modalities, including metaphysical modality. But the disaster has a remedy. I argue that the source of the problem lies in the standard account’s failure to capture an inferential evidence constraint encoded in the meaning of a wide range of modal constructions. I offer an account that captures this constraint, and show it provides a general and independently motivated solution to the problem.

Argument Rodizio

01 July 2022, 15:00
Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa
Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

1. Federico Lauria: Desires are not motivational states: The argument of satisfaction conditions.
2. João C. Miranda: Desires are question-sensitive.
3. Gabriel Malagutti: Greco’s dilemma for testimonial knowledge.
4. Domingos Faria: An argument against individualistic accounts of group belief.
5. Diogo Santos: On whether one ought to do what one ought to do.
6. Hugo Luzio: On Human Enhancement at Cryo-Revival.
7. Delia Belleri: Conservatism about concepts: testing the argument.
8. José Mestre: Frege’s objection to Neo-Fregeanism.

The Argument Rodizio is a seminar in which each participant presents a short, desirably surprising, thought provoking and philosophically provocative argument in 5-10 minutes, to be exhaustively (and exhaustingly) discussed in the following 5-10 minutes.

On Wednesday 22 June Hans Christian Öttinger (ETH Zürich) will give a talk titled “A robust approach to quantum field theory: A give-and-take situation for philosophy” (abstract below).

The series of online seminars is organized in the context of the activities of the LanCog Research Group at the Centre of Philosophy of the University of Lisbon, and will focus on the foundations of quantum and spacetime physics.

The meeting will be online on Zoom (17:00-19:00 CEST). If you have not registered yet, you can do so here.

You can address any question to Andrea Oldofredi (


I present an intuitive and robust mathematical representation of fundamental particle physics based on a novel approach to quantum field theory, which is guided by four carefully motivated metaphysical postulates. More concretely, I explore a dissipative approach to quantum field theory [1] and propose a possible explanation of the Planck scale in quantum gravity. Offering a radically new perspective on this topic, my presentation focuses on the conceptual foundations of quantum field theory and ontological questions [2]. It also suggests a new stochastic simulation technique in quantum field theory which is complementary to existing ones.

[1] H.C. Öttinger, A Philosophical Approach to Quantum Field Theory (Cambridge University Press, 2017).
[2] A. Oldofredi and H.C.Öttinger, The dissipative approach to quantum field theory: conceptual
foundations and ontological implications, Euro Jnl Phil Sci 11, 18 (2021).

Desires don’t have desire-like direction of fit
Bence Nanay (University of Antwerp)

24 June 2022, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET) | Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Desires are widely, in fact, universally, taken to have, well, desire-like direction of fit. The aim of this paper is to argue that – at least on one important understanding of what direction of fit is – this is not so. I give a two-step argument: The goal state of desires is represented by mental imagery and if the goal state of desires is represented by mental imagery, then desires don’t have world-to-mind (or prescriptive) intrinsic direction of fit. In other words, desires don’t have desire-like direction of fit.


The room has a limited number of seats. Pre-registration is required at <> until a day before the event.

Monism and Qualitativism
Trevor Teitel (University of Toronto​)

24 June 2022, 11:00 (Lisbon Time – WET) | Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: This talk is about the relation between two venerable yet revisionary metaphysical doctrines. The monist doctrine says, roughly, that reality is in some sense one. The qualitativist doctrine says, roughly, that reality contains no facts about particular objects, but is rather purely qualitative. In this talk I’ll distinguish various versions of each doctrine, and in each case argue that champions of the monistic doctrine should instead embrace an analogous qualitativist doctrine. I conclude that monists should be qualitativists.


Doing things individually in virtue of doing them together
Thomas Byrne (MIT)

22 June 2022, 11:00 (Lisbon Time – WET) | Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Just as person A might, e.g., kill person B, so too might A1 and A2 kill B together: if A1 holds B down, while A2 strangles him, then A1 and A2 kill B together. In virtue of them killing B together, it’s also the case that A1 killed B and the case that A2 killed B. Similarly, if A1 lays half the bricks and A2 lays the other half, then A1 and A2 build a wall together; and, in virtue of them building the wall together, it’s also the case that A1 built the wall and A2 built the wall. Those are both examples of A1 and A2 each V-ing in virtue of them V-ing together—and other such examples, abound. I’m interested in the limits of that schema: when is the fact that A1 and A2 (and A3…) , e.g., built the wall together sufficient for it to be the case that A1 built the wall, and when isn’t it?


Three Projects of Social Epistemology
John Greco (Georgetown University)

17 June 2022, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET) | Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Epistemology engages in at least three projects: The Project of Explanation (What is knowledge?; How is knowledge possible for beings like us?), The Project of Critique (How do we fail epistemically, when we do?), and the Project of Amelioration (How can we improve our epistemic position?). Traditional epistemology has pursued these projects from an individualist perspective — the “we” in our various questions has been understood as “we as individuals.” Social epistemology pursues epistemology’s same projects, but now from a social perspective — the “we” in our various questions can now be understood as a “collective we.” The paper explores social epistemology’s three projects through the lens of social epistemic dependence, or our dependence on other persons and on broader features of the social environment. From this perspective, it is argued, seemingly disparate literatures in social epistemology are in fact fruitfully related.


The room has a limited number of seats. Pre-registration is required at <> until a day before the event.