Are Emotions Epistemically Redundant?

Laura Silva (Université Laval)


2 June 2023, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Debate regarding the epistemic role of emotions focusses on whether emotions can provide justification for evaluative beliefs. A prevalent objection to the view that emotions can do so stems from the observation that, as emotions are reason-responsive attitudes themselves, it seems that those very reasons that stand in justificatory relations to emotions, stand also in justificatory relations to evaluative beliefs. The Redundancy Objection claims that emotions are epistemically redundant in the justification of evaluative beliefs, for the very reasons that stand in support of an emotion can justify the relevant evaluative belief directly. Existing responses to this objection fail to secure emotions a non-redundant epistemic role. I develop a novel response to the Redundancy Objection that should be preferred. I argue that emotions enjoy a distinctive relation to their reasons such that it is rarely the case that reasons for emotion are also able to justify relevant evaluative beliefs directly.

How to Understand Nonsense? A Riddle

Krystian Bogucki (Polish Academy of Sciences)


19 May 2023, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Typically, if I understand a sentence, then it expresses a proposition that I entertain. Nonsensical sentences don’t express propositions, but there are contexts in which we talk about understanding nonsensical sentences. For example, we accept various kinds of semantically defective sentences in fiction, philosophy, and everyday life. Furthermore, it is a standard assumption that if a sentence is nonsensical, then it makes no sense to say that it implies anything or is implied by other sentences. Semantically uninterpreted sentences don’t have logical characteristics. Hence, the riddle of understanding nonsense arises. We seem to use nonsensical sentences in reasoning, thinking, judging, and drawing conclusions, but they convey no propositions, which are the vehicles of their semantic properties. In this talk, I propose a pretence theory of understanding nonsense to explain the riddle of understanding nonsense, and discuss alternative frameworks that are insufficient to solve it.

Interest and Curiosity as the Affective Springs of Inquiry:  The ‘Chiaroscuro’ Epistemic Emotions

Federico Lauria (LanCog, Centre of Philosophy, University of Lisbon)


12 May 2023, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Interest and curiosity motivate exploration and inquiry. How are we to understand this epistemic role? This talk offers an affective approach to the Springs of Inquiry Puzzle. We argue that interest and curiosity are experiences of potential cognitive improvement or, if one prefers, of anticipated epistemic value. We develop this account with the help of three appraisals: epistemic goodness, epistemic gap, and high cognitive coping. This view offers an elegant typology of epistemic emotions. On the one hand, interest and curiosity differ from epistemic emotions of ‘darkness’, such as confusion, as the latter are experiences of epistemic obstacles or of absence of cognitive improvement. They also differ from epistemic emotions of ‘light’, like eureka moments, as the latter are experiences of actual epistemic value or of actual cognitive improvement. Between darkness and light, interest and curiosity are the ‘chiaroscuro’ epistemic emotions. We delineate our account in both metacognitive and first-order terms, which helps to dispel recent worries concerning the metacognitive content of epistemic emotions. It appears that interest and curiosity play a vital role in our epistemic pursuits.

We are happy to announce that issue 63 of Disputatio is out and freely available at


It is a special issue dedicated to a discussion of the book by Fabrice Correia and Sven Rosenkranz, Nothing to Come: A Defence of the Growing Block Theory of Time (Springer, 2018). The guest editors are Cristian Mariani and Giuliano Torrengo.


The issue includes the following papers:


Mariani, Cristian and Torrengo, Giuliano. “The Shape of Things to Come: Introduction to Special Issue on Nothing to Come by Correia & Rosenkranz” Disputatio, vol.13, no.63, 2021, pp.355-362.


Deng, Natalja. “Plenty to Come: Making Sense of Correia & Rosenkranz’s Growing Block” Disputatio, vol.13, no.63, 2021, pp.363-372.


Dyke, Heather. “Taking Tense Seriously Cannot Help the Growing Block” Disputatio, vol.13, no.63, 2021, pp.373-384.


Miller, Kristie. “Times, Locations and the Epistemic Objection” Disputatio, vol.13, no.63, 2021, pp.385-398.


Markosian, Ned. “The Growing Block, the Epistemic Objection and Zombie Parrots” Disputatio, vol.13, no.63, 2021, pp.399-410.


Wawer, Jacek. “Tensed Metaphysics and Non-Local Grounding of Truth” Disputatio, vol.13, no.63, 2021, pp.411-422.


Torre, Stephan. “The Growing Block, the Open Future and Future Truths” Disputatio, vol.13, no.63, 2021, pp.423-432.


Dorato, Mauro and Hoefer, Carl. “Nothing to Come in a Relativistic Setting” Disputatio, vol.13, no.63, 2021, pp.433-444.


Correia, Fabrice and Rosenkranz, Sven. “Replies to Critics” Disputatio, vol.13, no.63, 2021, pp.445-494.


Pleasant readings!


The chief-editors,

Ricardo Santos and Elia Zardini

Friday, May 5, 11:00—13:00 (Lisbon time)

Centre of Philosophy of the University of Lisbon

The University of Lisbon

Location: Matos Romão Room


Camillo Fiore

(The University of Buenos Aires)



Recapture Results Revindicated



A well-known objection to non-classical logics is that they are too weak; in particular, they cannot prove a number of important mathematical results. A promising strategy to answer the objection consists in proving so-called recapture results, which show that classical logic can be used in mathematics and other unproblematic contexts. However, the strategy has recently come under fire. First, typical recapture results are formulated in a purely logical language and do not generalize nicely to languages containing the kind of vocabulary that usually motivates non-classical theories. Second, proofs of recapture results typically employ classical principles that are not valid in the targeted non-classical system; hence, non-classical theorists do not seem entitled to those results. In this talk, I analyze these problems and provide solutions on behalf of the non-classical camp. As for the first problem, I provide a novel recapture result, which generalizes nicely to non-logical languages. As for the second problem, I argue that it relies on an ambiguity and that, once the ambiguity is removed, the objection is dissolved.


(This is joint work with Lucas Rosenblatt.)

Musical Works, Nested Types and Modal Claims

Nemesio García-Carril Puy (Complutense University of Madrid)


5 May 2023, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Guy Rohrbaugh and Allan Hazlett have provided an argument against the thesis that musical works are types. In short, they assume that, according to our modal talk and intuitions, musical works are modally flexible entities; since types are modally inflexible entities, musical works are not types. I argue that the argument fails, and that the type/token theorist can preserve the truth of our modal claims and intuitions even if types are modally inflexible entities. I focus on the premise that musical works are modally flexible entities. A deeper analysis of musical practice will show that this premise is not true: our modal claims do not imply that musical works could have had different intrinsic but, instead, extrinsic properties. Finally, I show how the nested types theory may offer a satisfactory explanation of this fact and that it captures the truth of our modal talk about musical works.

The Puzzle of Defective and Permissible Inquiry

Michele Palmira (Complutense University of Madrid)


28 April 2023, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: On the one hand, it seems that there’s something epistemically off with inquiring into questions which don’t have true answers – call this verdict Defective Questioning. On the other hand, however, there are scenarios in which we are epistemically permitted to inquire into questions which have no true answers – call this verdict Permissible Questioning.  In the first part of the paper I present data in favour of both verdicts and show that they give rise to a puzzle: how is it that inquiries into questions which don’t have true answers can both be defective and permissible from an epistemic point of view? In the second part of the paper I explore some solutions to the puzzle, arguing that the most promising way to approach it rests on the distinction between evaluative and prescriptive norms of inquiry.

LanCog Logic Seminar Series


Friday, 21 April, 10AM-12PM

FLUL room B.112E (Library wing) and online (zoom link:, password: 284363)


Aybüke Özgün

University of Amsterdam


Uncertainty about Evidence


We develop a logical framework for reasoning about knowledge and evidence in which the agent may be uncertain about how to interpret their evidence. Rather than representing an evidential state as a fixed subset of the state space, our models allow the set of possible worlds that a piece of evidence corresponds to to vary from one possible world to another, and therefore itself be the subject of uncertainty. Such structures can be viewed as (epistemically motivated) generalizations of topological spaces. In this context, there arises a natural distinction between what is actually entailed by the evidence and what the agent knows is entailed by the evidence—with the latter, in general, being much weaker. We provide a sound and complete axiomatization of the corresponding bi-modal logic of knowledge and evidence entailment, and investigate some natural extensions of this core system, including the addition of a belief modality and its interaction with evidence interpretation and entailment, and the addition of a “knowability” modality interpreted via a (generalized) interior operator.


(joint work with Adam Bjorndahl)

Moral Credit, Skill, and Virtue

David Horst (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul)


21 April 2023, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Someone acts in a morally worthy way when they deserve credit for doing the morally right thing. But when and why do agents deserve credit for the success involved in doing the right thing? It is tempting to seek an answer to this question by drawing an analogy with creditworthy success in other domains of human agency, especially in sports, arts, and crafts. Accordingly, some authors have recently argued that, just like creditworthy success in, say, chess, piano playing, or archery, creditworthy moral success is a matter of getting things right by way of manifesting a relevant skill. My main aim in this talk is to bring out an important structural difference between moral creditworthiness and creditworthiness in sports, arts, and craft, undermining attempts to use examples of the latter as a model for understanding the former.

Goethe’s Theory of Colour and the Philosophy of Science

Oliver Passon (University of Wuppertal)


14 April 2023, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Surprisingly, the famous German poet and writer Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832) considered his scientific work as more important than his literary work. However, neither his contemporaries nor posterity shared this view and especially his criticism of Newton led to Goethe’s discredit. In this lecture, I argue that Goethe’s contributions deserve to be reassessed from both a scientific and philosophical perspective.