There Is No Such Thing as Conventionalism about Personal Identity

Eric Olson (University of Sheffield)


5 April 2024, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão [C201.J] (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: It’s often said that personal identity is ‘conventional’ in that it depends on our attitudes and practices: it’s not a fact to be discovered, but a matter for decision. There are a number of different claims about ‘personal identity’ that are said to be conventional in this way. Some are intelligible but not actually conventionalism as advertised. Some are indeed conventionalist but unintelligible. Some are intelligible and conventionalist but not very interesting. But there appears to be no genuine conventionalism about personal identity that is both intelligible and interesting.

What Context-Relative Belief Could Be Like

Roger Clarke (Queen’s University Belfast)


22 March 2024, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão [C201.J] (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Several philosophers have recently defended metaphysically context-relative views of belief. But for many of us, it’s not clear what context-relativity could be if it isn’t semantic (or more broadly, linguistic) context-relativity. In this paper, I explore the idea of context-relative metaphysics through several examples, mostly taken from high-school science.

Disputed Disputes

Pedro Abreu & Marcin Lewiński (IFILNOVA, New University of Lisbon)


15 March 2024, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão [C201.J] (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Our goal is to isolate and analyse a category of “disputed disputes”: philosophically relevant disputes which do not admit of an easy dismissal as verbal nor of straightforward recognition as factual. We offer a new set of arguments challenging the attempts of adjudicating between these two possibilities. We pay special attention to how these attempts are articulated in the recent debates over metalinguistic negotiations — worthwhile disputes about which meaning to associate with some particular expression (Plunkett & Sundell, 2013, 2023). While Plunkett and Sundell hold metalinguistic negotiations to be “ubiquitous”, some recent criticisms maintain that many such disputes should be taken at face value as standard disagreements (Ball, 2020; Schroeter et al., 2022; Koslicki & Massin, 2023). Both positions are built on the underlying assumption that there is indeed a principled and operationalizable distinction to be made between two fundamentally different kinds of disputes. We challenge this assumption. Careful attention to the conditions of the debate reveals: i) unexpected congruence between the interpretative strategies and resources deployed by the two sides in the debate, ii) circularity and indeterminacy brought about by the possibility of applying the metalinguistic negotiation interpretation to the very disputes over the nature of disputed disputes, and, iii) the proliferation of available notions of meaning and corresponding forms of disagreement and verbalness. We show how these considerations coalesce to undermine the possibility of a principled choice between the two interpretations — metalinguistic negotiation and first-order disagreement — and to cast doubts on the claim that there is really a significant choice to be made between them.

Why do Computational Templates Work Across Scientific Disciplines?

Mariana Seabra (LanCog, Centre of Philosophy, University of Lisbon)


8 March 2024, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão [C201.J] (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Computational methods and their subsidiary models (including both physics-driven methods that appeal to differential equations, and data-driven computational methods that allow the extraction of meaningful patterns from data sets, often without explicit appeal to laws of nature or theories) are used to perform diagnosis, characterization and prediction in systems of interest. Furthermore, these computational methods are applied successfully across scientific disciplines, that is, the same computational structures, termed computational templates, are employed to solve problems in a wide range of scientific domains, from physics to biology, neurology, economics, and so forth. In this talk I try to explain the success of computational templates across different science fields, constructing a scientifically informed version of the ‘fudging solution’ for the applicability of mathematics as it arises for computational templates. I argue that the various templates available, from differential calculus to statistical models, capture change or changing tendencies in a system of interest. Corrections performed within the various stages of model construction not only concern updates in the formal structure of computational templates, but also progressively update the ontology of interest. What is perceived as the applicability of templates to physical reality is already the result of many such corrections, in which models are tailored to the system at hand.

Combinatory Intensional Logic: Towards a Formal Theory of Meaning

Clarence Lewis Protin (LanCog, Centre of Philosophy, University of Lisbon)


1 March 2024, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão [C201.J] (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: In this talk we give an outline of Combinatory Intensional Logic (CIL), a general framework for a formal theory of natural language meaning and reasoning, including intensional logic. What sets this approach apart is a syntax close to the logico-semantic mechanisms of natural language and being compatible with logical realism, the view that properties, relations and propositions are entities in their own right as well as furnishing the senses of linguistic expressions. CIL models, which formalize a realm of interweavings of senses, are not based on possible world semantics or set-theoretic function spaces. Truth-values and references of senses are extensions determined by states-of-affairs, an idea that goes back to the Stoics. CIL was initially inspired by Bealer’s project in Quality and Concept (1983). It was subsequently found that CIL is a good tool to address the shortcomings and gaps present in Bealer’s approach, in particular with regards to the soundness proofs and the problem of unifying intensional and modal logic. After giving an outline of CIL and the main soundness result, we discuss approaches to classical problems involving definitions, definite descriptions, proper names and other topics relevant to the formalization of natural language.

Existence and Powers in a Dynamic World

Jonathan Tallant (University of Nottingham)


23 February 2024, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: In this talk I look to achieve two ends. The first is to offer some clarificatory and defensive remarks about what we think is required of existence in a genuinely dynamic world. In doing so, I lean on work focused on Existence Presentism, connecting that to work on powers. I suggest that this combination of literatures gives us the wherewithal to differentiate a frozen world, from a dynamic world, and in the process respond to challenges that have been raised for presentism. The talk begins with consideration of the notion of dynamism, drawing out the idea of degrees of dynamism and offering an account of what it takes to make a view more (or less) dynamic. In the second part of the talk I explore how to generate dynamism given recent arguments from Lisa Leininger.

Delusions and the Predictive Mind

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


16 February 2024, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: A growing number of studies in both the scientific and the philosophical literature have drawn on a promising framework of brain function (predictive processing) to account for the formation of delusions. This framework has recently come under criticism for its putative inability to explain (i) why agents adopt implausible hypotheses like delusions over none at all, or over more plausible ones, and (ii) how exactly it is that delusions are thought of to begin with. In this talk I shall defend the framework’s explanatory power by way of showing how it can go a long way in helping disentangle these concerns.

Beyond Juxtaposition: Mixed Inferences and Anti-Collapse

Carlos Benito-Monsalvo (LanCog, Centre of Philosophy, University of Lisbon)


15 December 2023, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Logical localism is a thesis within philosophy of logic according to which the correct application of logic is not topic-neutral, domain-neutral or irrespective of subject-matter. That is, logical localism is the thesis stating that different sets of logical principles, forming various alternative logic systems, are required in order to systematically account for correct reasoning in different domains. However, there is a very straightforward problem for anyone defending a localist thesis, a problem that follows from the fact that we reason across domains. This challenge is known as the problem of mixed inferences. The problem is, very roughly, the following: suppose that there are (at least) two components, within the premises or conclusion of an argument, belonging to different domains whose logics are L1 and L2, respectively. Then, which is the criterion of validity for the argument? The approach that I will take consists in trying to solve the problem of mixed inferences (more concretely, the version of the problem raised by Chase Wrenn) by making a finer translation of the arguments and using combination mechanisms as the criterion of validity. Among the alternative methods for combining logics, I will focus on the method of juxtaposition and show that there are some mixed inferences with the logical form of bridge principles that seem to be intuitively valid and that are not validated by juxtaposition, which constitutes an anti-collapse problem for juxtaposition. This limitation is what motivates the improvements on the methods that I propose, as a way of extending juxtaposition and allowing the emergence of the justified bridge principles in the combination mechanisms.


with Elisabeth Pacherie


Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon

Room B 112.D

November 23 and 24, 2023




Thursday, Nov 23

14h00 -15h45:  Elisabeth Pacherie (Jean Nicod)

Varieties of goal-directedness in intentional action


16h00 -17h10:  Eline Kuipers (Bochum)

 Enhancing Pacherie’s theory of intentional bodily action through a sensorimotor space


Friday, Nov 24

10h00 -11h10:  Daphne Moss (Pompeu Fabra)

Agentive phenomenology and the disappearing agent


11h20 -12h30:  Cato Benschop (Utrecht)

Disorder of agency, or disordered because of agency?

The Life Project Account of Eating Disorders


14h00 -15h10:  Miguel Núñez de Prado (Utrecht) & Manuel Almagro-Holgado (Valencia)

Mindshaping Dispositionalism to Defend Doxasticism About Delusions


15h20 -16h30:  Caroline Stankozi (Bochum)

A predecessor to goal-directed intentions: need-directed bio-intentions

Impostor Concepts and Hermeneutical Injustice

Laura Delgado (LanCog, Centre of Philosophy, University of Lisbon)


17 November 2023, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Hermeneutical injustice, as introduced by Miranda Fricker (2007), occurs when subjects are unable to make some significant experiences intelligible to themselves and to others owing to their being hermeneutically marginalized. Hermeneutical injustice has been widely characterized by Fricker and others as arising because there is a ‘lacuna’ or a ‘gap’ in the collective hermeneutical resources such that the terms or concepts needed to make some experience intelligible and communicable are lacking. This situation constitutes an injustice because this gap or lacuna is due to the fact that these subjects are unfairly denied sufficient participation in the creation or development of concepts or other tools of social interpretation and this exclusion or limitation is caused by some identity prejudice. In this paper we highlight a species of hermeneutical injustice that arises both because there is a conceptual lacuna with regard to certain experiences in the collective interpretative resources and, importantly, also because there is a powerful authoritative concept in place that does render the experience intelligible, albeit incorrectly. We call this an ‘impostor concept’ because it takes a place where a better, more adequate concept should be, and because it deceivingly provides intelligibility to the target experiences; whereas in reality it conceals them, effectively obstructing the possibility of arriving to better interpretations. We analyse the workings of impostor concepts and argue that their use constitute cases of hermeneutical injustice. We compare this with other similar cases discussed in the literature, aiming to widening our understanding of hermeneutical injustice. (Joint work with Claudia Picazo.)