"Seeing-as in the Light of Vision Science", Prof Ned Block (New York University)
Philosophers as disparate in their points of view as Wittgenstein and Fodor have claimed that all seeing is seeing-as and that seeing-as is by its nature conceptual. This talk argues that they are right that all seeing is seeing-as, but wrong about seeing-as being conceptual. The talk explores how to distinguish between conceptual and perceptual seeing-as and the relevance of the distinction to current controversies about the nature of perception.
“Moral responsibility, expressivism and reasons responsiveness”, Sofia Bonicalzi (University of Pavia)
In 1969, Frankfurt made a fresh start in the debate about moral responsibility, questioning the validity of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP). During the subsequent decades, a new cluster of compatibilist proposals, focused on control condition, has been launched. According to the skeptical challenge moved by Pereboom, even assuming that PAP is false, compatibilist views including a reference to basic desert are in trouble. Here, borrowing some theoretical tools from compatibilist theories, I propose an expressivist account of moral responsibility that, avoiding the reference to basic desert, aims to preserve the distinction between being morally responsible and holding one morally responsible. Focusing on the structure of the choice-making process, with the support of some externalist integrations, I argue that what differentiates responsible and non-responsible/borderline actions is to be understood inside the framework of a revised conception of moral responsibility, according to which moral responsibility attributions are still to be seen as an important aspect for the understanding of the moral subject.
“Interpretation and Truth in Fiction”, Christian Folde (University of Hamburg)
In this paper I examine the relationship between two projects: specifying what is true in a fiction and interpreting a fiction. The first is usually pursued in philosophy, the second primarily in literary studies. Here, I argue that these projects are genuinely separate, yet they have interesting interdependencies. In particular, I show that (i) these projects cannot coincide, (ii) every interpretation involves what I call content-specifying sentences, (iii) many interpretations involve content-transcending sentences, (iv) interpretations are metaphysically grounded in fictional truths, and that (v) we can grasp fictional truths via interpretation. I will first outline what the two projects I am concerned with are and then argue for the claims just presented.
“A Note on Existentially Known Assertions”, Ivan Milic (University of Barcelona)
In two recent papers (‘Assertion and the Provision of Knowledge’ and ‘Assertion and Safety’), Charlie Pelling discusses the phenomenon of existentially known assertions. By showing one can make an EK assertion correctly without believing its content, Pelling argues that such data undermine all normative accounts that require speaker’s belief as a necessary condition. In this talk, I analyze two Pelling’s scenarios arguing that in each case the speaker only prima facie asserts while she is actually engaging in a non-assertoric speech act. Relatedly, I try to pinpoint the necessary and sufficient conditions of this speech act and explain away the difficulty posed to the abovementioned normative accounts.
“The Incoherence of Probabilistic Measures of Coherence”, Sergi Oms (Logos, University of Barcelona)
In the last decades, some authors have proposed to quantitatively measure the coherence of sets of propositions using Probabilistic Measures of Coherence; functions that yield as value some number that represents the degree of coherence of the aforementioned sets. It has been suggested that such theories should follow the Stability Principle, according to which adding some non essentially new information to a given set of propositions should not change its degree of coherence. In this paper I defend that no coherent Probabilistic Measure of Coherence can follow the Stability Principle.
"Reasons for Action: A Suitable Image of Criminal Intent?", Fanny-Elisabeth Rollet (Université Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne)
I would like to examine the categories of action in criminal law in light of concepts developed in philosophy of action (especially that of Davidson). Bearing in mind that the act involving criminal liability has got, as a hallmark, a requisite mental or moral element, I wish to offer to the theory of offence a principle of intelligibility which is that of intentional action, or bodily movement caused by a combination of beliefs and desires, i.e. done for a reason. Furthermore, to charge someone with a crime, one has yet to triumph over a concurrence between rival (re)descriptions of her action, since an action can be picked out under various descriptions, among which one may expand, or contract, the sequence of intentional action in time and space, thus adding to the narrative elements which are likely to redeem it and to modify the legal consequences attached to it. After drawing this methodological parallelism which underpins the whole of my paper, I will then tackle the problems of redescription of action in the criminal law, focusing, at last, on some legal figures of failure of action, incomplete agency and “abnormal” acts, lying as far away as possible from the Davidsonian definition of intentional action.
“Bootstrapping Rebooted”, Mario Santos-Sousa (University College London)
How do children learn the cardinal numbers? One influential response—or rather family of responses—is that children initially learn the meaning of the first few number words and then infer (or ‘bootstrap’) the meaning of the rest as they learn to count, thereby building an association between ‘counting on’ (i.e. moving upwards in the number word sequence, word by word) and ‘adding one’ to an arbitrary collection of items. This general approach has come under attack in a series of papers by Rips, Asmuth and Bloomfield on the basis that bootstrapping does not guarantee that children will assign the right (standard) interpretation to the word sequence as opposed to some non-standard (e.g., cyclical) interpretation. My aim is to vindicate bootstrapping against Rips et al.’s criticism by showing that the range of interpretations available to children when they learn the sequence of (cardinal) number words is heavily constrained by the counting practice in which these number words are deployed.