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Philosophy of Language and Mind Seminar

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Philosophy of Language and Mind Seminar

Salle de réunion, RDC, Pavillon Jardin, 29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris, de 14h30 à 16h30 

Oganization : Michael Murez 

Prochaines séances :

Mercredi 31 Mars
Katarzyna Kijania-Placek (Jagiellonian University, Krakow)
"Descriptive Indexicals, Deferred Reference, and Anaphora"

Many examples has been presented under the headings of "descriptive indexicals"(Recanati 1993, Nunberg 2004), "descriptive interpretation", "deferrals" (Galery 2008), or "attributive indexicals" (Nunberg 1993) to indicate uses where indexical utterances express general propositions. Here is a sample:
(1) `He is usually an Italian, but this time they thought it wise to elect a Pole.' uttered by someone gesturing towards John Paul II as he delivers a speech with a Polish accent shortly after his election.
(2) `You (i.e., you people) must not have stop lights in your country.' uttered by a police officer to a driver who speaks little English Nunberg (1993) proposed analyzing such uses as cases of deferred reference. A distinction between index and referent enabled him to claim that deferred reference is a general phenomena while direct reference is just a special case in which the index coincides with the referent; overall, the referent can be an object or a property. In the latter case indexicals contribute properties to the propositions expressed and that should accound for their descriptive uses. Yet if we pay closer attention to the ways in which properties can contribute to propositions, the examples gathered by Nunberg under deferred reference will turn out to form not so homogeneous a group. While most writers have attempted to provide unified accounts that would explain all such cases, I will claim that they should be accounted for in diverging ways. One of the points of my talk is to show that differences in ways in which a property can contribute to a proposition result in either singular or general propositions being expressed. It follows that the fact that a property "contributes to the proposition" cannot be a definitive sign of descriptive interpretation. The contribution must be of a specific sort. My claim will be that those of the required sort should not be properly treated as cases of deferred reference. This leads to my proposition that the two phenomena be divorced. My final objective will be to provide an analysis of the specific "contribution" the property has to the proposition expressed or implicated in cases of descriptive indexicals.

Mercredi 7 avril 2010
Paul Egré (CNRS, IJN)
Intentional action and the semantics of gradable expressions (On the Knobe Effect)

Séances passées :

Mercredi 3 Février 2010
Daniela Tagliafico (University of Eastern Piedmont)
“A relativist account of pretense”

Mercredi 20 janvier 2010
Zach Abrahams (Cornell University)
"Polysemy and multi-level semantics"

Mercredi 27 janvier 2010
Group Discussion of Nat Hansen "Color Adjectives and Radical Contextualism"

Mardi 1er Décembre 2009
Adrian Briciu (LOGOS)
"Context-Dependence and Compositionality"

Mercredi 25 Novembre 2009
Dan Zeman (LOGOS)
"Binding Predicates of Personal Taste, A Relativistic Friendly Approach"

Mercredi 18 Novembre 2009
François Recanati (IJN)
"Forms of Context-Sensitivity"

Mercredi 17 Février 2010
Julie Hunter (IJN/University of Texas at Austin)
"Descriptive Indexicals"

Mercredi 10 Mars 2010 from 2:30 to 4 PM
Eros Corazza (Carleton University) 
"Subsentential Illocutions And Communication"

Abstract: I challenge the common wisdom (see Dummett and Davidson) that sentences are the minimal units with which one can perform a speech act or make a move in the language game. I thus sit with Perry and Stainton in arguing that subsentences can be used to perform full-fledged speech acts. Unlike Stainton, I will argue that the proposition expressed by a subsentential assertion and its corresponding thought are not the end product of a pragmatic process of free enrichment. I shall defend the view that a thought may concern something without the thinker having to represent that very thing.

Mercredi 10 Mars 2010 from 4.30 to 6 PM:
Herbert H. Clark (Stanford University)
"Mixing depictions and descriptions"

Abstract: In everyday conversation, people describe, indicate, and depict things in a variety of combinations. By depict, I mean represent a thing by perceptual as opposed to symbolic or indexical methods. Depicting is ignored in most accounts of communication and language use. In some accounts, it is treated as a type of describing, or as reducible to describing. In other accounts, it is treated as if it wasn’t part of communication at all. I will argue that depicting, like describing and indicating, is a method of communicating, but a method that works by fundamentally different principles. The challenge is to characterize these principles. How does depicting work? How does it combine with describing and indicating in everyday conversation? And how is it to be integrated into proper accounts of language use?

Mercredi 24 Mars 2010
Andreas Kemmerling (Heildeberg University)
"Is there glamorous self-knowledge?"

Abstract: It is often assumed that we have epistemologically glamorous ('a priori', 'direct', 'infallible', 'self-evident', etc.) self-knowledge. I shall focus on the case of alleged knowledge of our own current conscious thoughts. The best reason I know of for assuming that we have glamorous knowledge of them seems to be this: it is needed to explain our ability to say with absolute authoritativeness what we are currently thinking (at least whenever the thoughts we have are 'sayables'). But this sort of authoritativeness can be explained without assuming that we have knowledge of what we are consciously thinking.