Relations, Unity and Regress Workshop
- ERI Building - G51 (Ground Floor)
- Monday 26 March (12:30) - Tuesday 27 March 2018 (13:00)
For further information about the workshop and to register your interest in attending, please contact Nicholas Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The AHRC-funded Higher-Order Metaphysics project at the University of Birmingham will host an informal workshop on relations, unity problems (eg. for facts and propositions), and the regress arguments they arguably generate.
- Fraser MacBride (University of Manchester)
- David Liebesman (University of Calgary)
- Nicholas K Jones (University of Birmingham)
- Thomas Hodgson (Unaffiliated)
- Bryan Pickel (University of Edinburgh)
Alongside these confirmed speakers, there are two slots for submitted papers, two early-career bursaries, and two graduate bursaries; see below for details.
The workshop is free, open to all, and will take place on Monday 26 March (12:30-17:30) and on Tuesday 27 March (09.30-13:00).
Registration is not required, but please let the organiser know if you’re planning on attending so that we can arrange appropriate catering. If you have any questions, please feel welcome to contact the organiser, Nicholas Jones
Monday 26 March:
- 12:30-14:00: Thomas Hodgson, “A defence of structured propositions”
- 14:15-15:45: Bryan Pickel, “Life at a lower order”
- 16:00-17:30: Fraser MacBride, “Relations: predicates expressing them, names denoting them, and quantifiers replacing them”
Tuesday 27 March:
- 09:45-11:15: Nicholas K Jones, “Kinds of unity”
- 11:30-13:00: David Liebesman, “The Ascription View and the Type Hierarchy”
Abstract for Hodgson’s talk:
I argue that, granted some assumptions, it is better to posit Structure, that propositions are structured, than Simplicity, that propositions are simple. Structure, but not Simplicity, can give a better account of about- ness. This suggests that we should explore theories of propositions that include Structure.
Abstract for MacBride’s talk:
Predicates in general and many place predicates in particular are, I argue, impurely referring expressions, i.e. do not only refer to relations but perform a further co-ordinating function in virtue of which a sentence is more than a list. Conceiving of predicates as impurely referring expressions provides a solution to Frege's Paradox of the Concept Horse and allows us to address van Inwagen’s Puzzle about Relation Names. Because it enables us to solve these puzzles, this gives us reason to favour my view that predicates are impurely referring expressions. I explore, from this point of view, the consequences for our understanding of second order logic.
Abstract for Liebesman’s talk:
Predicates and non-predicates are semantically distinguished not by what they designate, but how. Non-predicates refer, while predicates ascribe. Crucially, some entities can be ascribed in certain linguistic contexts, and not in others. I'll briefly review my arguments for this view, and explain the nature of the view. A natural question then arises, what becomes of type-theoretic categorization on such a view. I'll (i) show that there's still a substantial role for semantic types, (ii), articulate my underlying view of types, and (iii) show how we can use these views to distinguish uninterpretable sentences from mere category mistakes.
Call for papers
There will be space for two submitted papers to be presented at the workshop. Submissions are welcome on any topics relevant to the workshop theme, broadly construed. Work at the intersection of metaphysics and philosophy of logic is especially welcome.
If you would like to present, send an extended abstract of up to 2,000 words and suitable for blind review to Benjie Kilcran by 12 noon on Monday 5 February 2018. The subject line of your message should read “Relations Workshop”. Please include your details in the body of the message, as well as indicating whether you would like to be considered for an early-career or graduate bursary (see below). Applicants will be notified before the end of February 2018.
The Higher-Order Metaphysics project will fund overnight accommodation in Birmingham and UK travel costs (standard class return rail fare, up to £90) for authors of selected papers. In the event of a budget surplus, we will aim to help with international travel costs too. Authors of accepted papers are expected to attend the entire workshop.
The Higher-Order Metaphysics project will fund two early-career bursaries. Each bursary will cover overnight accommodation in Birmingham and UK travel costs (standard class return rail fare, up to £90). Early-career scholars working in any area relevant to the workshop theme are eligible to apply. Anyone within eight years of award of their PhD counts as early-career for these purposes.
Applicants should send the following to Benjie Kilcran: (i) a brief CV, and (ii) a brief account (up to one side of A4) of the relevance of the workshop’s topic to their research. The subject line of your message should read “Relations Workshop”. Applications should be received by 12 noon on Monday 5 February 2018. Applicants will be notified before the end of February 2018. Recipients of bursaries are expected to attend the entire workshop.
Graduate student bursaries
The Higher-Order Metaphysics project will fund two graduate student bursaries. Each bursary will cover overnight accommodation in Birmingham and UK travel costs (standard class return rail fare, up to £90). Any student currently enrolled on a postgraduate course in philosophy is eligible to apply.
Applicants should Applicants should send the following to Benjie Kilcran: (i) a brief CV, and (ii) a brief account (up to one side of A4) of the relevance of the workshop’s topic to their research. The subject line of your message should read “Relations Workshop”. Applications should be received by 12 noon on Monday 5 February 2018. Applicants will be notified before the end of February 2018. Recipients of bursaries are expected to attend the entire workshop.