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Conference Information

Full Title: Semantics and Philosophy in Europe 7

Short Title: SPE 7
Location: Berlin, Germany
Start Date: 26-Jun-2014 - 28-Jun-2014
Contact: Carla Umbach
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: The purpose of the Semantics and Philosophy in Europe colloquia is provide a forum for presenting research in the interface between linguistic semantics and various areas of philosophy. In addition to the general theme, SPE 7 will feature two special topics: 'Conceptual structures and truth-conditional semantics' and 'Attitudes towards questions'.

Special Sessions:

Conceptual Structures and Truth-Conditional Semantics:

Over the last decades, truth-conditional semantics has proven successful in offering detailed analyses for how the meanings of composite expressions can be derived from the meanings of their parts. Still, when it comes to the meanings of lexical items it is generally agreed that one has to take recourse to mental concepts and conceptual structures opening up the possibility of grounding meaning in human cognition. This raises the question of whether conceptual structures, which are clearly internal, can be reconciled with the referential / truth-conditional approach – how might conceptual structures be made to dovetail with truth-conditional semantics?

Attitudes Towards Questions:

The semantics and pragmatics of questions has attracted the attention of philosophers for several reasons. On the one hand there is a lively debate about the distinction between knowledge-how and knowledge-that, in which the semantics of wh-complements plays a crucial role and which has made philosophers think more about attitudes whose contents are characterized by indirect questions in general. On the other hand, the theory of implicit 'questions under discussion' that shape our discourse has been found relevant for several issues in the philosophy of language and metaphysics. The session inquires recent linguistic thought about these issues and its application in philosophy.


- Questions: From embedded clauses to speech acts (Manfred Krifka, ZAS)
- Evaluative predicates (Friederike Moltmann, CNRS, Carla Umbach, ZAS)
Linguistic Subfield: Cognitive Science; Philosophy of Language; Pragmatics; Semantics
LL Issue: 25.381

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