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LINGUIST List 23.960

Sat Feb 25 2012

Confs: Philosophy of Language/France

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        1.     Michael Murez , Propositions as Types -- Lectures by Peter Hanks

Message 1: Propositions as Types -- Lectures by Peter Hanks
Date: 24-Feb-2012
From: Michael Murez <michael.murezgmail.com>
Subject: Propositions as Types -- Lectures by Peter Hanks
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Propositions as Types -- Lectures by Peter Hanks

Date: 06-Mar-2012 - 06-Apr-2012
Location: Paris, France
Contact: Michael Murez
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL: http://cpr.nicod.free.fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48&Itemid=106

Linguistic Field(s): Philosophy of Language

Meeting Description:

In this series of talks at Institut Jean Nicod (29 rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris),
Peter Hanks will develop an account of propositional content according to
which propositions are certain types of spoken and mental actions.
According to this account, the proposition that Obama is eloquent is a
type of action a subject performs when she predicates the property of
eloquence of Obama.

All lectures will take place Salle de réunion, Pavillon Jardin, Ecole
Supérieure, 29 rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris, France

Detailed Schedule

First lecture, March 6, 16.30-18.30: Propositions as Types I.
Predication and the Content-Force Distinction

Abstract: Here I focus on the act of predication. Predication, as I
understand it, is a type of action a subject performs when she
attributes a property to an object, where this commits the subject to
the object's having the property. Conceiving of predication in this way,
and including it in propositions, amounts to a rejection of Frege's
content-force distinction and a rejection of Frege's conception of
judgment and assertion. My aim in this talk is to motivate my approach
over Frege's. I also contrast my account of propositions with the one
given by Scott Soames in his recent book What is Meaning?.

Second lecture, March 13, 16.30-18.30: Propositions as Types II.
Proper Names

Abstract: Here I apply my theory of propositions to give a new account
of the semantic contents of proper names. I argue that the semantic
contents of names are certain types of reference acts. I call these types
''semantic reference types''. This is neither a Millian nor a Fregean
approach to names. Distinct co-referential names are assigned distinct
semantic contents, but not because these names are associated with
different modes of presentation. I show how this account offers an
intuitive solution to Frege's puzzle about identity statements without
sacrificing the rigidity of names. The account extends easily to empty
names and offers a new solution to the problem of negative
existentials. In addition, I show how the account handles co-referential
names in different languages, e.g. 'London' and 'Londres'.

Third Lecture, March 20, 16.30-18.30: Propositions as Types III.
Propositional Attitude Reports

Abstract: In this talk I apply my theory of propositions to give an
account of the semantics of propositional attitude reports. My aim is
to explain the complicated, contextually sensitive facts about
substitutions in that-clauses. The view that propositions are types of
actions offers a rich and systematic way of understanding these facts.
The approach is consistent with semantic innocence and does not treat
that-clauses as names of propositions. It also solves Kripke's puzzles
about belief, both the London-Londres and Paderewski puzzles. In
addition, I relate this approach to what John Perry has called the
''classificatory conception'' of content, which is based on analogies
between attitude reports and sentences about weights and lengths.

Fourth lecture, April 6 (as part of the workshop Propositions and
Propositional Attitudes): First-Person Propositions

Abstract: A first-person proposition is a proposition that is accessible
to only a single subject, in the sense that only that subject can judge
or assert that proposition. Many philosophers are skeptical about first-
person propositions, despite the fact that they would solve problems
about de se belief. Here I show how to make sense of first-person
propositions without relying on first-person Fregean senses or
anything else in the vicinity, such as individual essences or
haecceities. The view is a development of the more general idea that
propositions are types of spoken and mental actions. On this account,
first-person propositions are certain types of actions we perform when
we make utterances using the first-person pronoun 'I'.

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