Previous seminars

2020

Oslo Mind Group Seminar: Davide Zappulli, A Meta-Metasemantic Defence of the Kripke–Putnam Theory of Natural Kind Terms

We will be discussing a draft of ‘A Meta-Metasemantic Defence of the Kripke–Putnam Theory of Natural Kind Terms’ by Davide Zappulli.

Time and place: Dec. 11, 2020 1:15 PM–2:30 PM, Oslo Mind Group Team

Abstract

I identify two central claims in the theory of natural kind terms proposed by Kripke and Putnam. The first is what I call ‘metasemantic externalism’, the idea that the meaning of natural kind terms is largely determined by mind-external and mind-independent factors. The second is the claim that the world is full of objective essences, which successful introductions of natural kind terms pick out and constitute sufficient and necessary conditions for kind-membership.

While the theory of Kripke and Putnam is a very popular one, it has been subjected to strong criticisms, especially coming from the philosophy of biology and chemistry in recent years. One central criticism of its opponents is that the theory is incompatible with how natural kind terms are treated in science. In this paper, focusing on biology, I argue that Kripke and Putnam’s theory can successfully respond to this objection.

My defense is based on a distinction between three distinct levels: the semantic level, the metasemantic level, and the meta-metasemantic one. I will start by defining these notions. Then, I will present the theory of Kripke and Putnam and the arguments moved against it. Having put all the pieces on the table, I will argue that the theory of Kripke and Putnam can respond to those objections. Finally, I will consider some objections to the proposed solution.

Note

This is a ‘read-ahead’ seminar and will take place via Microsoft Teams.

A copy of the paper for discussion will be made available in advance via the ‘Seminar’ channel of the Oslo Mind Group team, which is open to all University of Oslo members, or is available upon request from the organizer for non-UiO users (see below). All are welcome to attend.

Organizer

Keith Wilson


Oslo Mind Group Seminar: Anna Drożdżowicz, What About Reading?

We will be discussing a draft of ‘What About Reading?’ by Anna Drożdżowicz.

Time and place: Dec. 4, 2020 1:15 PM–2:30 PM, Oslo Mind Group Team

Abstract

It has been argued that competent language users can have experiences of understanding linguistic utterances (e.g. Hunter 1998; Fricker 2003; Brogaard 2018; Longworth 2018). In recent years, the nature of such experiences has been the subject of heated discussions. Many of these philosophical debates have proceeded largely in abstraction from issues of the specific sensory modality (auditory or visual) to which linguistic utterances are presented, with some notable exceptions where the focus has been on experiences of understanding in spoken linguistic comprehension (e.g. O’Callaghan 2011).

Reading, despite being a pervasive and important form of linguistic comprehension, has not been systematically considered in this debate. Do sensory modalities involved in linguistic comprehension lead to experiences of understanding of a different or a similar kind? Is abstracting away from the import of sensory modalities a methodologically sound approach? The goal of this paper is to make progress on these questions by investigating differences and similarities between the cases of comprehending spoken and written linguistic utterances, with a special focus on reading. The results will be somewhat surprising.

After discussing some systematic differences between the two cases, I will present some evidence which could suggest that linguistic comprehension in both cases might result in experiences of understanding of (roughly) the same kind. I will explain what consequences these observations might have for the existing views in the debate about states of understanding.

Organizer

Keith Wilson


Oslo Mind Group Seminar: Sebastian Watzl, The Ethics of Attention

We will be discussing a draft of ‘The Ethics of Attention?’ by Sebastian Watzl.

Time and place: Nov. 6, 2020 1:15 PM–2:30 PM, Oslo Mind Group Team

Abstract

Discussions regarding which norms, if any, govern our practices of forming, maintaining and relinquishing beliefs have come to be collected under the label “The ethics of belief”. Included in the ethics of belief are debates about how those normative issues relate to the nature of belief, whether belief formation is, for example, ever voluntary. The present talk concerns an analogous set of questions regarding our practices of attention. “The ethics of attention” thus concerns the discussion of which norms, if any, govern our practices of attention: what norms govern what we should attend to, how we should engage our capacity for attention, when we should begin and when we should stop to pay attention to something? Like the ethics of belief, the ethics of attention will connect those normative questions to issues regarding the nature of attention, what may or may not be subject to such normative pressures. Compared with rich, complex, and systematic investigation of the ethics of belief, the study of the ethics of attention is more or less undeveloped. This paper aims to begin to change that. Specifically, it shows that attention is an appropriate target for serious normative investigation and then classifies potential norms of attention along three dimensions: whether they are manner or object based, instrumental or non-instrumental, and whether its source is moral, prudential or epistemic.

Organizer

Keith Wilson


Oslo Mind Group Seminar: Andrew Lee, Is Consciousness Continuous?

We will be discussing a draft of ‘Is Consciousness Continuous?’ by Andrew Yuan Lee.

Time and place: Oct. 23, 2020 1:15 PM–2:30 PM, Oslo Mind Group Team

Abstract

Consider your visual experience of a blue sky, your auditory experience of a rising pitch, or your temporal experience of an interval of time. A number of philosophers have contended that these kinds of conscious experiences have continuous (rather than discrete) structures. This paper first explains what it means to say that conscious experiences have continuous (versus discrete) structures. Then I argue that a better diagnosis of the aforementioned kinds of experiences is that they are contiguous, where this means roughly that adjacent values from one experiential domain map to adjacent values in another experiential domain. I explain why every experience that is contiguous must be discrete, and I argue that our introspective evidence favors the discrete theory rather than the continuous theory. Along the way, I use formal tools to precisify the notions of continuity, discreteness, and other relevant structural properties.

Organizer

Keith Wilson


Oslo Mind Group Seminar: Erlend Owesen, Eliminativism About Phenomenal Consciousness

We will be discussing a draft paper by Erlend Owesen on eliminativism about phenomenal consciousness.

Time and place: Oct. 9, 2020 1:15 PM–2:30 PM, Oslo Mind Group Team

Abstract

This paper explores and defends eliminativism about phenomenal consciousness. First, I discuss what definition of consciousness both non-reductive and reductive realists can agree about in order to avoid verbal dispute, which identifies the target for eliminativism. Then I clarify the eliminativist position by addressing potential objections.

Organizer

Keith Wilson


Oslo Mind Group Seminar: Yvonne Hütter-Almerigi, The Moral Philosophy of Philosophy

Yvonne Hütter-Almerigi will be giving a talk on ‘Do You Value Topic-Continuity? The Moral Philosophy of Philosophy’.

Time and place: Sep. 25, 2020 1:15 PM–2:30 PM, Oslo Mind Group Team

Abstract

The main argument of the paper is that Cappelen’s insistence on the category of “topics” and, more importantly, the insistence on topic-continuity, is motivated morally and strategically not semantically or theoretically more in general. When investigating what accounts for samesaying, topics, just as meaning, are not defined by content (Cappelen 141). Further, topics are metaphysically lightweight (Cappelen 138). topics (and topics), are defined pragmatically and as we go: Speakers talk about the same topic when we (and they) attribute they do. But why should we do that? Why should we aim for continuity and why should we think it is possible in general?

On a political and societal level, the answer Sally Haslanger gives, is that by insisting on continuity of concepts like marriage inferential uptake is smoothened and, therewith, we guarantee (political) power to our word. On the other hand, Rachel Sterken has argued that rupture and friction can have just as fruitful effects. Cappelen’s argument operates on a higher level of abstraction, yet, I think, the same strategic choice between continuity and rupture applies at the theoretic level. This is especially the case, if one assumes, as Cappelen does, that there is no limit to (his version) of conceptual engineering (Cappelen 194), and that, following Williamson, linguistic practices can hold together even in absence of a common creed that all participants endorse (Cappelen 63, 142). Why, then, invent the category “topics” which’s only job-description is to account for continuity in revision, if, on a theoretical level, we could perfectly do without it?

My answer is that topics serve the same pragmatic role at the theoretical level that they serve at the practical/political/societal level: Cappelen’s engineering of “conceptual engineering” aims for uptake and Cappelen chooses the road  of continuity which I will try to contrast with rupture. Strategically, I will argue, Cappelen exploits the lexical effects of “continuity”, “unity of inquiry”, and “exchange of ideas” in order to click with the group of people in the theoretical departments that he wants to be and remain friends with. Morally, when taking Cappelen’s commitment to continuity at face-value, I will argue, that it all hinges on what you think communication is, how you constrain “ideas”, and how high you value novelty. Sometimes rupture might (morally) be the better choice, also at the level of abstraction Cappelen is working on.

Organizer

Keith Wilson


Oslo Mind Group Seminar: Jonathan Knowles, Relationalism, Berkeley’s Puzzle, and Phenomenological Externalism

We will be discussing Jonathan Knowles’ paper on ‘Relationalism, Berkeley’s Puzzle, and Phenomenological Externalism’ (OUP, 2019).

Time and place: Sep. 11, 2020 1:15 PM–2:30 PM, Oslo Mind Group Team

Organizer

Keith Wilson


Oslo Mind Group Seminar (Online)

We will be discussing a draft of ‘Engineering Generic Judgements’ by Mirela Fus.

Time and place: July 10, 2020 2:00 PM–3:30 PM, Zoom

Organizer

Keith Wilson


Oslo Mind Group Seminar (Online)

We will be discussing a draft of ‘The Perception/Cognition Distinction’ by Anders Nes, Sebastian Watzl, and Kristoffer Sundberg.

Time and place: June 19, 2020 2:00 PM–3:30 PM, Zoom

Organizer

Keith Wilson


Oslo Mind Group Seminar (Online)

We will be discussing a draft of ‘The Bodily Theory of Pain’, by Erlend Owesen of the University of Cambridge.

Time and place: June 5, 2020 2:00 PM–3:30 PM, Zoom

Organizer

Keith Wilson


Oslo Mind Group Seminar (Online)

We will be discussing a draft of Max Kippersund’s paper on ‘Illusory Conjunctions, a New Puzzle for Naïve Realism’.

Time and place: May 22, 2020 2:00 PM–3:30 PM, Zoom

Organizer

Keith Wilson


Oslo Mind Group Seminar (Online)

We will be discussing a draft of Joey Pollock’s paper ‘Content Internalism and Conceptual Engineering’.

Time and place: May 8, 2020 2:00 PM–3:30 PM, Zoom

Organizer

Keith Wilson


Oslo Mind Group Seminar (Online)

We will be discussing a draft of Keith Wilson’s paper ‘Individuating the Sense(s) of Smell: Orthonasal and Retronasal Olfaction’.

Time and place: Apr. 24, 2020 2:00 PM–3:30 PM, Zoom

Organizer

Keith Wilson


Oslo Mind Group Seminar (Online)

We will be discussing a draft of Simon Høffding, Carlos Vara Sanchez and Tone Roald’s paper ‘Dufrenne and Dewey on Being Moved’.

Time and place: Apr. 3, 2020 2:00 PM–3:15 PM, Zoom

Organizer

Keith Wilson


Oslo Mind Group Seminar

We will be discussing a draft of Solveig Aasen’s paper on ‘Pictorial Content Structure in Drawings Coming to Life’.

Time and place: Mar. 6, 2020 1:00 PM–2:15 PM, GM 652

Organizer

Keith Wilson


Oslo Mind Group Seminar

We will be discussing the paper ‘How to Think About the Representational Content of Visual Experience’ by Michael Tye (2019).

Time and place: Feb. 28, 2020 1:15 PM–2:30 PM, GM 652

Organizer

Keith Wilson


Oslo Mind Group Seminar

We will be discussing the paper ‘The Perception/Cognition Divide: One More Time, with Feeling’ by Uriah Kriegel.

Time and place: Feb. 14, 2020 1:15 PM–2:30 PM, GM 452

Organizer

Keith Wilson


Oslo Mind Group Seminar

We will be discussing the paper ‘Debate on Unconscious Perception’ by Ian Phillips and Ned Block.

Time and place: Jan. 31, 2020 1:15 PM–2:30 PM, GM 652

Organizer

Oslo Mind Group

2019

Oslo Mind Group Seminar

Simon Høffding is presenting his paper ‘Not Being There: An Analysis of Expertise-Induced Amnesia’.

Time and place: Dec. 13, 2019 12:15 PM–2:00 PM, GM 652

Organizer

Oslo Mind Group


Oslo Mind Group Seminar

Max Kippersund is presenting his paper ‘On Seeing States of Affairs, and Why it is Explanatorily Prior to Seeing Objects’.

Time and place: Nov. 15, 2019 2:15 PM–4:00 PM, GM 652

Organizer

Oslo Mind Group

Published Aug. 12, 2022 3:29 PM - Last modified Aug. 12, 2022 3:29 PM