SSHAP Ninth Annual Meeting Rescheduled: 14-16 July 2021, at University of Vienna

We are very happy to announce that the Ninth Annual SSHAP Meeting will take place at the University of Vienna on 14-16 July 2021. For more information please visit the conference website: https://sshapvienna2020.univie.ac.at Further details, including the schedule of events and modes of participation will be posted here as they become finalized.

Once again we thank Georg Schiemer, Florian Kolowrat, and the rest of the local organizing team for making this possible. We also thank the Department of Philosophy at the University of Vienna, the Institute Vienna Circle, and the Vienna Circle Society “Society for the Advancement of the Scientific World Conception,” for sponsoring our Meeting.

The Birth of Semantics

Volume 8.6 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Richard Kimberly Heck and Robert C. May entitled, “The Birth of Semantics”. Here is an abstract:

We attempt here to trace the evolution of Frege’s thought about truth. What most frames the way we approach the problem is a recognition that hardly any of Frege’s most familiar claims about truth appear in his earliest work. We argue that Frege’s mature views about truth emerge from a fundamental re-thinking of the nature of logic instigated, in large part, by a sustained engagement with the work of George Boole and his followers, after the publication of Begriffsschrift and the appearance of critical reviews by members of the Boolean school.

JHAP is a free, open-access, peer-reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Extending New Narratives Post-Doctoral Fellowships: Call for Applications

The project New Narratives in the History of Philosophy, supported by the SSHRC Partnership Grant, invites applications for postdoctoral fellowships for research related to the retrieval and recognition of philosophical works by women and individuals from other marginalized groups from the medieval period through to the early 20th century. Review of applications begins on 15 July 2020.

For detailed information on the fellowships, the application process, and application forms, visit www.newnarrativesinphilosophy.net/post-doctoral-fellowships.html

Davidson’s Wittgenstein

Volume 8.5 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Ali Hossein Khani entitled, “Davidson’s Wittgenstein”. Here is an abstract:

Although the later Wittgenstein appears as one of the most influential figures in Davidson’s later works on meaning, it is not, for the most part, clear how Davidson interprets and employs Wittgenstein’s ideas. In this paper, I will argue that Davidson’s later works on meaning can be seen as mainly a manifestation of his attempt to accommodate the later Wittgenstein’s basic ideas about meaning and understanding, especially the requirement of drawing the seems right/is right distinction and the way this requirement must be met. These ideas, however, are interpreted by Davidson in his own way. I will then argue that Davidson even attempts to respect Wittgenstein’s quietism, provided that we understand this view in the way Davidson does. Having argued for that, I will finally investigate whether, for Davidson at least, his more theoretical and supposedly explanatory projects, such as that of constructing a formal theory of meaning and his use of the notion of triangulation, are in conflict with this Wittgensteinian quietist view.

JHAP is a free, open-access, peer-reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Reinventing Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong

Volume 8.4 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Michael Ridge entitled, “Reinventing Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong”. Here is an abstract:

I offer new arguments for an unorthodox reading of J. L. Mackie’s Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong, one on which Mackie does not think all substantive moral claims are false, but allows that a proper subset of them are true.  Further, those that are true should be understood in terms of a “hybrid theory”. The proposed reading is one on which Mackie is a conceptual pruner, arguing that we should prune away error-ridden moral claims but hold onto those already free of error. This reading is very different from the standard ones found in the literature. I build on recent work by Moberger and argue that this reading is better corroborated by close attention to the way in which Mackie argues at length that terms like “good” and “ought” are systematically context-sensitive, as well as by considerable additional textual evidence. This reading, however, faces an important challenge—to explain in what sense, if any, morality retains its “normativity” on the proposed reading. I argue that this challenge can be met, at least given some of Mackie’s further assumptions about the nature of rationality.

JHAP is a free, open-access, peer-reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

SSHAP 2020 at Vienna Postponed to 2021

The Ninth Annual SSHAP Meeting at the University of Vienna is now postponed to 2021. We thank Georg Schiemer, Florian Kolowrat, and the rest of the organizing team at the University of Vienna, for all the work they had done to set up the conference for July 2020. We also thank Prof. George Karamanolis, head of the Philosophy Department at the University of Vienna, for supporting the process of postponing the conference to 2021. We are very hopeful that the Ninth Annual Meeting will take place in Vienna in 2021 at roughly the same time of year. More information on this postponement will be posted at this site as it becomes available.

All officers and members of the Board of SSHAP will have their terms extended by one year, and 2020 elections will take place in 2021.

Our best wishes to all for your safety and health.

Russell’s Use Theory of Meaning / Review of work on Wittgenstein

Volume 8.3 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Nicholas Griffin entitled, “Russell’s Use Theory of Meaning”. Here is an abstract:

Russell is often accused of having a naive ‘Fido’–Fido theory of meaning of the sort Wittgenstein attacked at the beginning of the Philosophical Investigations. In this paper I argue that he never held such a theory though I concede that, prior to 1918, he said various things that might lead a very careless reader to suppose that he had. However, in The Analysis of Mind (1921), a book which (from the work of Garth Hallett) we know Wittgenstein studied closely, Russell put forward an account of understanding an utterance which clearly anticipates the use theory of meaning usually attributed to Wittgenstein. The paper concludes with some problems for understanding the use theory of meaning as presented by both Russell and, derivatively, Wittgenstein.

The volume also contains a review of David G. Stern, Brian Rogers, and Gabriel Citron, eds., Wittgenstein: Lectures, Cambridge 1930-1933: From the Notes of G. E. Moore (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), written by Mauro Luiz Engelmann.

JHAP is a free, open-access, peer-reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

SSHAP 2020 Update

At the present time, the Ninth Annual SSHAP Meeting at the University of Vienna has NOT been cancelled. However, given the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19, there is a significant chance that we will be forced to cancel. We know that many scholars who were planning to participate are facing travel and funding restrictions, and we will make a definitive decision by mid-April. We are also looking into possibilities for postponing the conference to a future date, in case of cancellation. Our best wishes to all for your safety and health.

What is the Sceptical Solution? / Review of work on the philosophy of mind

Volume 8.2 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Alexander Miller entitled, “What is the Sceptical Solution?”. Here is an abstract:

In chapter 3 of Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, Kripke’s Wittgenstein offers a “sceptical solution” to the sceptical paradox about meaning developed in chapter 2 (according to which there are no facts in virtue of which ascriptions of meaning such as “Jones means addition by ‘+’” can be true). Although many commentators have taken the sceptical solution to be broadly analogous to non-factualist theories in other domains, such as non-cognitivism or expressivism in metaethics, the nature of the sceptical solution has not been well-understood. The main aim of this paper is to advance our understanding of the nature of the non-factualism about meaning proposed in the sceptical solution. It attempts to outline some desiderata that should be respected by interpretations of the sceptical solution and considers two objections raised against it in Barry Stroud’s paper “Wittgenstein on Meaning, Understanding and Community”. It attempts to correct misconstruals of the sceptical solution that have been promulgated by Davidson and some of his followers and suggests that the sceptical solution developed by Kripke’s Wittgenstein is best viewed as a form of quasi-realism about meaning. It ends by outlining what it takes to be the most pressing challenges facing the sceptical solution.

The volume also contains a review of Sandra Lapointe, ed., Philosophy of Mind in the Nineteenth Century (London: Routledge, 2018), written by Steven Horst.

JHAP is a free, open-access, peer-reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Gilbert Ryle and the Ethical Impetus for Know-How

Volume 8.1 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Matt Dougherty entitled “Gilbert Ryle and the Ethical Impetus for Know-How”. Here is an abstract:

This paper aims to shed light on an underexplored aspect of Gilbert Ryle’s interest in the notion of “knowing-how”. It is argued that in addition to his motive of discounting a certain theory of mind, his interest in the notion also stemmed (and perhaps stemmed more deeply) from two ethical interests: one concerning his own life as a philosopher and whether the philosopher has any meaningful task, and one concerning the ancient issue of whether virtue is a kind of knowledge. It is argued that Ryle saw know-how as crucial in both respects and, also, that he continued to be interested in these ethical issues throughout his career.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!