SSHAP 2021 Abstracts of Talks

Anton Alexandrov (University of Barcelona)

Is Frege’s Logical Analysis of Arithmetical Notions an Instance of Carnapian Explication?


In Carnap 1950, Frege’s logicism is presented as an example of explication. Lavers 2013, 2016 and Weiner 2020 argue that, already in the Gl, Frege engages in explication rather than conceptual analysis. In this talk, I evaluate their arguments and find them wanting. Taking Frege’s rationalist epistemology in light of which he executed his foundationalist work seriously, I argue that Frege wanted to rationally ground our practice of arithmetic by providing a full understanding of ordinary arithmetical concepts instead of proposing replacements of these. After a brief clarification of explication and logicism, I look at the textual evidence Lavers and Weiner use for their explication view and show that most passages they cite do not support their interpretation. Especially, their chief witness, §69, straightforwardly supports the analysis view rather than the explication view. However, Weiner invokes other passages (§§63, 100, and 107) which appear indeed problematic for the analysis view. I argue that if one pays close attention to the dialectical functions of §§63 and 100, even these passages do not support the explication view. I close with some considerations about the notorious ending of §107.

Sophia Arbeiter (University of Pittsburgh)

Representation and Truth in the Tractatus


In this talk I will focus on two verbs that Wittgenstein uses to capture representation, namely “darstellen” and “vorstellen” (as in 2.15). Firstly I argue that the difference between the two verbs has been overlooked, and that closer attention to “vorstellen”—which I will show should neither be understood just as “representation” nor as “presentation”-will shed light on representation more broadly. Secondly I will link these claims to theories of truth, and argue that they support a certain understanding of the Identity Theory of Truth.

Roberta Ballarin (University of British Columbia)

Carnap and Quine on Ontology and Categories


This paper joins the recent scholarly debate around Quine’s reading of Carnap’s “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” (ESQ) in “On Carnap’s Views on Ontology” (CVO). The paper strongly supports Quine’s claim that ESO is principally concerned with category questions pertaining to the distinction between ontologically separate kinds of entities. Quite controversially, Quine also claims (i) that Carnap’s external questions of existence are all category questions; and (ii) that answers to internal category questions of existence are always trivial and analytic. Recently, Ebbs (2017; 2019) has defended Quine on both points. This paper supports Ebbs’ conclusion on the first point. But the epistemic considerations I employ in support of Quine’s first point undermine Quine’s second proposal. I argue that the answer to internal category questions of existence can never be trivial.

Flavio Baracco (University of Milano)

Carnap’s Intellectual Development in the Early 1920s: Encounters with Husserl’s Circle


In this talk I will explore to what extent Husserl’s circle, broadly conceived, might have influenced the young Carnap in the early 1920s, especially those kind of studies pursued by phenomenologically-oriented mathematicians, such as Hermann Weyl and Oskar Becker. I am going to support my claim enriching it with historical records, collected from his diaries, correspondences, and other archival resources. I will then attempt to clarify why Carnap seemed to be interested in this kind of studies. To this aim, a comparison between Carnap’s and Weyl’s mathematical studies on the nature of space in the early 1920s, especially in their mathematical analysis of intuitive space, seems to be a good starting point to better understanding the development of Carnap’s thought in his early ages.

Philipp Leon Bauer (University of Vienna)

Waismann’s Time in Vienna


The mathematician and philosopher Friedrich Waismann (1896-1959) was a significant member of the Vienna Circle, a group whose members advocated Logical Empirism at the beginning of the twentieth century. Waismann made important contributions during his lifetime to analytic philosophy and to philosophy of science as well. The Focus on my research is Waismann’s Time in Vienna, before his emigration from National-Socialism to his death in exile in England.

Francesca Biagioli (University of Turin) and Michael Stoeltzner (University of South Carolina)

How Far Should Concepts Grow? Federigo Enriques on Mathematics, its Justification and its Application


As one of the leading figures of the Italian school of algebraic geometry and a historical epistemologist, Federigo Enriques occupies an original position in the early 20th century debates about the nature and foundations of mathematics, debates shaped by Klein’s Erlangen Program and Hilbert’s Paris address. In his 1906 Problems of Science, Enriques sought to reconcile the philosophical implications of the logical techniques developed by the Peano School with the geometrical approaches of mathematicians such as Veronese, Pasch, and Klein. But he also discussed the transition between geometrical and mechanical concepts, largely informed by Vailati’s and Mach’s historical analyses. While he strongly emphasized the role if invariance, his attitude towards the axiomatic method was mixed. How could well-thought-out concepts ever require a consistency proof and was there any semantic test for them other than to let them play out over time in theorems and applications? Discussing concept formation in geometry and mechanics we intend to show that Enriques’ position escapes easy dichotomies and can, in turn, help to understand the complexity of the programs of Klein and Hilbert.

Chen Bo (Peking University)

Russell and Jin Yuelin on Truth: A Comparative Study

Abstract: Jin Yuelin’s logical and philosophical thought was deeply influenced by the philosophy of Bertrand Russell. The same influence existed also in the case of his view on truth, which was considerably close to the views maintained by Russell in his phase of logical atomism. In their investigations, Russell and Jin did not only focus on similar topics, but also occupied similar philosophical positions, such as realism in the domain of ontology, empiricism in epistemology, and the correspondence theory in the study of truth. Nevertheless, Jin Yuelin’s view on truth was not only a mere imitation, recapitulation or even plagiarised copy of Russell’s, but also contained innovations and characteristics of its own. Jin, for example, emphasized certain general characteristics of truth, including the notion of truth as a relational quality, that truth is not a matter of degree, and that it is relative neither to time and space nor to the different types of knowledge. By so doing, Jin underlined the objectiveness, reliability and transcendence of true propositions. By arguing that the correspondence theory of truth possessed strong foundations in common sense, Jin set out to defend the role of common sense in philosophy and science, maintaining that common sense cannot be completely overthrown, and that any modification of common sense must ultimately depend on yet another segment of common sense. Moreover, Jin delivered his own response against the gap between “the subjective and objective/the internal and the external” which had been used to question the correspondence theory of truth, and proposed a variety of cognitivist conception of facts, which defined facts as “the given” (datum) that has been received and arranged by cognitive agents. Most importantly, facts are cognitive constructions established on the basis of “the given” (datum) and encapsulate both subjectiveness and objectiveness. Jin Yuelin was a modern Chinese philosopher, who had achieved profound erudition in both Chinese and Western thoughts, and, above all, an independent and sort of original thinker.

Rachel Boddy (Utrecht University)

Definition and the Proof of Referentiality (Rachel Boddy and Robert May)


In Grundgesetze, Frege attempted to demonstrate that his logical language, the Begriffsschrift, is a fully referential language. Although Frege’s proof of referentiality fails (Russell’s Paradox), Frege’s reasons for requiring referentiality remain of interest, and these reasons are our topic. We argue that Frege’s core purpose was to legitimize the use of definitions, and accordingly the proof must be considered in the context of Frege’s broader concern with canons of proper definition, that is, definitions that are scientifically useful. We start from the observation that the sections of Grundgesetze where the proof of referentiality is located are placed by Frege in the Table of Contents under the heading “Definitions”. This encompasses §§26 -33, labelled “General remarks” on definitions, which are placed just before the sections containing the definitions of arithmetical notions. Building on this, we explore how and why Frege saw the proof of referentiality as essential to the justification of definitions.

Kenneth Boyd (University of Southern Denmark)

I’m Not Actually Perfectly Delighted To See You: Peirce On Shared Responsibility For Assertion


According to C.S. Peirce’s theory of assertion, by asserting a proposition one takes responsibility for it. The onus of responsibility for an assertion does not, however, fall solely on the shoulders of the speaker, as listeners also bear responsibility in a given act of assertion. Little has been said about what the responsibilities of the listener are. My goals in this paper, then, are twofold: first, to develop a more fully-fledged conception of listener responsibility in a Peircean theory of assertion, and second, to trace some consequences of this view for Peirce’s theory and commitment views of assertion generally.

Silver Bronzo (HSE University, Moscow)

Language, Thought, and Expression in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus


The Tractatus holds that language expresses thought (TLP 3.1) and that language disguises thought (TLP 4.002), but also that language is thought (TLP 4). How can we make sense of this triad? I offer an interpretation of the Tractarian conception of the relation between thought and language that is at the same time anti-Lockean and anti-Fregean: a thought is neither a separate mental item standing behind a perceptible sentence, nor a separate abstract item standing above a perceptible sentence. Rather, the thought is immanent in the sentence that expresses it. For language to express thought is for language to be the perceptible embodiment of thought; and for language to disguise thought is—in a sense to be clarified—for thought to disguise itself.

Anna Brożek (University of Warsaw)

Social Justice from the Point of View of the Lvov-Warsaw School


The Lvov-Warsaw School (LWS) is considered as a Polish branch of the twentieth-century analytic movement. It was initiated in Lvov at the turn of the 19th century by Kazimierz Twardowski and was formed of Twardowski’s students and students of his students. From the second decade of the 20th century the second “branch” of the school became Warsaw.

The LWS was joined mostly by methodological postulates: the focus on conceptual precision and reliable justification of accepted theses. Members of the LWS found the tools of realization of these postulates in broadly understood logic.

In the paper, the problem of social justice in the Lvov-Warsaw School will be presented from two perspectives: theoretical and historical. Within theoretical perspective, some analyses of the concept of justice as well as some derivative and related concepts will be reconstructed (Ajdukiewicz, Kotarbihski, Czezowski, Ossowski). Within the historical perspective, it will be showed that members of the school contributed to the realization of the idea of social justice on many fields, including the fight against the discrimination based on class and national provenance, as well as gender differences. Members of the LWS came from various social strata, had various worldviews, there were relatively many female members of the School (Ossowska, Hosiasson, Kotarbihska, Dqmbska Kokoszyhska among others). The position of the LWS representatives on social matters was subjected to a special test during World War II (occupation of Poland) and immediately after it (communist regime).

Julie Brumberg-Chaumont (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris)

A Social History of Logic: Problems and Methods



Christopher Alan Campbell (Glendon College, York University)

Generality and the Enumerability of Instances in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus and Beyond


The method by which Wittgenstein treats generality in the Tractatus has the surprising corollary that generality is never essential to the sense of a proposition. This represents a deliberate divergence from Frege’s and Russell’s approaches to generality, the inadequacy of which in part motivated the Tractatus. When Wittgenstein returns to philosophy about a decade later, he recognizes the inadequacy in turn of his earlier treatment of generality–but far from reverting to a Fregean or Russellian approach, this impels him to develop a new conception of propositional sense, one already bearing distinctive marks of his later philosophy.

Paola Cantù (Aix-Marseille Université and CNRS)

Definitions in the Peano School


The interest of the members of the Peano school in definitions is attested by a series of conferences given by Peano, Padoa, Pieri, Vailati and Burali-Forti at the 1900 Paris Conferences in Mathematics, Philosophy and Psychology. Well known in the literature are Padoa’s criterion of indefinability, and Russell’s praise for the rigor and clarity of reasoning of the group, but scarce attention has been given in the literature to a thorough reconstruction of definitions in the Peano School. The present talk will analyze different types and uses of definitions (by axioms, by abstraction, by operators, conditional…), investigate which criteria characterize good definitions and examine the relation between the theory of definitions and metatheoretical results on independence. The comparison between the theoretical remarks on definitions and their actual uses in mathematical practice will offer some insights not only on the logical understanding of definitions, but also on their actual role in mathematical axiomatizations. Two distinct meaning of Implicit definition will be distinguished, and different constraints guiding the determination of definitions, axioms and rules of inferences will be compared.

Matt Carlson (Wabash College)

Traditional Epistemology and Epistemology Naturalized


I In this paper, I develop a new interpretation of Quine’s epistemology in the hopes of clarifying the relationship between naturalized epistemology and traditional epistemology. While Quine argues that traditional “doctrinal” projects in epistemology are hopeless and should be abandoned, he approves of projects in the “conceptual” side of epistemology. By interpreting Quine’s “web of belief” metaphor, I argue that the conceptual side of epistemology is actually concerned with the articulation and development of understanding, which is also a central project of traditional epistemology. Thus, naturalized epistemology does not amount to a wholescale rejection of traditional epistemological projects.

Giorgio Castiglione (Università degli Studi di Torino)

A ‘Third Man’ in the Debate? Arthur Pap’s Conception of the A Priori between Carnap and Quine


Pap is usually mentioned for his contribution to the diffusion of the denomination «analytic philosophy». Apart from his functional theory of the a priori, Pap’s work is interesting also for the early and pervasive critique of the analytic/synthetic dichotomy he kept on addressing to the members of logical empiricism, in a way that deserves attention as much as the Quinean. I will focus on the three main objections of which it consist, showing how the positive epistemological proposal he put forward, whatever incomplete and aporetic, sets his theory of knowledge in the middle between Carnap’s conventionalism and Quine’s naturalism.

Annalisa Coliva (University of California, Irvine)

Family Resemblances and “Metaphilosophy”: Waismann, Wittgenstein and Goethe


It is seldom noticed that the idea of family resemblance which plays a key role in Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations – with respect to meaning, concepts and the very aim of philosophy – is crucially indebted to Goethe’s Metamorphosis of Plants. This is no doubt partly due to the fact that Wittgenstein does not mention Goethe in that connection. By contrast, in his The Principles of Linguistic Philosophy, Waismann acutely points out the relevance of Goethe’s ideas. In this talk, I trace some of the connections between these three thinkers and draw out their “metaphilosophical” implications regarding the aim and methods of philosophy.

Michael Oliva Cordoba (University of Hamburg)

A “want of clearness’’ in §13 of Moore’s Principia Ethica


§13 of Moore’s Principia Ethica contains the much lauded open question argument, the classic statement of which reads: “Whatever definition be offered, it may be always asked, with significance, of the complex so defined, whether it is itself good.”1 The notion of (moral) goodness, Moore thinks, withstands conceptual analysis. The argument became his chief illustration of the naturalistic fallacy.2 In my talk, I shall argue that Moore’s excessively liberal talk of “sense” and “meaning” lumped together what is categorically distinct. As a consequence, both his theory of the good and his views on conceptual analysis are beset with the self-inflicted error of conflating the semantics of an expression with the pragmatics of its use.31 shall illustrate this with statements like

(1) Kindness is good

(2) The good is good

Whoever uses (1) will most likely praise kindness. Whoever uses (2) will most likely not praise anything at all. It is the pragmatics of (1) rather than the semantics of “good” that explains moral valuation. Also, with regard to Moore’s views on conceptual analysis a similar verdict is in order. In sum, had Moore only observed the semantics-pragmatics divide he could have killed two birds with one stone.

  • 1 Moore 1903, 67. Cf. Feldman 2005, 23f.

  • 2 Cf. Preti 2019, 54ff.; Rosati 2019, 177ff.; Frankena 1939, 30f.

  • 3 Cf. Austin 1962 & Grice 1989.

Sorin Costreie (University of Bucharest)

Fregean Acquaintance


My talk brings into discussion Frege’s notion of acquaintance, and is also a reaction to two recent papers of Saul Kripke and Palle Yourgrau. Both endorse a very Russellian interpretation of Frege’s theory of sense, based on the fact that somehow Frege needs to make room in his system to a kind of sense-acquaintance notion. I argue against this interpretation, showing that Fregean acquaintance is very different from the Russellian one.

Richard Creath (Arizona State University)

Reciprocal Containment and the Aufbau


As is well known, from 1969 onward Quine claimed that epistemology (empiricism) was “reciprocally contained” in ontology (natural science). What is less well known is that Carnap also has a reciprocal containment thesis – in the Aufbau. Here, however, the thesis is that the mental and the physical domains are mutually contained in each other. More precisely, this thesis follows logically, not from Carnap’s actual Aufbau constructions, but from the assumed to-be-completed constructions he outlines there and to which he commits himself. That Carnap is advancing a reciprocal containment thesis has consequences both for the understanding of that book and for understanding his work thereafter: (1) It gives substance to his claim that different constructions of the world are possible, including constructions on a physical basis. (2) The thesis directly implies the main thesis of Carnap’s physicalism papers of the early 1930s, so that transition is not as abrupt as might otherwise be assumed. (3) The thesis provides an embryonic model for Carnap’s Principle of Tolerance. (4) And finally, it gives some clue as to why, throughout his work, Carnap was so resistant to drawing substantive ontological conclusions from his constructions and explications.

Gabriella Crocco (Aix-Marseille University)

Emile Boutroux and “Scientific” Philosophy


In his inaugural address to the First International Congress of Philosophy which took place in Paris in 1900, Emile Boutroux, brother-in-law of Henri Poincare and one of the French prominent philosophers of the time, presented a diagnosis of the relationship between science and philosophy. In the contest of the European debate on the matter, we analyze the specificity of his conception of the role and task of philosophy which had a great influence in the birth of the French structuralist tradition in history of philosophy and in twentiethcentury French epistemology.

Joäo Esteves da Silva (University of Lisbon)

Reading Wittgenstein with Ryle: Reconsidering the Roots of Non-Metaphysical Readings of the Tractatus


This talk aims at a reconsideration of Gilbert Ryle’s understanding of Wittgenstein’s philosophy, especially of the Tractatus. I argue that Ryle, rarely mentioned among scholarly debates, can be seen as an important ancestor of the “New Wittgenstein” stream of interpretation. In particular, I emphasise his view of the Tractatus as a book primarily concerned with metalogical and metaphilosophical issues, his understanding of saying and showing in light of his own knowing-that and knowing-how distinction, his dissatisfaction with metaphysical (or ontologically oriented) readings, or his acknowledgement of often neglected continuities between Wittgenstein’s early and later writings.

Felix Danowski (University of Vienna)

How Ayer could be right about Moral Arguments


In my talk, I will reconstruct how Ayer explains away moral argumentation, and I will argue that straightforward counterexamples to his Moral-Epistemic Reductionism are not available. I take that to be a deeply puzzling result, esspecially given that Ayer’s own metaethical explanation of this fact did not stand the test of time.

John David Lohner (University of Cambridge)

Canonizing Wittgenstein. A Social Historian’s Assessment.



Samuel Descarreaux (University of Ottawa, Université de Lorraine, Trier Universität)

Can 19th Century Early Neo-Kantian Naturalism be relevant for Contemporary Debates on Naturalistic Epistemology?


This presentation seeks to assess the relevance of 19th century early Neo-Kantian naturalism — from Hermann von Helmholtz and Friedrich-Albert Lange — in the contemporary debates on naturalistic epistemology as instantiated by Penelope Maddy. If the old and contemporary naturalist both settle on a realist ontology regarding the logical structure of the world, rectifying epistemology along psychophysical discoveries should not justify the elimination of a transcendental method. Thus, Maddy’s approach to epistemology presents for us some loopholes.

Michal Dobrzanski (University of Warsaw)

Arthur Schopenhauer’s Philosophy of Language: from German Idealism towards Analytical Philosophy


Arthur Schopenhauer is usually not viewed as a contributor to the development of analytical philosophy. In my presentation I argue that his impact on it should be reconsidered. His writings contain broad reflections on philosophy of language, including such topics as the relation of signs of language and thoughts, privacy of language, translation, extension and intension and even conceptions of both the representational and use theories of language. I demonstrate how Schopenhauer’s philosophy of language led him to a decisive breach with the German idealist tradition and point out his documented impact on Wittgenstein. I also draw to attention further similarities of his philosophy with analytical thought.

Catarina Dutilh Novaes (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Carnap meets Foucault: Explication and Genealogy


Carnap’s notion of explication has attracted much attention over the last years. As presented by Carnap himself, however, it contains a significant lacuna: insufficient attention is paid to the preliminary stage of clarifying the explicandum. In this talk, I argue that Foucaultian genealogy is a suitable approach to address this lacuna. Moreover, the focus on practices in Foucaultian genealogies facilitates a reflection on the functions of the concept to be explicated, which is crucial for the fruitfulness of the explication as a whole. I start by canvassing a number of commonalities between Carnap and Foucault, as they were both influenced by Kant and Nietzsche; they shared a number of philosophical commitments such as a rejection of metaphysics and a tolerant meta-normative stance. I then discuss the lacuna in Carnapian explication, and argue that Foucaultian genealogy provides the right level of detail to remedy this lacuna. I close with a discussion of a concrete example, the concept of marriage, and conclude that this combination of Carnapian explication with Foucaultian genealogy is an illustration of the relevance of historical analysis for conceptual engineering.

Catarina Dutilh Novaes (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

The Roots of Deduction. A Conceptual Genealogy.



Gary Ebbs (Indiana University)

Do Carnap and Quine Disagree about Explication?


Carnap’s formulations of the method of explication imply that only an inexact term can be a candidate for explication. Quine’s paradigm of explication is that of the notion of ordered pair, as expressed by the notation <x, y> and subject to the postulate:
(*) If <x, y> = <z, w> then x = z and y = w.
As several writers have recently pointed out, the notation <x, y> and its postulate (*) are clear, unproblematic parts of established mathematical practice. Some of these writers (e.g. Martin Gustafsson) infer that
(a) the notion of ordered pair, as expressed by the notation <x, y> and subject to postulate (*), is exact by Carnap’s standards,
and conclude that
(b) what Quine treats as a paradigm of explication—namely, the replacement of <x, y> by one of the standard set-theoretical versions of order pairs, such as {{x}, {x, y}}—is not a case of explication according to Carnap.
I shall argue, on the contrary, that for Carnap the appraisal-words “inexact” and “exact,” as applied to notions already in use or to proposed explications of them, must always be understood relative to one’s purposes: a term is “exact” in a given context of inquiry to the extent that its formulation makes clear its role in a well-connected system of scientific concepts that one takes as basic in that context. If one takes set theory as basic for the purposes of an explication of the notion of ordered pair, for instance, then, contrary to (a), treating the notion of order pair as primitive, subject only to (*), is (relative to one’s purposes in the context) inexact, since it does not make clear the role of <x, y> in set-theoretical terms, and replacing <x, y> by {{x}, {x, y}} is (relative to one’s purposes in the context) exact. Thus understood, contrary to (b), a decision to replace <x, y> by {{x}, {x, y}} is a paradigm of explication for both Carnap and Quine.

Josh Eisenthal (California Institute of Technology)

Propositions as Pictures


Although there is much that is controversial in Tractatus scholarship, the following interpretive claim is surprisingly uncontroversial: the Tractarian picture-theory of representation applies primarily to elementary propositions. On this view, non-elementary propositions inherit their pictorial nature by dint of the fact that they are truth-functions of the elementary propositions. However, despite the broad agreement in the literature, this interpretation faces several immediate difficulties. In many of the places where Wittgenstein describes propositions as pictures, he does not indicate that this should be understood as applying primarily to elementary propositions. Rather, he talks about propositions in general (see 2.1, 4.01 and 4.011). Worse, if the picture-theory is understood as applying primarily to elementary propositions, it is difficult to see how truth-functionally complex propositions could function as pictures in anything like the same sense.

In this talk, I will sketch an alternative interpretation according to which the paradigm example of the picture-theory was not an elementary proposition but rather an ordinary (colloquial) proposition. I will outline the advantages of this approach and indicate the further work that would need to be done in order to make it fully convincing.

Landon Elkind (University of Iowa)

Computer Verification for Historians of Philosophy?


Interactive theorem provers might seem particularly impractical in the history of philosophy. Journal articles in this discipline are generally not formalized. Interactive theorem provers involve a learning curve for which the payo s might seem minimal. In this article I argue that interactive theorem provers have already demonstrated their potential as a useful tool for historians of philosophy; I do this by highlighting examples of work where this has already been done. Further, I argue that interactive theorem provers can continue to be useful tools for historians of philosophy in the future; this claim is defended through a more conceptual analysis of what historians of philosophy do that identifies argument reconstruction as a core activity of such practitioners. It is then shown that interactive theorem provers can assist in this core practice by a description of what interactive theorem provers are and can do. If this is right, then computer verification for historians of philosophy is in the offing.

Jamie Elliott (Central European University and University of Leipzig)

Anscombe and ‘I’.


Directly after the conclusion that ‘“I” is neither a name nor another kind of expression whose logical role is to make a reference, at all.’ (Anscombe, 1975: 32) the text of Anscombe’s ‘The First Person’ (1975) states ‘Of course, we must accept the rule “If X asserts something withT as subject, his assertion will be true if and only if what he asserts is true of X’ (1975, 32). This subsequent rule claim suggests an alternative interpretation of Anscombe’s text as forwarding a pure indexical or purely semantic account of T. In this talk, I will use work on the nature of rules found in Anscombe’s texts on ethics to illuminate the claim that ‘Of course, we must accept the rule “If X asserts something with T as subject, his assertion will be true if and only if what he asserts is true of X’ (1975, 32). In addition to illuminating the rule claim, I will argue that the purely semantic account of T which Anscombe’s texts suggest is implausible. In order to argue this, I will call upon the early work of both P.F. Strawson and Gareth Evans and upon the example of the first-person pronoun in sign language.

Jordi Fairhurst (Universität de les Illes Balears)

Ethics is Transcendental (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 6.421)


In this paper I set out to study Wittgenstein’s claim that “Ethics is Transcendental” (TLP 6.421). First, I analyze a series of existing interpretations that have been advance in order to account for this proposition and single out their inadequacies. Second I aim to offer a coherent interpretation of Wittgenstein’s claim in 6.421. Resorting to Wittgenstein’s understanding of the transcendental character of logic and some parallelisms with Kant, I argue that for Wittgenstein ethics is transcendental insofar as it is internal to or constitutive of a certain mystical view: valuing the world in an absolute sense sub specie aeterni.

Florian Franken Figueiredo (FCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

Wittgenstein and the Conception of Hypotheses

turning point in Wittgenstein’s thought. To that end I focus on a longer passage in Ms-107, 247-250 in which Wittgenstein relates his new conception of hypotheses to pragmatism. The evidence that I present speaks against a direct influence from Ramsey on this specific issue. As I understand Wittgenstein, he intends to demonstrate the similarities and differences between his new conception of hypotheses and the pragmatist view of a hypothesis arguing that the pragmatist conception is misguided as it wrongly equates the usefulness of a hypothesis with the truth of a proposition. From my discussion I draw the conclusion that Wittgenstein’s new conception of what it is to be a hypothesis is neither part of any putative pragmatist turning point nor is it directly influenced by Ramsey.

Juliet Floyd (Boston University)

Susanne K. Langer


A survey of some of the different areas of research being stimulated today by Susanne K. Langer’s work, alongside a brief synopsis of her career.

Francesco A. Genco and Francesca Poggiolesi (IHPST, CNRS and Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

A Solution to the Paradoxes of Grounding Inspired by Bolzano


Grounding is receiving increasing attention in philosophy. It is usually introduced as an objective and explanatory relation that is non-causal in nature, and much effort has been spent to logically characterise it and to provide formal systems that capture the relation between a formula and its logical grounds, namely the formulae in virtue of which it holds. Nevertheless, the existing grounding rules for universal and existential quantifiers have been shown to lead to paradoxes. By exploiting Bolzano’s theory of Abfolge, we define a first-order formal system that captures the notion of grounding and avoids these paradoxes.

Eduardo N. Giovannini (University of Vienna and CONICET)

Hilbert’s Early Views on Completeness and Categoricity


The aim of this talk is to present a historical analysis and a systematic assessment of Hilbert’s famous “axiom of completeness” for Euclidean geometry and analysis. This task will be undertaken on the basis of a series of unpublished notes for lecture courses, corresponding to the period 1894-1905. I will argue that this historical and conceptual analysis not only sheds new light on how Hilbert originally conceived the nature of his axiom of completeness, but also it proves relevant for a better understanding of the relation between the axiom and several notions of ‘completeness’ of an axiomatic system.

Warren Goldfarb (Harvard University)

Conjuring with the Beetle


A close examination of §§293-309 of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, informed by attention to his “Notes for a Philosophical Lecture” and the recently published Wittgenstein-Skinner manuscripts, can illuminate what Wittgenstein is denying when he urges us not “to construe the the grammar of the expression of sensation on the model of ‘object and names’”.

Jonathan Gombin (Université Bordeaux Montaigne)

Simplex Sigillum Veri: the Tractatus on the Simplicity of Logic. A close reading of TLP 5.4541


Asserting that “[t]he solutions of the problems of logic must be simple, since they set the standard of simplicity”, TLP 5.4541 is bewildering both in its picture of logic as “a realm in which the answers to questions are symmetrically combined” (in apparent contradiction to 5.454) and in its claim that “[m]en have always had a presentiment that there must be [such] a realm”. By offering a close reading of this passage, I hope to show that it puts forth a specific concept of simplicity that is central for understanding Wittgenstein’s project.

Aleksandra Gomulczak (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan)

An Attempt to recognize the Relationship between Analytic and Continental Philosophy”


The aim of this paper is (1) to briefly describe the possible ways of conceptualization of the relationship between analytic and continental philosophy, and problems that concern them. Do these traditions stay in opposition? Do they overlap in certain respects? Or maybe, the distinction is invaluable?; (2) to examine the interesting case of the occurrence of the gap in the philosophy of the Lviv-Warsaw School; (3) to examine whether the conception of philosophy proposed in Twardowski’s School can be of any use to grasp the relationship between analytic and continental philosophy.

Ewelina Gradzka (Pontifical University of John Paul II, Cracow)

Kazimierz Twardowski’s View on Teaching Philosophy at School in the Context of Analytical Philosophy


This paper aims to consider Twardowski’s ideas about teaching philosophy at school. Majority of articles focus on his research whereas his educational engagement is underestimated. It is to learn about cultural and historical context of his work in this area and what motivated him. It is to acknowledge his accomplishments and analyze failures as part of little known heritage of Polish philosophy, particularly analytical school, and its engagement in educational system. The final goal is to analyze actuality of Twardowski’s ideas for modern school system and teaching philosophy in schools.

Academic rank: student/ philosophy for children facilitator and Head of Assiocation „Under the common sky”

Sebastian Sunday Grève (Peking University Department of Philosophy; Berggruen Research Center; 北京大学外国哲学研究所 Institute of Foreign Philosophy)

Turing’s Philosophy of Intelligence


What are the possible forms of human and non-human intelligence? And what normative consequences might follow for our life with machines from a comparison of these possible forms? This research is partly situated within the history of ideas, for it is not sufficiently appreciated that these two questions also figured at the forefront of Alan Turing’s visionary post-war thinking about machines. An adequate understanding of the philosophical work by this pioneer of computer science promises an impactful injection of new ideas into debates on the foundations of intelligence research as well as the ethics and politics of computing technology.

Chengcheng Gu (Shanxi University)

A Comparative Study of Shen Yu-ting and Husserl’s Theory of Meaning


Shen Yu-ting (1908-1989) , a famous Chinese contemporary logician and analytic philosopher, is the earliest Chinese scholar who chose the theory of meaning as the breakthrough to fuse analytic philosophy and phenomenology in 1930s.Comparing Shen Yu-ting and Hussel’s study in theory of meaning can find out their similarities and differences,and also reassess Shen Yu-ting’s theory of meaning,which proves Shen Yu-ting’s efforts on fusing analytic philosophy and phenomenology had grasped the trend of philosophy’s development in advance.

Edward Guetti (Hunter College, CUNY)

No Surprises: Insight and Limit-Concepts in the Tractatus


In this paper I appeal to odd comparisons Wittgenstein uses in the Tractatus to clarify a sense of limit concepts. The sense of limit concepts supports an understanding of both the limitations of formal analysis (in the paper I focus on the idea of the General Propositional Form and the General Form of Operations for formal series) and of our capacity to engage in logical clarification as thoroughly dependent upon a sense of insight. I find that this route through the Tractatus is not entirely appreciated for its worth, and seek to vindicate this claim in relation to the ‘fundamental thought’ of the Tractatus (4.0312).

Michael Robert Hicks (Miami University, Ohio)

Sellars on Carnap and Conceptual Voluntarism


Sellars’s epistemology of science derives from his sustained engagement with a doctrine I’ll call Carnap’s conceptual voluntarism. As Sellars understands it, Carnap’s view makes it impossible to understand why language as we use it concerns the world in which we use it. In his early work, Sellars thought that this could be addressed by affixing a theory of “pure pragmatics” to Carnap’s syntactic theory, but his critique became more radical in time. Ultimately any “epistemological” account of the capacity of scientists to generate new theories of our world must abandon Carnap’s voluntarism to recognize the sense in which, in Sellars’s colorful phrase, rules are generalizations “written in flesh and blood, or nerve and sinew, rather than pen and ink.”

Jim Hutchinson (Simon Fraser University)

Frege’s Radical Anti-Psychologism


Frege’s anti-psychologistic argument is radical, implying that everything from nineteenthcentury empirical research to a priori conceptual analyses of thinking is irrelevant to logic. In particular, this conclusion is more radical than Husserl’s anti-psychologism, and Husserl, in fact, objects to Frege’s argument.

Husserl’s objection is influential and illuminating, but ultimately mistaken. Thinking through what Frege would think is wrong with it helps us recognize something important about the way Frege sees the way that laws prescribe for our thinking.

David Hyder (University of Ottawa)

Locality in the Tractatus


In this talk, I will present arguments for the claim that Wittgenstein’s Tractatus is a “local theory”. By a “local theory,” I mean one in which the following holds:

For two events, e and f, e can be the cause of f iff f is temporally later than e.

From this it follows that,

For two events, e and f, occurring at the same time, neither e causes f nor f causes e.

Now, if we employ a modern definition of causality, for instance that of David Lewis, the proposition that, of two events e and f, neither is the cause of the other, implies that there is no similarity-relation between worlds that supports counterfactual inferences of the form, if e/f hadn’t happened, then f/e wouldn’t have happened either. But that is to say, in turn, that there is no ranking of these worlds—from the fact that either e or f occurs, nothing can be inferred about f or e. And the latter is simply the doctrine of the independence of elementary propositions. The independence of elementary propositions thereby reflects logically what 19th c. thinkers called the principle of local action: the principle that no present state of affairs depends causally on a simultaneous one.

Ryo Ito (Waseda University)

Two Epistemological Problems in the early Russell’s Ontology


In The Principles of Mathematics, Russell defines a term to be, in effect, whatever we can think of. Simple as the definition is, it remains unclear what terms are, because there is an apparent conflict among Russell’s remarks concerning them. On the one hand, the ontology he puts forward is in a sense quite generous as it includes among terms ‘A man, a moment, a number, a class, a relation, a chimaera, or anything else that can be mentioned’ (p.43). On the other hand, there cannot seem to be so many terms because he considers them to be ‘immutable and indestructible’ (p.44). This conflict has been noted by some authors including Gideon Makin (2000, p.181) and Stewart Candlish (2007, p.109), though they do not offer an account as to how one can espouse those two seemingly incompatible claims in a consistent manner.
It is not impossible to resolve the conflict, however. In my view, we can interpret those claims in such a way that they do not directly contradict each other, if we understand terms merely as abstract bearers of properties. To be precise, since Russell classifies terms into things and concepts, he seems to think that the former are bearers of properties while the latter are properties that can also be bearers of properties. On this view, Socrates may be viewed as a term, but the name ‘Socrates’ does not refer to a man with flesh and blood but an abstract bearer of properties. Socrates thus understood is indeed indestructible because he is (or it is) a mere abstract bearer of properties, not a concrete entity.

We may regard this notion of entity as an internally consistent picture of the universe in the sense that it does not involve any pair of mutually contradictory sentences, as long as we put aside any epistemological concerns. But once we do, it leads to at least two epistemological problems.

First, how can we distinguish between two things if they are mere abstract bearers of properties? To put it otherwise, if things are just bearers of properties and the bearers themselves are only numerically different from one another, how can we distinguish one thing from another? The other problem is concerned with our perception of an ordinary object. If Socrates is an abstract bearer of properties, how can we perceive him? Can we perceive an abstract bearers of properties with our senses?

My aim in this essay is to offer an account as to how these problems contributed to the well-known shrinking of the early Russell’s generous ontology from 1905 onwards.

As for the first problem, I argue that Russell’s theory of terms allows us to identify a thing, though it leaves unclear how we can recognise the thing. If someone is thinking about just one thing, the very fact that she is thinking about the thing and nothing else implies the numerical difference of the thing from all the other terms. For she has the relation of thinking about only to that thing. She can thus identify a thing in the sense she can numerically differentiate it from the other entities. To be sure, this does not mean that she can thereby recognise the thing in the sense she can tell if a given thing is identical to it. She may well wonder if the former is identical to the latter. When she thus wonders, she has the relation of thinking about to just one thing if these things are indeed one and the same or to two things if they are different. But she may not be able to tell which is the case. Thus, the relation of thinking about can be seen as an external epistemic relation in the sense that it helps one identify a thing but not necessarily recognise it.

As for the second problem, I argue that Russell could not solve it and that was at least partially why he replaced the notion of thinking about with that of being acquainted with. It has been customary to think that though these relations play the same role in the early Russell’s epistemology, both holding between the judging mind and a mind-independent entity, even though they are supposed to have different kinds of entities as their objects,. But in my view there is a further point of difference between these relations. I think he introduced the latter at least partially because he wanted to resolve the problem with the former. We can think about an abstract bearer of properties, but we cannot perceive any. On the other hand, when we are acquainted with sense data, we do perceive them. Thus, by replacing the relation of thinking about with that of being acquainted with, Russell resolved one of the two epistemological problems he had confronted when advocating the notion of term.

Mahmoud Jalloh (University of Southern California)

Structuralism in the Tractatus


This paper has two aims. One is to suggest that developing a “Tractarian” structuralism allows the structuralist to be free from one of the major problems of their view: wellfoundedness without fundamental objects. Another is to argue that such a Tractarian structuralism is to be found in the Tractatus. This all relies heavily on an interpretation of the discussion of structural properties, formal concepts, and types in the 4s. Both the dissolution of the wellfoundedness problem and the structuralist interpretation of the Tractatusdepend on making sense of “object” as merely denoting a logical role, with no metaphysical significance. Of dialectical necessity, my approach to the Tractatus is largely in line with a “logically oriented” reading (but stopping short of a “resolute” reading). Particularly of importance is the context principle which sets up a “top-down” semantic chain of dependency (3.3). This discussion aims to shed new light on the general structuralist project and perhaps on Tractatus interpretation as well. Any contribution of the latter kind found herein is towards an understanding of the climbing of the ladder.

Frederique Janssen-Lauret (University of Manchester)

Early Analytic Female Logicians: Combating the Great Men Narrative of Analytic Philosophy


Historical narratives tell us that analytic philosophy issued from the logical minds of the great men, Frege, Russell, Moore, and Wittgenstein, women played little role until, in the mid-analytic period, Anscombe, Foot, Murdoch and Midgley broadened the movement to include normativity. My research on women’s writings in the early analytic period, 1880s-1940s, reveals that this narrative is a myth. Most research-active female philosophers of this period published primarily on logic broadly conceived. Women like Constance Jones, Christine Ladd-Franklin, Dorothy Wrinch, Susan Stebbing, Alice Ambrose, Margaret MacDonald, Janina Hosiasson, Maria Kokoszynska and Ruth Barcan made important contributions to early analytic logic. They moved the field forward by publishing pioneering results about the sense-reference distinction, logical form, judgement and mathematical logic, analysis, probability, truth, and modality. I argue that we must broaden our narratives of early analytic philosophy to make space for these remarkable women and their contributions to logic.

Frederique Janssen-Lauret (University of Manchester)

Victoria Welby as a Grandmother of Analytic Philosophy


I argue that Victoria Welby (1837-1912), a self-taught philosopher of language, made crucial contributions to early analytic philosophy which moved the subject forward significantly. Welby, a self-identified ‘naturalist’ advocated a philosophy of language informed by the new psychology and evolutionary biology. She rebutted the ‘myth of the museum’ 50 years before Quine, and viewed facts as theory-laden. Russell later admitted that Welby had helped dissuade him from seeing language as ‘transparent’, a medium we need not pay attention to, which refers unproblematically to constituents of reality. So I conclude Welby deserves a place in the canon of early analytic philosophy.

Dominik Jarczewski (Kolegium Filozoficzno-Teologiczne Dominikanôw, Cracow)

Towards an Activist Epistemology. The Neglected Project of C. I. Lewis


In my paper, I argue that the epistemology of Clarence I. Lewis should better be understood if read within the framework of his pragmatism. As opposed to traditional, so called “copyist” epistemologies, Lewis proposed an activist shift. The study of his published and unpublished works serves to read correctly his often misunderstood notions of the given and a priori. I explain his normative point of view and draw some parallels with other contemporary projects, like Code’s virtue epistemology and others.

Yi Jiang (Shanxi University)

On Reverse Reading of the Tractatus, for Celebration of the Centennial of Publication of the Tractatus


The order of the seven main propositions of the Tractatus have been read normally as the process from ontology through epistemology to the philosophy of language, which is seen as following the historical order of Western philosophy in the past. However, two difficulties appeared in this reading. First, it is hard to explain, according to this reading, the crucial role of these propositions among all the propositions in the book. Second, it is hard to understand the intention Wittgenstein wants to express in the book, the intention of demarcation of language and thought. In this talk, I would like to interpret the logic of these propositions by a reverse reading in order to overcome the two difficulties in the previous reading and to understand the real intention of the book in depth. The reverse reading explains Wittgenstein’s approach to thinking of the structure of the book rather than his approach to the writing of the book. This reading is appropriate closely to Wittgenstein’s way of thinking. But it also arises a key question to understand Wittgenstein’s thoughts: in which way Wittgenstein presents his thoughts in the book, the logical or the ethical? In this talk, I shall try to answer the question by analyzing the process of Wittgenstein’s thinking. My answer will be that, for Wittgenstein, the logical is the formation, the ethical is the attitude, and the essential is his thoughts.

David Kashtan (Edelstein Center for the History and Philosophy of Science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Tarskian Stratification of Language, Regardless of Paradox


On the received view, Tarski “sanitized” and “stratified” natural language into a hierarchy of formalized metalanguages as a response to the liar paradox. Through scrutiny of the history, text and logic of Tarski’s (1933) The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages (CTFL), I argue that the liar paradox is at best a secondary motivation for language stratification.

The only place in CTFL in which the liar paradox is mentioned as such is §1, the content of which is attributed by Tarski to other writers, and which doesn’t suggest language stratification. The only other occurrence is in §5, in which Godel’s syntactic diagonalization technique is adapted in order to formulate a liar sentence in a reductio of the possibility of semantic closure. This argument can plausibly be interpreted as stratification in response to the paradox. However, historically, the argument was added to CTFL only after the latter had been sent to press, and doesn’t form an organic part of it. Moreover, language stratification is present already in §4, which probably predates the diagonal argument, and there it is motivated on grounds other than the liar paradox.

By studying Tarski’s motivation and procedure, I believe contemporary philosophy of truth has a lot to gain.

Gary Kemp (University of Glasgow)

A Conflict in Quine? Ontological Relativity vs Naturalism


I make a Quinean case that Quine’s ontological relativity marked a wrong turn in his philosophy. I think indeed that his fundamental commitments — especially his commitments to immanentism and naturalism — point towards the classical view of ontology that was worked out in the most detail in Word and Object.

Dongwoo Kim (The Graduate Center, City University of New York)

Reference and Analysis in Frege


It has been a subject of controversy what conditions (Frege thinks) the logical definitions of various arithmetical notions should satisfy for it to be considered adequate for the epistemic goal. Some commentators have argued that the definitions ought to preserve the senses of ordinary arithmetical expressions, while others thought that Frege was indifferent even to reference-preservation. In this paper, I argue that sense preservation is not necessary for his project as long as there is a connection between the senses of Frege’s newly defined terms and of the corresponding ordinary terms, from which we can recognize that they are coreferential solely by means of logic. I shall present what I take to be Frege’s argument to that effect.

Alexander Klein (McMaster University)

From Willing to Meaning: William James on Mental Content


William James’s account of meaning is familiar from popular works like Pragmatism and his more academic follow-up, The Meaning of Truth. According to this account, my thought is about Memorial Hall in virtue of aiding me in finding the building. We can fruitfully think of this as a forward-facing causal account of mental content. For James the question is not what objects caused the mental state, as on more recent causal accounts. The question is what actions the mental state would cause—and in particular, what objects my actions would put me in contact with. One problem causal theories have traditionally faced is what Fodor called the “disjunction problem”—roughly, how to explain the possibility of misrepresentation. I try to solve the problem on James’s behalf by appealing to a theoretical resource that is not often connected with his work on intentionality. The resource is his psychological theory of will, two aspects of which are particularly relevant to the disjunction problem. First, genuine action (for James) begins with an agent hatching a goal for herself. In the paradigmatic sort of case, hatching a goal means framing an idea of what it will have felt like to perform an action. For example, an archer might hatch the goal of shooting an arrow at a target by thinking of what it will have felt like to have performed the relevant motions. Second, there is a chain of muscular innervation that naturally (as an evolutionary-physiological matter) tends to be caused by the conscious awareness of the goal representation, for James. Thus not just any old interaction with an object will establish reference, for James—my interaction must be in accord with my initial goal representation. The solution is noteworthy in that the goal representation and the intended action may both be continually updated in the context of a dynamic, sensory feedback loop, for James, as the intended action unfolds in real time. In my talk I will unpack this solution and assess its strengths and weaknesses.

Artur Kosecki (University of Szczecin)

On Ajdukiewicz’s and Quine’s Views on Ontology


The aim of the paper is to analyze the views of Willard van Orman Quine and compare them with the views of Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz, an eminent philosopher from the Lvov-Warsaw School. I will argue that Ajdukiewicz’s approach to ontology is deflationary and, in that respect, similar to Quine’s. In my analysis of these two ontological stances, I would like to refer to Price’s deflationist interpretation of Quine’s views in order to highlight the similarity between Ajdukiewicz’s views and Quine’s stance on ontology. Additionally, as both Ajdukiewicz and Quine used a method of paraphrase, my paper also discusses similarities and differences in the methods used by these central representatives of two philosophical environments – Polish and Anglosphere.

Allison Koslow (University of California, Irvine)




Teresa Kouri Kissel (Old Dominion University)

Susan Stebbing on Logical Atomism


In her A Modern Introduction to Logic and “Relation and Coherence”, Susan Stebbing considers an objection to Russell’s logical atomism. She claims that atomism makes use of an illegitimate pluralism: the atomist treats relations as external to the terms they relate, thus cleaving relations and terms. This, claims Stebbing, is problematic, since we only have “terms in their relations”, and not “terms and their relations” (“Relation and Coherence”, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 1917, p 463). In this paper, I will explain what this criticism amounts to, and how it fits with the notion of directional analysis Stebbing would develop later in life.

Martin Kusch (University of Vienna)

Is Georg Simmel Part of the History of Analytic Philosophy?


This paper seeks to defend a positive answer to the title question in two steps. First, I discuss different ways of understanding analytic philosophy and its history. I defend an understanding of analytic philosophy as an evolving and diversifying tradition not held together by a permanent collective commitment to a small set of theses or tools. Second, I reconstruct Simmel’s relativist epistemology and show how it relates to current debates in epistemology and the philosophy of science.

Gregory Landini (University of Iowa)

Gödel’s Diagonal Function Doesn’t Exist without Numbers


Taking seriously the revolution within mathematics against abstract particulars that Whitehead and Russell embraced in their Principia Mathematica, this paper shows that Gödel fails to make good on his promise to obtain an important incompleteness result concerning the axiomatic conception of the arithmetic of natural numbers espoused in Principia.

Of course, one may feel justified in interpreting Godel’s promise as having been made in the context, not of Principia, but in the modified version of the work that Gödel himself imagined. Gödel alters Principia and identifies natural numbers as abstract particulars that are classes regimented by simple type theory. This omits the very heart of the revolutionary agenda against abstract particulars in the branches of mathematics that Whitehead and Russell were embracing. It remains, therefore, to evaluate Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem as applied to the revolutionary mathematics Principia represents, adding only its wff Infin ax to its formal axioms. Though the revolutionaries accept Cantor’s diagonal functions, we shall find that without numbers as abstract particulars, there is no good reason for revolutionary mathematicians to believe that Gödel’s diagonal function exists.

Sandra Lapointe (McMaster University)

What is a Disciplinary History of Logic?



Matt LaVine (SUNY Potsdam)

An Introduction to Social Justice and the History of Analytic Philosophy


The relationship between analytic philosophy and social justice activism is difficult to discern. Hans-Johann Glock, for instance, published a chapter which investigates such wildly conflicting hypotheses as (i) that analytic philosophy is characterized by excluding all moral and political philosophy, (ii) that analytic philosophy is apolitical and conservative, and (iii) that analytic philosophy is liberal and progressive. Furthermore, as Meena Krishnamurthy has pointed out, this state of affairs isn’t helped by the existence of a Rawlsian Myth amongst the analytic mainstream that there was no important political philosophy of note between Mill’s death and Rawls’ A Theory of Justice. Such an exclusionary picture ignores such important figures as Cooper, King, de Beauvoir, Gandhi, Nehru, and Malcolm X, as well as acknowledged analytic figures like MacDonald, Neurath, Russell, and Stebbing. The primary aim of this panel is to investigate issues like what potential there may or may not be for analytic work to contribute to social justice activism, why so little such work has happened, why the work that has happened on this front has often been forgotten or ignored, and what barriers there are to such work.

Richard Lawrence (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)

Frege and Formalism: an Apology for Thomae


Johannes Thomae was Frege’s colleague in Jena, and worked closely with him for decades. His research was mostly in the Thomae advocated a formalist view in the foundations of mathematics. He is the source of the chess analogy that Frege attacks in the second volume of *Grundgesetze der Arithmetik*: the idea that the numerals acquire their meaning in arithmetic via our rules for calculating with them, much like wooden pieces acquire a meaning in chess via the rules of the game.

This talk will briefly present Thomae’s formalism in order to examine Frege’s criticisms in *Grundgesetze* more closely. What was Thomae’s view, and why did Frege feel the need to criticize it at such length? What exactly is the problem that Frege sees with the chess analogy? A central part of Frege’s criticism is the claim that rules cannot determine the content of signs if those signs are to express thoughts and have applications. The talk will focus on understanding the implications of this claim for Frege’s theory of content.

Anton Leodolter (University of East Anglia / Universität Leipzig)

An Arduous Journey – The Concept ‘Illusion’ in Wittgenstein Scholarship and Cavell’s Solution


In the history of Wittgenstein scholarship and thus in the history of analytic philosophy the idea that philosophical problems are akin to pathological illusions is a controversial topic as it pertains to the problem of philosophical methodology in Wittgenstein more generally. One of my central points will be that most interpreters agree in that illusions in Wittgenstein are ontologically subjective, with the exception of Stanley Cavell who construes illusions structurally. As I intend to show, this structuralist account of illusions has serious implications for how to construe philosophical methodology after Wittgenstein.

Dwight Lewis (University of Central Florida)

Cultural Epistemology: A Query of Physicalism and an Investigation into Patricia Hill Collins’ ‘outsider within’


When one engages the history of analytic philosophy, Frank Jackson’s article Epiphenomenal Qualia and its aftermath cannot be avoided, which examines the possibility of nonphysical mental states. I want to do something a bit different with Jackson’s article. I employ Jackson’s Mary Argument to interrogate cultural epistemology and query into the possible of its nonphysical nature. John Smith can read and learn everything about Blackness and being Black in the world, but can John know what it is like to be Black if he has never been Black? Or if he has never experienced the world from within Blackness? If not, then physicalism is placed in question; and furthermore, there may be mental states that are caused by physical states or experiences, which cannot be known in the physical world. If this is the case, then what can this tell us about the outsider and insider perspective? And how can this enrich and probe our understanding of Patricia Hill Collins’ “outsider within”?

Christoph Limbeck-Lilienau (University of Vienna)

Waismann on Rules and Hypotheses


Waismann’s early philosophy, at the time he began to work on his book on the philosophy of Wittgenstein, is often overlooked because it is thought to be a faithful exegesis of the Tractatus. Based on Waismann’s “Theses” (1931) and a series of talks he gave in the Vienna Circle (1930), I want to show that he developed a view of syntactic rules, which not only strongly deviates from the Tractarian view, but also shaped the discussions on grammar and logical syntax in the Vienna Circle. I will emphasize how this new view of rules is connected to his conception of general propositions and hypotheses. The talk will also analyze how this development blurs the common distinction between a (Wittgensteinian) right wing and a left wing of the Vienna Circle.

Indrek Lobus (University of Stirling/University of St Andrews)

Frege Against Textbook Logical Atoms


According to standard textbook semantics, an atomic proposition is true iff the value of its predicate yields truth for a sequence of values of its terms. Contrary to entrenched view, this account does not gain support from Frege’s doctrine of saturation. It is in conflict with it. Such values as are currently assigned to prefnoidicates cannot contribute to the determination of truth-values or-conditions of atoms because they depend on atoms already having truth-values. We avoid this problem by replacing the standard account with a Tractarian account—that an atom is true iff certain objects are combined in the right way.

Stephen Mackereth (University of Pittsburgh)

Heck’s Two-Sorted Frege Arithmetic and the Neo-Fregean Program


Neo-Fregean logicists claim that Hume’s Principle (HP) may be taken as an implicit definition of cardinal number, true simply by fiat. A longstanding problem for neo-Fregean logicism is that HP is not deductively conservative over pure axiomatic second-order logic. This seems to preclude HP from being true by fiat.

In this talk, we will consider Richard Kimberly Heck’s theory of Two-sorted Frege Arithmetic (2FA). In order to avoid the Julius Caesar problem, Heck reimagines HP as introducing a new logical sort of objects into the language, namely, the cardinal-number sort. The operator “#” introduced by HP may combine with concept variables of either sort, yielding terms of the cardinal-number sort. The proof of Frege’s Theorem goes through in the new, cardinalnumber sort, but there is no longer any obvious witness to non-conservativeness. Indeed, Burgess has conjectured that 2FA is conservative over pure second-order logic.

Alas, it is not so. Surprisingly, even a weak fragment of 2FA is not conservative over pure second-order logic. We will explain this and some related results, which suggest that it will be very difficult for neo-Fregeans to meet the conservativeness objection. (Moral: you can’t get infinity for free in second-order logic.)

Rory Madden (University College London)

Self-Awareness in G.E. Moore’s ‘Refutation of Idealism’


The closing pages of G.E. Moore’s otherwise famous 1903 ‘Refutation of Idealism’ contain an interesting but neglected argument against the idealist view that objects of awareness are ‘contents’ of awareness. It takes the form of a transcendental argument from the possibility of self-awareness. The argument anticipates a remarkably similar anti-psychologistic argument in Frege’s late essay ‘Thought’. It also bears upon the question of the extent to which Moore’s early philosophy of mind is similar to Brentano’s descriptive psychology. I will argue that, while Moore’s act-object analysis of sensation may be vaguely Brentanian, his remarks on the self express a very un-Brentanian vision of the mind, committed to a ‘higher order’ theory of introspection, and to the existence of a subject of awareness over and above acts of awareness.

Dejan Makovec (University of Pittsburgh)

Panelists: Annalisa Coliva, Greg Lavers, Christoph Limbeck-Lilienau, Gillian Russell, Bastian Stoppelkamp


This panel will open the discussion about Friedrich Waismann’s position in the history of analytic philosophy in relation to Carnap, Quine and Wittgenstein as well as positivism, pragmatism and pluralism. With a look at the ongoing and still very much incipient rediscovery of Waismann’s own philosophy, the panelists will exchange experiences made along the way and share ideas for further research to come.

Benjamin Marschall (University of Cambridge)

Quine’s Empiricist Platonism


What is Quine’s philosophy of mathematics, and how does it differ from Carnap’s? The historical development is often described as follows: for a brief period Quine shared Carnap’s linguistic conventionalism, but quickly came to reject the notion of truth by convention. Together with Nelson Goodman he then explored the prospects of nominalism but came to see that it is not viable either. In the end Quine thus settled for mathematical Platonism, even though somewhat grudgingly.

The aim of this talk is to investigate the nature of Quine’s Platonism, and to assess whether it is an attractive position. In the first half I will argue that Quine’s position turns out to be surprisingly similar to that of Carnap after all. In the second half I will focus on the systematic merits of Quine’s empiricist variety of Platonism by investigating whether and how he could respond to the Benacerraf Problem.

Robert May (University of California, Davis)

The Role of Truth


In this talk I That truth-values are objects is one of Frege’s most distinctive theses. Frege’s reason for taking this view resides with the role truth-values are called on to play in logic and language in founding the logical concepts as truth-functions; Frege’s view of truth is functional rather than metaphysical. In Grundgesetze, Frege identifies truth-values as logical objects, as certain value-ranges, and this characterization sets the basis for the so-called “proof of referentiality”, intended to show that the logical language is a referential language, and so properly suited for the development of scientific applications. However, Frege’s stipulative identification of truth-values with value-ranges is problematic as it is creative, leading to what is dubbed the “quasi-paradox of truth”.

Sam Whitman McGrath (Brown University)

On ‘Ontology’: Analyzing the Carnap-Quine Debate as a Case of Metalinguistic Negotiation.


This paper develops an original interpretation of the Carnap-Quine debate, arguing that the appearance of strong disagreement between the two concerning the status of ontological questions stems from their divergent use of terminology, rather than first-order disagreements on the status of metaphysical inquiry. However, this does not dissolve the disagreement between them and render the debate merely verbal. Rather, it locates the source of their disagreement in their conflicting views on the proper use of metaphysical terminology itself. This interpretation both provides historical illumination and carries specific import for contemporary disputes about the nature of ontology, which are often framed as the continuation of Carnap and Quine’s original debate.

José Mestre (University of St Andrews, University of Stirling, LanCog (University of Lisbon)

Are Thoughts Propositions?


Revised abstract (187 words): In The Metaphysicians of Meaning, Gideon Makin argues that ‘Frege moved into, and Russell out of, sensism, while their commitment to propositionalism remained constant’ (2000: 142). Propositionalism is the view that propositions, a certain kind of abstract and mind-independent complex entities, serve simultaneously as the meanings of sentences, the bearers of truth, and the objects of propositional attitudes. Sensism, a species of propositionalism, is the view that at least some of their constituents are ‘aboutness-shifters’. An aboutness-shifter is such that, whenever it occurs in a proposition, the proposition is not about it, but about what it denotes (cf. Russell 1903 §56). Since Frege’s senses and Russell’s denoting concepts alike are aboutness-shifters, Fregean thoughts and Russellian propositions differ only with respect to their quantity.

While Makin’s interpretation may sound plausible at a certain level of generality, here I want to resist his reading of Frege. Against the claim that Frege moved into sensism, I argue that, appearances notwithstanding, Russell’s denoting concepts resemble, not Frege’s senses, but Frege’s referents. Against the claim that Frege was a propositionalist, I argue that the view is at odds with the context principle.


Makin, G. 2000. The Metaphysicians of Meaning. Russell and Frege on sense and denotation. London and New York: Routledge.

Russell, B. 1903. Principles of Mathematics. London and New York: Routledge, 2010.

Robert Michels (Eidos, The Centre for Metaphysics & Università della Svizzera Italiana & Université de Neuchâtel)

Lewis’s Counterpart Theory and the Aufbau


In his ‘Counterpart Theory and Quantified Modal Logic’, David Lewis states that his counterpart relation ‘is very like’ the relation of intersubjective correspondence in Carnap’s ‘Aufbau’. This reference must appear surprising to anyone familiar with the history of analytic philosophy, since it likens a central building stone of Lewis’s metaphysical system to a relation introduced in an early manifesto of the most prominent critic of metaphysics of the 20th century. This talk aims to answer two questions: Was Lewis right to make this similarity claim? Does the fact that he makes it hint at a particular way in which Carnap’s Aufbau influenced Lewis?

Nikolay Milkov (University of Paderborn)

Bertrand Russell’s Philosophical Logic and Its Logical Forms


From 1903 till 1919, Russell persistently maintained that there are two kinds of logic that he carefully distinguished: (i) symbolic logic; (ii) philosophical logic that alone belongs to philosophy. The task of the philosophical logic is in no way identical with that of the symbolic logic. Unfortunately, the exploration of Russell’s philosophical logic was neglected in Russell studies for decades. In this paper we shall discriminate three levels of Russell’s philosophical logic: (i) describing logical forms of propositions; (ii) describing logical forms of phenomena and facts; (¡ii) exploring the philosophical fundament of mathematical logic.

Giovanni Mion (Istanbul Technical University)

Did Wittgenstein read Cassirer?


The talk explores the striking similarities between some of Wittgenstein’s core claims in On Certainty (1969), including the famous hinge metaphor, and Cassirer’s Einstein’s Theory of Relativity (1921). Moreover, it suggests that Wittgenstein’s remark on relativity in On Certainty might have been triggered by Wittgenstein’s reading of Cassirer’s book.

Sean Morris (Metropolitan State University of Denver)

Russell on Philosophical and Mathematical Definitions in Principles of Mathematics


In his 1903 Principles of Mathematics, Bertrand Russell draws a distinction between philosophical and mathematical definitions. Russell closely ties the former to his method of analysis, intended to yield the indefinables of mathematics. In contrast, Russell gives a more philosophically modest role to mathematical definitions, stating that they must only satisfy necessary and sufficient conditions for the mathematical object being defined. No further condition of uniqueness is required. At various places in Principles the two types of definitions appear to be in tension with each other, and in the years following this work, Russell increasingly appeals to mathematical definitions to carry out his philosophical aims. This paper attempts to assess how much of a tension there really is between philosophical and mathematical definitions in Principles of Mathematics as well as to determine whether Russell’s turn toward mathematical definitions in the years following represents a significant shift away from his earlier notion of analysis.

Matthias Neuber (University of Tübingen)

Perry on the Ego-Centric Predicament


The present paper examines Ralph Barton Perry’s analysis of the “ego-centric predicament.” It will be shown that Perry convincingly argued against prevailing contemporary versions of ontological idealism and that it makes perfectly good sense to consider him a precursor of subsequent trends of American analytical philosophy. In point of fact, Perry sought for a realistic outlook but, in the last analysis, failed in dealing with the problem of perceptual error.

Maximilian Noichl (University of Vienna)

Quantifying the Analytic/Continental Divide


One of the most salient structures of contemporary philosophy is the divide between Continental and analytical philosophy. That its stabilization fell into a period of massive increase in scholarly output since the 1950s poses unique challenges to its historiography, which has to deal not with hundreds, but, in principle, with hundreds of thousands of sources, if it wants to answer questions of disciplinary structure.

In our present investigation, we propose one possible scheme for the modeling of oppositions in corpora. We first train a word-embedding network on a corpus of more than 250000 philosophy texts sampled from the JSTOR-archive. Then we derive representations for each text by averaging the TF-IDF-weighted vectors of the words in each text.

To achieve a focused representation of the analytic/Continental divide, we identify clear cases of analytic/Continental papers as seed points in the vector space and calculate the average difference vector between these samples. We then search for pairs of articles whose difference is most similar to this vector. By calculating the relative similarity to the Continental and analytical samples in the resulting set, we can derive one single “analyticity/Continentality”-score for each article along the Continental/analytical axis.

To measure how the Continental/analytic divide has widened/contracted over time, a bimodal Gaussian model is fit to the distributions of scores over time, with the difference between the central tendencies of the distributions reflecting the width of the divide at specific points in time. This single value is further related to several descriptive variables of interest. We report initial results for the respective differences between analytical and Continental philosophy regarding source-publication, citation counts, and gender of authors.

Luca Oliva (University of Houston)

Analyticity in Wittgenstein


This paper addresses the question of analyticity in the later Wittgenstein, including its related issues of apriority and necessity. First, I will describe the historical background of the question from Kant to the early analytic philosophers and their successors (Frege, Moore, Russell, Ayer, Quine, Putnam). Second, I will account for the view of Wittgenstein on this matter (Kripke, Kalhat, Glock). Third, I will extend my analysis to mathematical propositions (Baker-Hacker, Putnam, Floyd, Dummett, Marion). Fourth, I will finally consider a few complications concerning this view (Horwich, Putnam, Boghossian). The bibliographic references appear at the end of this abstract.

Naomi Osorio-Kupferblum (University of Vienna)

Ryle’s and Carnap’s Impact on Goodman’s Notions of Linguistic Aboutness


In Goodman’s seminal ’About’ (Mind 1961), the first footnote points the reader to what must have been the main inspiration for his disquisition on what it is for a statement to be about something: Ryle’s 1933 ‘About’ (Analysis) and ‘Imaginary Objects’ (Proceedings of the AS, Supp.) and Carnap’s discussion of subject matter in his The Logical Syntax of Language (1934/1937). This talk will outline their views and discuss their merits and drawbacks. It will explain that Ryle’s was quite informal, but showed that the occurrence of a designating word is neither necessary nor sufficient for a text to be about the designatum. Carnap overlooked this, but stressed that a text must reflect or add to our knowledge of the designatum. Goodman took both these aspects on board and developed an account with three different “degrees” of aboutness in two ontologically different versions. The aim of this talk is to allow for a better appraisal of Goodman’s proposals which are particularly enlightening at a time when aboutness has once again become a hot topic.

Gary Ostertag (Graduate Center, CUNY and Nassau Community College)

E. E. Constance Jones on Predication


E. E. Constance Jones’s distinction between attribution and denomination in her Elements of Logic as a Science of Propositions (1890) is often cited as anticipating Frege’s distinction between sense and reference. But the significance of Jones’s contribution is slighted if we merely right the historical wrong and move on. Fully appreciating Jones’s innovation requires understanding its role in her theory of predication. Jones inherited from Lotze the idea that predications take the form of identity statements. To say that lions are carnivores is to say that the set of lions is identical to (a subset of) the carnivores. But as even Lotze seems to have realized, this reduces predications to triviality. Jones’s law of significant assertion -“Any subject of predication is an identity of denotation in diversity of intension” – resolves the problem of triviality, grounding the truth of the assertion but also accounting for its informativeness. My discussion will provide the background to Jones’s distinction as well as a brief survey of its reception among her contemporaries.

Julien Ouellette-Michaud (McGill University)

Notational Bearings on Conceptions of Assumptions


Gentzen introduced systems of natural deduction and sequent calculi to overcome defects of axiomatic systems. But how can systems of natural deduction and sequent calculi, which are in a sense equivalent to axiomatic systems—they prove the same theorems— nevertheless depart from them in non trivial ways? In this paper, I argue that despite their shared equivalence with axiomatic systems which discard assumptions, the systems introduced by Gentzen give us two different conceptions of assumptions in formal systems. These two conceptions, I argue, correspond with specific features of the notations, which can be traced back directly to Gentzen’s writings.

Flavia Padovani (Drexel University)

Scientific Philosophy in Exile: Reichenbach and Rougier.


In this paper, I will use material from the correspondence between Reichenbach and the only French logical empiricist, Louis Rougier, to describe their struggles to promote scientific philosophy in the period between the two wars. Both Rougier and Reichenbach experienced the painful condition of living in countries they did not consider ready for that new philosophy, and each would often confide his frustration to the other. In the case of Reichenbach, however, this correspondence also reveals a number of interesting elements especially related to the impact that a situation of enforced exile had on his philosophical work, and thus on his shift from (Germany and) foundationalism, to (the US and) pragmatism, via Istanbul.

Gareth Pearce (University of Vienna)

Why Formalism died too early and why Lewis should have brought it back


An orthodox narrative of the history of Philosophy of Mathematics tells us that for a brief window between the discovery of Russell’s Paradox, that put Classical Logicism out of favour, and widespread understanding of Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems (IC), Mathematical Formalism was a dominant position amongst both Mathematicians and Philosophers of Mathematics. Yet following IC and some philosophical work by Godel, this view fell out of fashion. But this is both a historically and rationally problematic narrative. Godel’s IC was discovered in 1931, but formalism was still popular even through the 40s. Moreover, IC only creates a problem for Hilbert’s program, not formalism in general. Nevertheless, there were good alternative reasons relating to the modal nature of consequence for the early formalists, especially the Vienna Circle, to abandon formalism. David Lewis, on the other hand, could have been a formalist. In this talk I also argue that he should have been. Thus this talk defends two claims: that formalism died too early and that Lewis should have brought it back.

James Pearson (Bridgewater State University)

Writing Conversationalists into Philosophical History: The Case of Burton Dreben


Some philosophers granted tenured at major departments in the twentieth century published very little. Their influence will be lost if our histones rely solely upon publication records, yet how can we access and engage their ideas? In this paper, I focus upon Burton Dreben, who taught a generation of scholars in the Boston area the value of closely attending to the recent philosophical past. But the few papers he authored fail to capture his philosophical voice. Instead of looking to these, I discuss an unpublished transcript of Dreben in conversation.

In 1986, Dagfinn F0llesdal, W.V. Quine, Donald Davidson and Dreben held a closed conference at Stanford. Quine added marginal comments and line-edits to a hard copy of a transcription of the conference that F0llesdal sent him, part of which survives in the Quine Archive. In addition to yielding insights into a transitional period in Quine’s and Davidson’s thought, this document reveals Dreben peppering all three of his interlocutors with sharp and thoughtful critiques.

The ultimate aim of my presentation will be to showcase Dreben in his element. More broadly, I argue that attending to conversationalists is a way for historians to capture the collaborative nature of philosophy.

Inger Bakken Pedersen (University of Vienna)

Coherentist Structuralism: A Metaontological Inquiry


In this paper I argue that there are two kinds of answers to the access problem, which correspond to two approaches. Depending on the kind of answer one favours, the two approaches deal with the access problem in a very different manner. This methodological difference leads to certain constraints for what counts as an acceptable epistemological story of mathematical knowledge. My aim is twofold: 1) to argue that there are two distinct approaches in dealing with the access problem, and 2) to show that one of them is superior to the other and therefore should be pursued.

Eugenio Petrovich (University of Siena)

Uncovering the Social Network of Recent Analytic Philosophy by the Analysis of Acknowledgments in Academic Publications


It has become a common practice among analytic philosophers to write extended acknowledgments in their academic publications. These texts are a rich source of information about the social context of analytic philosophy since they mention seminars, institutions, funders, and, most interestingly, the persons who contributed to the publications. I will present a large-scale analysis of the acknowledgments contained in 2073 articles published between 2005 and 2019 in five prestigious analytic philosophy journals. The main results consist of a ranking of the most mentioned persons and a map of the social network of contemporary analytic philosophy based on the mentioned persons.

Pawel Polak (Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow)

The Specificity of the Lvov-Warsaw School Philosophy of Science: A Case of Reception of Special and General Relativity


The Lvov-Warsaw school (LWS) of philosophy founded by Kazimierz Twardowski was active before the Second World War. Lesser known its aspect is philosophy of science created within the paradigm of analytic philosophy. The presentation focuses on accounts by Zawirski, Ajdukiewicz, Manthey and few other researchers in the context of Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity (1905), and General Relativity (1915) reception. The study shows the convergence of the style of Lviv’s philosophy of science with the style of philosophy practiced in Krakow. This inspires questions about the relatively low interest in philosophical reflection on groundbreaking scientific theories in Twardowski’s school.

John Preston (The University of Reading)

Paul Feyerabend’s Ernst Mach


Of all the influences on the work of Paul Feyerabend, Ernst Mach’s was probably the most long-standing, and undoubtedly among the most important. In his autobiography, Killing Time, Feyerabend recounted something of his acquaintance with Mach’s works. I begin by showing that that account is only part of the story, and by no means the whole. I do so by tracing certain ways in which Mach is discussed in Feyerabend’s works, from the mid-1950s right up until the mid-1990s. I first show that Feyerabend’s earliest mentions of Mach (in the 1950s and early 1960s) are heavily under the influence of Karl Popper, especially his then very recently-published ‘Note on Berkeley as a Precursor of Mach and Einstein’ (1953). Early Feyerabend characterises Mach in traditional terms as a positivist whose philosophy is flawed in comparison with critical rationalism. Next, in the papers Feyerabend published during the early and mid-1960’s, Mach appears in two main guises: not only as an antirealist, but also as an anti-pluralist. This new accusation corresponds to a new focus in Feyerabend’s philosophy. Mach appears in Feyerabend’s best-known long papers from the early to mid-1960s as a prime example of those who accept what Feyerabend identifies as the perniciously conservative (anti-pluralistic) assumptions of contemporary empiricism. I show that while there are some flashes of insight (about Mach) in some of these papers, by and large Feyerabend sticks to the traditional way of reading Mach as a positivist, more specifically as an anti-pluralist villain, aligned with the logical empiricists.

Feyerabend did, however, come to change his mind about Mach (to a perspective that corresponds with the account in his autobiography, mentioned above). In fact he eventually came to be at the forefront of those who initiated a re-evaluation of Mach in the late 20thcentury, thereby beginning to move opinion away from the ‘received view’ of Mach as a relatively simple pre-logical positivist. In this he did us a significant service.

Feyerabend’s published struggle on Mach’s behalf began in earnest with his 1970 paper ‘Philosophy of Science: A Subject with a Great Past’. From this point onwards, I suggest, Feyerabend’s attitude to Mach was relatively constant. In this presentation, I look mainly at his important 1984 paper ‘Mach’s Theory of Research and its Relation to Einstein’, as well as certain remarks from his later papers. While endorsing several of the ways in which Feyerabend came to characterise Mach’s thought, I take issue with some other central themes emerging from these publications. I suggest that we should not follow Feyerabend’s mature reading of Mach in its entirety, since he really had turned away from certain sensible aspects of Mach’s ideas. Finally (if I have time), I reveal why Feyerabend changed his mind about Mach, that is, as a result of an encounter with a physicist and philosopher who seems to have initiated a ‘turn’ in Feyerabend’s whole philosophy.

Consuelo Preti (The College of New Jersey)

The Extrusion of Thought from the Mind: Brentano and Moore on the Nature of Judgment


Dummett (1993) argued that the attribution of the origins of analytic philosophy was wrongly attributed to the work of Moore and Russell at Cambridge at the turn of the 20th century. On his view, their ‘milieu’ at Cambridge did not include familiarity with the work of the Austrian and German philosophers, psychologists, and logicians who were the true originators of key defining conception of analytic philosophy—in particular, what Dummett called “the extrusion of thought from the mind.” In this paper I will make two main objections to Dummett’s account. The first is that the ‘milieu’ at Cambridge was deeply familiar with the work of Austrian and German philosophers: in particular, with the work of Brentano. The second is that it is not clear that Brentano’s conception of “intentional inexistence” extruded thought from the mind with sufficient force to have been the direct source of the key move in Moore’s revolutionary theory of judgment (1898/1899), as Bell (1999) and Milkov (2001/2008), along with Dummett, have also claimed. Russell himself gave all the credit to Moore’s new view for helping to re-orient his own thoughts on the foundations of mathematics and for changing the practice of philosophy henceforth, so it is of some importance to the history of early analytic philosophy to fully explore the influences on Moore’s groundbreaking formulation of the nature of judgment.

Jonas Raab (University of Manchester)

Quine on Explication


In this paper, I consider Quine’s account of explication. Quine does not provide a general account, but considers an example he claims to be paradigmatic. However, Quine also lists examples which do not fit his paradigmatic account. Besides working out Quine’s particular account and showing how it is intertwined with his notions of ontological commitment and paraphrase, I want to consider how his conception of explication relates to Carnap’s. I argue that Quinean explication is much narrower than Carnap’s conception in his ‘Meaning and Necessity’. Moreover, I argue that Quinean explication serves a different purpose than Carnapian explication, viz., it is a tool for theory choice.

Erich Reck (University of California, Riverside)

On Frege’s and Dedekind’s Definitions of Number


A core part of Frege’s logicism is his definition of the natural numbers. But what kind of definition is it supposed to be? In “Logic in Mathematics” (1913), Frege himself distinguishes generally between “stipulative” and “analytic” definitions; one can also ask whether it is meant as an “explication” in Carnap’s sense. In the secondary literature, this issue is sometimes discussed in terms of whether Frege’s approach is meant to preserve either the “sense” or the “reference” of relevant terms; but the textual evidence in that connection is inconclusive. Instead, one can ask what other kinds of considerations, if any, constrain his definition. With the latter question in mind, I will put Frege in the context of 19th- and early 20th-century mathematics, and in particular, compare his approach to several related ones. This will range from the traditional conception of natural numbers as “multitudes of units”, still prominent in Mill’s and Cantor’s works in the 19th century, to their set-theoretic reconstruction as finite von Neumann ordinals in the 20th century. But Dedekind’s structuralist conception of number, arguably the most important alternative at the time, will serve as my main contrast.

Tabea Rohr (IHPST Paris)

Frege on Geometry


Frege’s Philosophy of Mathematics is set into the context of 19th century geometry. The relationship between and particularly the difference between Geometry and Arithmetic was a hot topic during this time.

Paragraph 13 of the Foundations of Arithmetic is set interpreted in this backound: New ways of coordinizations shet light on the fact that point can only be disitinguished from other points when they are set in spatial relation to other points. Freges argues that Arithmetic differs from Geometry because the same does not hold for numbers. Thus arithmetic must rest on a different source of knowledge then geometery.

Joan Bertran-San Millán (Centre for Philosophy of Science of the University of Lisbon)

Russell and Peano on the Independence of the Axioms of Arithmetic


It is often claimed that the Frege-Russell conception of logic rejects metatheoretical investigations. Although Peano is linked to this conception of logic, he considered on several occasions the independence of the axioms of geometry and arithmetic. I shall argue that the general claim that Russell rejected tout court independence proofs should be revised. First, I shall explain Russell’s interpretation in The Principles of Mathematics of Peano’s axiomatisation of arithmetic and conclude that the Russell’s structuralist understanding failed to completely grasp Peano’s view on the construction of arithmetic. Then, I shall argue that Russell’s opposition to independence arguments should not be understood in general, but in the context of the axioms which express principles of deduction.

Michael Schmitz (University of Vienna)

Wittgenstein contra Frege on Force


I argue that both in the Tractatus and in the Investigations Wittgenstein makes several compelling criticisms of Frege’s use of an assertion sign and of the force-content distinction that support more recent criticisms such as those made by Peter Hanks: Frege’s assertion sign is meant to mark the complex proposition as a whole, but this is redundant, because it is already represented by a full-stop (Investigations, §22) or a truth-table (Tractatus 4.442). We have to be careful what contrast the assertion sign is supposed to indicate, and a that-clause is essentially incomplete and cannot be a truth-value bearer (§23).

Sanford Shieh (Wesleyan University)

Notes on Logical Alien Science or Deolaus ab paene omni naevo vindicatus


In this talk I discuss early Wittgenstein’s opposition to Frege. First, I examine an argument published by Jim Conant (now in part disavowed by Jim) that Frege’s treatment of what Tom Ricketts calls “logical aliens” reveals a tension in Frege’s conception of logic that leads to a strain of “resolutely” reading the Tractatus. I show that a key inference in the argument is fallacious, and so it fails to reveal any tension in Frege. Second, I contextualize Robert May’s view of the logical role of truth for Frege as the third in three grades of referential involvement. I suggest that Frege has the option of stopping at the second grade and avoiding the quasi-paradox of truth Robert discusses. Finally, I suggest a tension in Frege that does point in the direction of the Tractatus: between Frege’s conception of the “opposite” thought to a given thought and his doctrine of negation signs as names of functions.

Sanford Shieh (Wesleyan University)

Possibility and the Undepictability of Form in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus


Perhaps the first version of the notorious contrast between showing and saying in the Tractatus is 2.172: “A picture cannot depict its form of depiction, however; it shows it forth [es weist sie auf].” In this talk I indicate a difficulty with an explanation of the undepictability of form, part of an illuminating interpretation of Tractarian picturing by Peter Sullivan. I propose a more satisfying explanation, based on taking as fundamental Wittgenstein’s characterization of form as possibility of structure (2.033, 2.15).

Andrew Smith (Indiana University, Bloomington)

Quine’s Unpublished 1985 Typescript “Convention and Its Place in Truth’’


The topic of my paper is an unpublished typescript in the Quine Archive at Harvard called “Convention and Its Place in Truth,” dated 1985. In it, Quine generalizes from David Lewis’ explication of convention, arguing that some option (action, acceptance of a theory, etc.) is conventional when it is equally good as some other options that are all better than all other options. Since Quine argues that some theories are equally good to accept as our true ones, he infers some of our theories are conventional. The result, I argue, is a Quinean conception of conventional truth worth investigating.

Marta Sznajder (University of Groningen)

Janina Hosiasson: between subjective and objective Probability.


Janina Hosiasson was a Polish philosopher in early 20th century. Most of her philosophical work concerned the logical aspects of inductive reasoning. In this paper, based on Hosiasson’s full surviving body of work, I reconstruct her own position on the nature of probability. Hosiasson’s approach turns out to be a very rich one: she focuses on the logic of inductive reasoning, while at the same time paying tribute to the more subjectivist interpretations and even keeping an eye on purely psychological aspects of inductive reasoning. She appears to cut across the traditional objective-subjective-frequentist divide in the philosophy of probability.

Shunichi Takagi (University College London)

The Genealogy of the Tractarian ‘Ontology’


Based on the recent developments of the philological studies of the pre-Tractatus manuscripts, I shall demonstrate the ‘ontology’ of the Tractatus was born during the period between the end of June 1915 and mid-March 1916, and that it emerged through Wittgenstein’s critical examination of Russell’s scientific method and simultaneous appropriation of Frege’s logical doctrines (the context principle and the principles of definition) as well as the transcendental standpoint of Hertz and Kant.

Claudio Ternullo (University of Barcelona) and Luca Zanetti (IUSS Pavia)

Cantor’s Abstractionism and Hume’s Principle


Richard Kimberly Heck and Paolo Mancosu have claimed that the possibility of non-Cantorian assignments of cardinalities to infinite concepts implies that Hume’s Principle (HP) is not implicit in the concept of cardinal number. Neologicism — the project of providing a foundation for arithmetic on the basis of HP conceived as an implicit definition — would therefore be threatened by the ‘good company’ HP is kept by such alternative assignments. In his review of Mancosu’s book, Bob Hale argues however that ‘getting different numerosities for different countable infinite collections depends on taking the groups in a certain order — but it is of the essence of cardinal numbers that the cardinal size of a collection does not depend upon how its members are ordered’. Our goal is to implement Hale’s response to the Good Company problem by producing a Cantorian argument for HP. In particular, after discussing Cantor’s abstractionist definitions of number, we argue that good abstraction must comply with what we call Gödel’s Minimal Account of Abstraction (GMAA), and show that non-Cantorian theories of cardinality fail to satisfy GMAA.

Mark Textor (King’s College London)

Stout’s take on the Tripartite Distinction


The terms “Akt”, “Inhalt”, and “Gegenstand” are the keywords of a certain theory of knowledge which constitutes, in my opinion, the most important recent development of philosophical thought in Germany. (Stout: Some Fundamental Points in the Theory of Knowledge)

Austro-German Philosophers use the distinction between act, content and object to systematize mental phenomena. Moore and Russell argued that content is superfluous and act and object suffice to say everything about mental phenomena one wants to say. In contrast Stout defended the full tripartite distinction. He brought something new to the table: the distinctions under consideration are not, as most Austrians and Moore argued, manifest in consciousness, but need to be worked out by arguments. After some scene-setting I will present Stout’s arguments for the tripartite distinction and consider Russell’s response.

Adam Tamas Tuboly (Institute of Philosophy, Hungarian Academy of Sciences / Institute for Transdisciplinary Discoveries, Medical School, University of Pecs)

Otto Neurath on Plato-Hitler and the British Scene of Irritation


This talk presents Otto Neurath’s crusade, or campaign about the relation between Plato, the general Platonic attitude and Fascism/Nazism. I will reconstruct his papers on German (re)education and Plato with the replies that were published in The Journal of Education. Some lessons and main points will be presented that could be abstracted from the debate. As I will demonstrate, all the replies to Neurath exemplified the very same Platonic attitude they criticized and thus it made the whole debate (and the call for a more reflexive critical and rational discourse on the topic) impossible.”

Aviezer Tucker (Harvard University)

The Pre-history of Analytical Philosophy of History


The presentation attempts to understand the classical philosophies of history of Popper and Hempel as reaction to Neo-Kantianism and the Austrian School of Mises and Hayek. The Neo-Kantian and the Austrians reacted against Psychologism.

Sara L. Uckelmann (Durham University)

Building a History of Women in Logic.


Before one can write (or rewrite) the history of a subfield of philosophy, one must first identify what the bounds of that subfield are. When that subfield is logic, there is another question beyond “what is logic?” and that is “who counts as/is a logician?” Traditional histones of logic have tended to adopt narrow answers for both of these questions, focusing on the developments of formal/symbolic logic, and looking primarily at the people who drove those developments through the writing of theoretical textbooks and research papers. Such a history of logic entirely omits two very significant parts: All of the non-formal/non-formalizable aspects of logic, and those who learned or were taught logic, and may have applied what they learned in other contexts, but were not necessarily teaching logic themselves, or doing theoretical research.

In this talk, we discuss the methodological consequences of adopting wider answers to both of these questions — how if we treat logic not as what modern-day logicians would recognize as logic, but instead as anything that would have been identified as logic by historic contemporaries, and if we look beyond those who taught/did research in logic to those who may have merely learned it or applied it, we are forced to rewrite our understanding of the history of logic, through the participation of and contributions by women. We will look at different historical eras to illustrate this, but would like to here highlight one in particular: When one reaches the late 19th/early 20th century, it is clear that these women were not excluded from the “canon” of (what was then) contemporary logic: There is ample evidence that these women were read and responded to and that their work was integrated into the wider field. It is only _afterwards_ that their names dropped out of history.

By (re)writing the history of women in logic, not only can we bring to light the forgotten women and their contributions, we can also start to understand how their exclusion from the canon came about.

Sander Verhaegh (Tilburg University)

Carnap and Quine: First Encounters


Carnap and Quine first met in the 1932-33 academic year, when the latter, fresh out of graduate school, visited the key centers of mathematical logic in Central Europe. The philosophical friendship that emerged during these meetings had an impact on the course of analytic philosophy that can hardly be overestimated. Still, little is known about Carnap’s and Quine’s first encounters, except for the fact that they discussed the former’s Logische Syntax der Sprache.

In this paper, I shed new light on Carnap’s and Quine’s first encounters by examining a set of previously unexplored material from their personal and academic archives. Why did Quine decide to visit Carnap? What did they discuss? And in what ways did the meetings affect their philosophical development? In this paper, I address these questions by examining a range letters and notes, arguing that (1) the meetings convinced Quine to fully accept the metaphilosophical implications of Carnap’s syntax program, (2) that Quine’s interpretation of Carnap’s project was significantly influenced by his philosophical background, and (3) that the encounters played an important role in Carnap’s decision to emigrate to the United States.

Andreas Vrahimis (University of Cyprus)

Stebbing’s critique of Bergson


During the 1910s and 1920s, Henri Bergson was a kind of international celebrity. Prominent analytic philosophers, including Russell and the Vienna Circle, reacted critically to the Bergsonist fad. This presentation will examine L. Susan Stebbing’s overlooked early response to Bergson’s work. Stebbing’s critique of Bergson predates both Russell’s and Schlick’s well-known polemics. It was first undertaken in her M.A. thesis written in 1911-1912. When it was later published as a book in 1914, Stebbing stated that her intention was to correct the excesses of previous criticisms, highlighting instead those aspects of Bergson’s work whose importance survives such objections.1 Stebbing’s is perhaps the most extended treatment of Bergson’s thought produced by any philosopher associated with the analytic tradition (though, notably, according to Stebbing’s account she only converted to analytic philosophy after she met Moore in 1917).2 Having overcome various common misconceptions of Bergson, Stebbing proceeds to develop some potent objections to his views.

In criticising Bergson, Stebbing clarifies that she stands in defence of what Bergsonians would call ‘intellectualism’. Her approach to Bergson’s thought involves an elaborate argument against its confused identification with currents within pragmatism. Instead, Stebbing situates Bergson within what she understands to be the French Voluntarist tradition. Stebbing diagnoses a divergence between Bergson’s and the Pragmatists’ accounts of truth. Her subsequent criticisms rely on her understanding of Bergson as offering an account of the nature of truth, but no criterion for truth. Without a criterion for truth, Bergson’s methodological reliance on intuition as an immediate source of knowledge inevitably leads to radical scepticism. Stebbing further argues against the possibility of immediate knowledge (on which Bergson’s method of intuition appeals) by appealing to Lotze’s view that knowledge necessarily involves two-term relations. Stebbing’s argument for this predates those first directed by Schlick against Bergson in 1913. In answering potential defences of Bergson, Stebbing adds a second type of objection to the Lotzean claim: if, as Bergson proposes, language is a practical tool, it is incapable of communicating intuition. Intuition therefore cannot result in knowledge, but at best gives us a fleeting ‘vision’ whereof we cannot speak.


Susan L. Stebbing (1914), Pragmatism and French Voluntarism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. v.


See Siobhan Chapman (2013), Susan Stebbing and the Language of Common Sense, Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 33-34; Michael Beaney (2016), Susan Stebbing and the Early Reception of Logical Positivism in Britain, in C. Dambdck (ed.), Influences on the Aufbau, Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 238-239.

Henri Wagner (Université Bordeaux Montaigne – SPH)

An Externalist Strand in C. I. Lewis’s Mind and the World Order


Clarence Irving Lewis’s conceptual pragmatism, as exposed and defended in Mind and the World-Order (1929), has often been interpreted as a pragmatic version of the traditional internalist theory of meaning and hence as an outdated philosophical framework. Relying both on a Putnamian understanding of semantic externalism and on a close reading of neglected passages from Lewis’s masterpiece, I would like to show that Lewis adumbrates what I takes to be the basic tenet of semantic externalism : that worldly thought is “worldinvolving”.

Russell Wahl (Idaho State University)

Russell and Kant: the Question of Intuition, revisited, or Did Russell misunderstand Kant?


Russell has often been criticized for his writings on Kant. Jaako Hintikka criticized Russell as misunderstanding Kant on the role of intuition in Kant’s geometry. Michael Friedman has defended Russell’s conclusion concerning Kant’s view of geometrical reasoning, but did not discuss Russell’s own arguments. In this paper I examine Russell’s early work on geometry and specifically his remarks on Kant. I also look at Rusell’s arguments in the Principles of Mathematics. I argue that while Russell did not have Friedman’s understanding of Kant, he did not rely on the view of intuition attributed to him by Hintikka. Russell displayed a greater understanding of Kant than is often realized.

Martijn Wallage (Leipzig University)

Is a Person an Object of Reference?


In both early and contemporary analytic philosophy, it is generally accepted that although a person is not an object in a narrow sense, a person is nevertheless an object of reference. I argue that persons are not objects even in the maximally general, logical sense; instead, I identify a distinctly human form of the third person of which human names are the paradigm. Whereas the relation between a referring term and a thing can be traced back to pointing at the thing, the relation between a name and a person is founded in the moment of introduction and address, and thereby in the face-to-face relation of conversation. This line of thought develops in a new direction the arguments of Wittgenstein and Anscombe that the first person does not refer, while avoiding a solipsism that places the subject outside of the world. On my interpretation, their insight applies equally to the second person and reveals a fundamental distinction between two forms of the third person: a form for speaking of something and a form for speaking of someone.