Category Archives: News

Announcements and news from the Society, including Calls for Papers, Calls for Participation, Notices of Meetings, and Membership Updates.

Solving the Conjunction Problem of Russell’s Principles of Mathematics / Review of On the Genealogy of Universals

Volume 8.8 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Gregory Landini entitled, “Solving the Conjunction Problem of Russell’s Principles of Mathematics”. Here is an abstract:

The quantification theory of propositions in Russell’s Principles of Mathematics has been the subject of an intensive study and in reconstruction has been found to be complete with respect to analogs of the truths of modern quantification theory. A difficulty arises in the reconstruction, however, because it presents universally quantified exportations of five of Russell’s axioms. This paper investigates whether a formal system can be found that is more faithful to Russell’s original prose. Russell offers axioms that are universally quantified implications that have antecedent clauses that are conjunctions. The presence of conjunctions as antecedent clauses seems to doom the theory from the onset, it will be found that there is no way to prove conjunctions so that, after universal instantiation, one can detach the needed antecedent clauses. Amalgamating two of Russell’s axioms, this paper overcomes the difficulty.

The volume also contains a review of Fraser MacBride, On the Genealogy of Universals: The Metaphysical Origins of Analytic Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), written by Landon D. C. Elkind.

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

Sellars, Price, and the Myth of the Given / Review of work on Kant’s logic

Volume 8.7 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Michael R. Hicks entitled, “Sellars, Price, and the Myth of the Given”. Here is an abstract:

Wilfrid Sellars’s “Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind” (EPM) begins with an argument against sense-datum epistemology. There is some question about the validity of this attack, stemming in part from the assumption that Sellars is concerned with epistemic foundationalism. This paper recontextualizes Sellars’s argument in two ways: by showing how the argument of EPM relates to Sellars’s 1940s work, which does not concern foundationalism at all; and by considering the view of H.H. Price, Sellars’s teacher at Oxford and the only classical datum theorist to receive substantive comment in EPM. Timm Triplett has claimed that Sellars’s discussion simply begs the question against Price, but this depends on the mistaken assumption that Sellars’s concern is with foundationalism.  On the contrary, Sellars’s argument concerns the assumption that the innate capacity for sensory experience counts as “thinking in presence” in the way needed for empiricist accounts of content acquisition. Price’s distinction between noticing universals and being aware of them encapsulates the tensions empiricists face here.

The volume also contains a review of Huaping Lu-Adler, Kant and the Science of Logic (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), written by Tyke Nunez.

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

Truth 20/20 online conference

The conference announced below features some sessions in the area of History of Analytic Philosophy that may be of interest to SSHAP members.

TRUTH 20/20

Online Conference Announcement

27 July 2020 – 6 August 2020
http://tinyurl.com/truth-conference-2020 

TRUTH 20/20, an online conference on the nature and value of truth, will be held from 27 July 2020 through 6 August 2020.  The conference will be convened by the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute Future of Truth Project, the University of Waikato Philosophy Programme, and Virtual International Consortium for Truth Research (VICTR). 

TRUTH 20/20 brings together a community of philosophers united by an interest in understanding the nature and value of truth. The year 2020 is unlike any in recent memory. We face the novel COVID-19 pandemic as well as an ongoing pandemic of misinformation driven by political propaganda, fake news, personalized social media, and the politicization of basic facts.   As the coronavirus pandemic has spread across the globe, we have been forced to reinvent and reimagine how we interact with one another.  Nowhere is this more perspicuous than in scholarly pursuits. What better way to have an online socially-distanced conference than one that focuses on the topic of truth? 

The conference is free and open to everyone with an interest in philosophy, especially those with an interest in theories of truth, history of analytic philosophy, and philosophical logic. The conference will employ the Zoom platform for the meeting. Anyone who would like to attend should register for the conference at http://www.tinyurl.com/truth-conference-2020-register, preferably before 24 July 2020, so that details about the Zoom link may be sent to you before the start of the conference. 

A simple request to attendees: In lieu of conference registration fees, hotel and travel accommodation, and restaurant and pub bills, conference curators humbly ask participants and attendees to make a donation to a charitable organisation, such as OxfamBlack Lives Matter Global Network, or Centre for Disaster Philanthropy – COVID-19 Response Fund

Conference schedule (all times given in US Eastern Daylight Time): 

Monday, 27 July 2020, 10:00AM EDT
Paul Horwich (NYU), “Wittgenstein on Truth”
Susanna Melkonian-Altshuler (UConn), “Directionality for Minimalism: A Piecemeal Approach”
María Jose Frápolli (Granada), “Why is Truth So Elusive” 

Tuesday, 28 July 2020, 10:00AM EDT
Special session on Jan Woleński & Peter Simons’ “De Veritate: Austro-Polish Contributions to the Theory of Truth from Brentano to Tarski” — 30 Years On 

Anna Brożek (Warsaw), “Analysis of Concepts from Brentano to Tarski: Austro-Polish Contributions to Methodology of Philosophy”
Maria van der Schaar (Leiden), “Judgements as Bearers of Truth”
Jan Woleński (Jagiellonian University, Kraków) & Peter Simons (Trinity College, Dublin), “Reminiscence on ‘De Veritate…’”

Thursday, 30 July 2020, 10:00AM EDT
Arvid Båve (Kent/Stockholm), “Propositions and their Truth Conditions”
Marcus Rossberg (UConn), “An Inferentialist Redundacy Theory of Truth” 

Thursday, 30 July 2020, 07:00PM EDT
Smoke and Flickering Shadows: Strawson and Evans on Truth and Factuality

Chair: Huw Price (Sydney/Cambridge)
Discussants: Douglas Edwards (Utica), Cheryl Misak (Toronto), Amie Thomasson (Dartmouth) 

Monday, 3 August 2020, 10:00AM EDT
Author Meets Critics: Douglas Edwards’ The Metaphysics of Truth

Critics: Bradley Armour-Garb (SUNY-Albany), Nathan Kellen (Kansas State), Michael P. Lynch (UConn) 

Tuesday, 4 August 2020, 10:00AM EDT
Author Meets Critics: Cheryl Misak’s Frank Ramsey: A Sheer Excess of Powers

Critics: Simon Blackburn (UNC/Cambridge), Liam Kofi Bright (London School of Economics), Jennifer Hornsby (Birbeck College, London) 

Thursday, 6 August 2020, 10:00AM EDT
Morning / Afternoon Tea Social Hour

  • Recap of the conference
  • Discussion regarding the Future of Truth project at the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute
  • An Introduction to the Virtual International Consortium for Truth Research

The online conference is curated by:
Robert Barnard rwbjr@olemiss.edu 
Adam Podlaskowski apodlaskowski@fairmontstate.edu 
Marcus Rossberg marcus.rossberg@uconn.edu 
Joseph Ulatowski joe.ulatowski@waikato.ac.nz 
Chase Wrenn cwrenn@ua.edu

The Birth of Semantics

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

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

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

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

Extending New Narratives Post-Doctoral Fellowships: Call for Applications

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

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

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

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

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

Davidson’s Wittgenstein

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

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

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

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

Reinventing Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong

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

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

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

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

SSHAP 2020 at Vienna Postponed to 2021

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

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

Our best wishes to all for your safety and health.

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

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

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

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

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

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