Category Archives: News

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

Donald Davidson: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Volume 7.2 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open access.

This volume is a special issue: Donald Davidson: Looking back, Looking forward, edited by Claudine Verheggen. The volume contains five substantial articles, as well as an introductory essay. Here is an abstract:

The papers collected in this issue were solicited to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Donald Davidson’s birth. Four of them discuss the implications of Davidson’s views—in particular, his later views on triangulation—for questions that are still very much at the centre of current debates. These are, first, the question whether Saul Kripke’s doubts about meaning and rule-following can be answered without making concessions to the sceptic or to the quietist; second, the question whether a way can be found to answer Davidson’s own doubts about the continuity of non-propositional thought and language; third, the question whether normative properties can be at once causal and prescriptive; fourth, the question whether folk psychological explanations can be at once illuminating and autonomous. The fifth paper reexamines Davidson’s take on the principle of compositionality, which always was at the centre of his theorizing about language.

Table of contents

  1. Claudine Verheggen: Volume Introduction
  2. Olivia Sultanescu and Claudine Verheggen: Davidson’s Answer to Kripke’s Sceptic
  3. Dorit Bar-On: Crude Meaning, Brute Thought (or: What Are They Thinking?!)
  4. Robert Myers: Davidson’s Meta-Normative Naturalism
  5. Karsten R. Stueber: Davidson, Reasons, and Causes: A Plea for a Little Bit More Empathy
  6. Peter Pagin: Compositionality in Davidson’s Early Work

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

Sellars’s Argument for an Ontology of Absolute Processes / Review of Work of Russell

Volume 7.1 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by David Landy entitled “Sellars’s Argument for an Ontology of Absolute Processes”. Here is an abstract:

Scholars have rejected Wilfrid Sellars’s argument for an ontology of absolute processes on the grounds that it relies on a dubious and dogmatic appeal to the homogeneity of color. Borrowing from Rosenthal’s recent defense, but ultimate rejection of homogeneity, I defend this claim on Sellarsian/Kantian transcendental grounds, and reconstruct the remainder of his argument. I argue that Sellars has good reason to suppose that homogeneity is a necessary condition of any possible experience, including indirect experience of theoretical-explanatory posits, and therefore good reason to hold that Reductive Materialism, as he conceives it, is an untenable account of color. The remainder of his argument aims to answer the question of what the metaphysical relation is between the state of an experiencing subject that we take color to be and the colorless microphysical particles that we take to constitute that subject. After rejecting Substance Dualism, Epiphenomenalism, and Wholistic or Emergent Materialism as explanatorily inadequate, Sellars proposes that both color-states and micro-physical particles should be understood as manifestations of an underlying ontology on absolute processes.

The volume also contains a review of Samuel Lebens, Bertrand Russell and the Nature of Propositions: A History and Defence of the Multiple Relation Theory of Judgement (New York: Routledge, 2017), written by Rosalind Carey.

On the Curious Calculi of Wittgenstein and Spencer Brown

Volume 6.10 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 “On the Curious Calculi of Wittgenstein and Spencer Brown”. Here is an abstract:

In his Tractatus, Wittgenstein sets out what he calls his N-operator notation which can be used to calculate whether an expression is a tautology. In his Laws of Form, George Spencer Brown offers what he calls a “primary algebra” for such calculation. Both systems are perplexing. But comparing two blurry images can reduce noise, producing a focus. This paper reveals that Spencer Brown independently rediscovered the quantifier-free part of the N-operator calculus. The comparison sheds a flood light on each and from the letters of correspondence we shall find that Russell, as one might have surmised, was a catalyst for both.

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

Truth, Meaning, and Interpretation: A Reconsideration of Davidson’s Program

Volume 6.9 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Arpy Khatchirian entitled “Truth, Meaning, and Interpretation: A Reconsideration of Davidson’s Program”. Here is an abstract:

On a common reading of Davidson, the motivation for his proposal that a meaning theory is to take the form of a truth theory is at least partly guided by concern with the ends and means of interpretation. At the same time, the consensus seems to be that this proposal faces a particularly stubborn justificatory burden. The aim of this paper is twofold: first, to suggest that there is a promising route to discharging this burden, albeit one that is visible only once we shift our attention away from the so-called ‘problem of interpretation’; second, to make the case that, contrary to initial appearances, the line of justification offered here gives us a plausible interpretation of Davidson’s own goals.

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

Three Positivist Disputes in the 1960s / Review of Work on Frege

Volume 6.8 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Carl-Göran Heidegren entitled “Three Positivist Disputes in the 1960s”. Here is an abstract:

The West German positivist dispute in the 1960s is well known and thoroughly studied. At about the same time positivist disputes also took place in two Scandinavian countries: one in Norway and one in Sweden. What did the front lines in the debate look like in the three countries? What was the outcome of the different disputes? The main focus in the article is on the Swedish case, but some comparative perspectives relating to the three disputes will also be presented. The Swedish positivist dispute originated with Gerard Radnitzky’s doctoral dissertation in theory of science, defended at the University of Gothenburg in May 1968, Contemporary Schools of Metascience (2 volumes). The dissertation caused a stir of controversy. It meant a challenge to the Swedish philsophical establishment because it leaned heavily on continental philosophers such as Karl-Otto Apel and Jürgen Habermas, who at the time were more or less unknown in Sweden. The controversy was continuated in the following years, most notably in the leftist journal Häften för kritiska studier (Notebooks for Critical Studies).

The volume also contains a review of Pieranna Garavaso and Nicla Vassallo, Frege on Thinking and Its Epistemic Significance  (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015), written by Rasa Davidaviciute.

Marcus Rossberg assumes role of Editor in Chief at JHAP

Marcus Rossberg (UConn) has assumed the role of Editor in Chief of the Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy. Marcus works on philosophy of logic and mathematics as well as on Frege (he’s co-editor and co-translator of the new English edition of Frege’s Basic Laws) and Nelson Goodman. He succeeds Kevin Klement (UMass), who has concluded a productive three-year term. Kevin remains on the editorial board. Many thanks to Kevin for his service.

SSHAP 2019 (Boston): Call for Abstracts/Papers

The eighth annual conference of the Society for the Study of the History of Analytical Philosophy (SSHAP) will be held at Boston University in Boston, MA on June 17-19, 2019. It is locally organized by Juliet Floyd with the assistance of James Pearson and Sanford Shieh and is being sponsored by the Philosophy Department and the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Boston University.

The 2019 SSHAP meeting is being held in conjunction with the Bertrand Russell Society whose conference (June 20-22, 2019) convenes immediately after the SSHAP meeting at University of Massachusetts-Amherst. It is locally organized by Kevin C. Klement. The organizers hope that SSHAP conferees will also want to attend the BRS meeting and vice versa. There are many areas of shared interest and possibilities for fruitful exchange. We do ask that those who wish to submit papers for both meetings not submit the very same paper.

Invited Speakers:

Annalisa Coliva (University of California, Irvine)

Sandra Lapointe (McMaster University)

Thomas Ricketts (University of Pittsburgh)

SSHAP – Call for Abstracts or Papers

SSHAP is an international organization aimed at promoting discussion in all areas of scholarship concerning the development of philosophical logic, philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, metaphysics, ethics and metaethics, the philosophy of science, and epistemology. It welcomes scholars interested in the many ways in which the disciplines were influenced by thinkers such as Bolzano, Brentano and his school, Husserl, Frege, Russell, the Vienna Circle, Wittgenstein, Tarski, Quine and the Polish school, for instance, but also seeks to promote work engaging with lesser know figures and trends.   SSHAP invites submissions for its 2019 annual conference. Paper submissions in all areas of the history of analytic philosophy are welcome.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: January 15, 2019.

In the past, some of the papers presented at the annual conference were published in the Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy.

Submission Instructions

Authors are requested to submit their long abstract electronically according to the following guidelines:

  1. Long abstracts (500-1000 words) or full papers (up to 4000 words) should be prepared for blind refereeing,
  2. put into PDF file format, and
  3. sent as an email attachment to the address given below.
  4. The subject line of the submission email should include the key-phrase “SSHAP submission”, and
  5. the body text of the email message should constitute a cover page for the submission by including a) return email address, b) author’s name, c) affiliation, d) paper title, and e) short abstract (50-100 words) and f) academic rank.

Time allowed for presentation is 60 minutes (including discussion). Electronic submissions and queries should be sent to: sshap2019@gmail.com.

For more information, please visit our website: www.sshap.org

Collections in Early Bolzano

Volume 6.7 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Stefania Centrone and Mark Siebel entitled “Collections in Early Bolzano.” Here is an abstract:

There are quite a few studies on late Bolzano’s notion of a collection (Inbegriff). We try to broaden the perspective by scrutinising the forerunner of collections in Bolzano’s early writings, namely the entities referred to by expressions with the technical term “et”. Special emphasis is laid on the question whether these entities are set-theoretical or mereological plenties. Moreover, similarities and differences to Bolzano’s mature conception are pointed out. We argue that early Bolzano’s particular blend of set-theoretical and mereological features is best interpreted as a set-theoretically enhanced mereology.

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

Roman Ingarden and Verificationism

Volume 6.6 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

This is issue deals with Roman Ingarden’s critique of verificationism. It begins with a translation, by Bernard Linsky, of Ingarden’s “The Logical Attempt at a New Formulation of Philosophy: A Critical Remark”. Here is an abstract:

This is the first English translation of Roman Ingarden’s paper presented at the 8th World Congress of Philosophy held in Prague in 1934: “Der Logistische Versuch einer Neugestaltung der Philosophie: Eine Kritische Bemerkung”, translated here as “The Logical Attempt at a New Formulation of Philosophy: A Critical Remark”. Also translated here are brief discussions by Rudolf Carnap and Otto Neurath. These essays were published in the original German in the Proceedings of the Congress in 1936. This statement of Ingarden’s criticisms of the doctrines of the Vienna Circle has been mentioned in print, but his views have not been discussed, or indeed accurately reported to date.

Secondly, the volume contains a companion paper by Francis Jeffry Pelletier and Bernard Linsky, entitled “Verification: The Hysteron Proteron Argument”:

This paper investigates the strange case of an argument that was directed against a positivist verification principle. We find an early occurrence of the argument in a talk by the phenomenologist Roman Ingarden at the 1934 International Congress of Philosophy in Prague, where Carnap and Neurath were present and contributed short rejoinders. We discuss the underlying presuppositons of the argument, and we evaluate whether the attempts by Carnap (especially) actually succeed in answering this argument. We think they don’t, and offer instead a few sociological thoughts about why the argument seems to have disappeared from the profession’s evaluaton of the positivist criterion of verifiability.

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

SSHAP 2018 Registration Open

Registration is now open for the upcoming SSHAP conference to be held June 19-21 at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON. Please follow the link below to our web portal where you can register for the conference.

https://www.acpcpa.ca/events/society-for-the-study-of-the-history-of-analytical-philosophy

The fees are as follows:

Registration (includes, conference material, boxed lunches, coffee breaks and transaction fee ($5))

  • Full-time: $105
  • Student/Retired/Unemployed: $65

In addition to the conference fee, we kindly ask that you register in advance for the conference dinner on 20th June at Radius. We have also made reservations for those of us who want to take advantage of the good company and made a reservation at the Brux House on 19th June. We’re not sure how many people we’ll be able to fit in – hopefully everyone! – so please make sure to put your name on the waitlist if the tickets have sold out by the time you register!

  • First Day Conference Bash @ bruxhouse.com (limited places*; includes taxes (13%), service (18%) and transaction fee ($5)): $75
  • 20th June Conference Dinner @ radius.ca (includes taxes (13%), service (18%) and transaction fee ($5); Click HERE for set menu options) : $70

lease let us know by June 1st if you have any dietary restrictions.

Please note that registration closes on JUNE 1st.

 If you have not done so already, please accept this gentle reminder to book your accommodations as early as possible.  You are welcome to make reservations downtown, at the hotel of your choice, which is also where most of the socializing will be done. Alternatively, you may prefer to stay on campus at one of McMaster’s affordable guest accommodations (see link below).

https://housing.mcmaster.ca/hotelmcmaster/

Thanks very much. We are excited to see you all very soon.