A. N. Prior on Austin’s ‘Sense and Sensibilia’

Volume 4.4 of the Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy is now online. It features an article entitled "A. N. Prior on Austin's Sense and Sensibilia", edited by Chrissy van Hulst and Max Cresswell. Here is an abstract:

In the early 1960s A. N. Prior was commissioned to write a review of J. L. Austin’s Sense and Sensibilia. The review was never published. The present article presents a transcription of the review from the material available in the Virtual Lab For Prior Studies maintained at Aalborg University, together with an edited version of the transcription of a longer commentary on Sense and Sensibilia from which the review was condensed.

JHAP is available at: https://jhaponline.org. Submissions welcome.

Foundations of Methodology in the History of Philosophy

Workshop, 16 April 2016, Trius Winery at Hillebrand (www.triuswines.com)

One of the biggest challenges for historians of philosophy, whether it be historians of e.g. analytic, German, modern, medieval or ancient philosophy is to make clear the various ways in which historical work can be relevant to contemporary discussion. Few philosophical resources exist that deal with questions concerning approaches and methods, and divergences across the various subfields of interest are often quite remarkable. This is to say nothing of the gap that seems to exist between historians of philosophy and historians and philosophers of science.  

The purpose of the workshop is to come to a better understanding of our own assumptions as historians and consider whether distinct approaches and methods can come to inform each other in a way that could contribute to unifying the field – and whether this is desirable in the first place. It will gather historians and philosophers of science, historians of ancient, medieval and modern philosophy as well as historians of analytical philosophy.

The workshop will revolve around current work-in-progress by eminent historian of medieval philosophy Claude Panaccio (UQAM). The morning session will be devoted to a lecture by Panaccio, followed by an open discussion. The afternoon session will consist of a round table. A number of “ heses” taken from Panaccio’s manuscript will be examined and discussed by a panel of historians with different backgrounds and interest. They include :

  • ·      Corey Dyck, Western
  • ·      Jacqueline Feke, Waterloo
  • ·      David Hunter, Ryerson
  • ·      Peter King, Toronto
  • ·      Henrik Lagerlund, Western
  • ·      Sandra Lapointe, McMaster
  • ·      Christian Leduc, Montreal
  • ·      Martin Pickave, Toronto

The round table will be followed by a general discussion. Invited discussants include: Doreen Fraser (Waterloo), Mark Johnstone (McMaster), Jenny Pelletier (Leuven), Marleen Rozemond (Toronto), Anthony Skelton (Western), Nick Stang (Toronto),  John Thorp (Western).

for more information, visit us HERE

Wittgenstein and His Literary Executors / Reviews of Works on Wittgenstein and on Stout

Volume 4.3 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy is now online. It features an article by Christian Erbacher entitled “Wittgenstein and His Literary Executors”.

It also contains a review of Mauro Engelmann’s Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Development, by Alois Pichler, and a review of Maria van der Schaar’s G. F. Stout and the Psychological Origins of Analytic Philosophy by Consuelo Preti.

Here is an abstract of Erbacher’s article:

Rush Rhees, Georg Henrik von Wright and Elizabeth Anscombe are well known as the literary executors who made Ludwig Wittgenstein’s later philosophy available to all interested readers. Their editions of Wittgenstein’s writings have become an integral part of the modern philosophical canon. However, surprisingly little is known about the circumstances and reasons that made Wittgenstein choose them to edit and publish his papers. This essay sheds light on these questions by presenting the story of their personal relationships—relationships that, on the one hand, gave Rhees, von Wright and Anscombe distinct insights into Wittgenstein’s philosophizing; and, on the other hand, let Wittgenstein assume that these three former students, and later colleagues and friends, were the most capable of preparing his work for publication. Using hitherto unpublished archival material as well as information from published recollections, the essay sketches the development of the personal and philosophical bonds from which the literary heirs’ distinct ways of handling Wittgenstein’s unpublished writings grew in later years.

JHAP is available at: https://jhaponline.org. Submissions welcome.

JOB: Visiting Russell Professorship at McMaster University

The Department of Philosophy at McMaster University is currently advertising its 2016/17 Visiting Russell Professorship. 

The Visiting Professorships, one of which will be available each year, are intended for established scholars whose research would benefit by access to the Bertrand Russell Archives. It is an excellent opportunity for Russell scholars and historians of analytical philosophy to gain physical access to the formidable wealth of material curated at McMaster. Please consult the ad here:


McMaster hosts a number of events in the history of analytical philosophy each year. For more information:


Brentano’s Mature Theory of Intentionality / Review of Work on Quine

Volume 4.2 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy is now online. It features an article by Uriah Kriegel entitled “Brentano’s Mature Theory of Intentionality”, as well as a review of Gilbert Harman and Ernie Lepore, eds., A Companion to W.V.O. Quine, by James Pearson.

Here is the abstract to Kriegel’s article:

The notion of intentionality is what Franz Brentano is best known for. But disagreements and misunderstandings still surround his account of its nature. In this paper, I argue that Brentano’s mature account of the nature of intentionality construes it, not as a two-place relation between a subject and an object, nor as a three-place relation between a subject’s act, its object, and a ‘content,’ but as an altogether non-relational, intrinsic property of subjects. I will argue that the view is more defensible than might initially appear.

How to Read Moore’s “Proof of an External World”

Volume 4.1 of the Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy has been published. It features an article by Kevin Morris and Consuelo Preti entitled ‘How to Read Moore’s “Proof of an External World”’. Here is an abstract:

We develop a reading of Moore’s “Proof of an External World” (PEW) that emphasizes the connections between this paper and Moore’s earlier concerns and strategies. Our reading has the benefit of explaining why the claims that Moore advances in “Proof of an External World” would have been of interest to him, and avoids attributing to him arguments that are either trivial or wildly unsuccessful. Part of the evidence for our view comes from unpublished drafts which, we believe, contain important clues concerning Moore’s aims and intent. While our approach to PEW may be classified alongside other broadly “metaphysical” readings, we believe that a proper recognition of the continuity in Moore’s philosophical concerns and strategies across his philosophical career shows that the customary distinction between “epistemological” and “metaphysical” interpretative approaches to PEW is at best superficial.

Carnap’s Contribution to Tarski’s Truth

Volume 3.10 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy has been published featuring an article by Monika Gruber entitled “Carnap’s Contribution to Tarski’s Truth”. Here is an abstract:

In his seminal work “The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages” (1933), Alfred Tarski showed how to construct a formally correct and materially adequate definition of true sentence for certain formalized languages. These results have, eventually, been accepted and applauded by philosophers and logicians nearly in unison. Its Postscript, written two years later, however, has given rise to a considerable amount of controversy. There is an ongoing debate on what Tarski really said in the postscript. These discussions often regard Tarski as putatively changing his logical framework from type theory to set

In what follows, we will compare the original results with those presented two years later. After a brief outline of Carnap’s program in The Logical Syntax of Language we will determine its significance for Tarski’s final results.

HOPOS and SSHAP 2016

SSHAP is happy to team up with HOPOS to invite their members, many of whom share interests,  to our respective conferences. The conferences are only a few days apart: SSHAP will take place in Denver 16-18 June, and HOPOS in Minneapolis 22-25 June.There are many fast, nonstop flights from Denver to Minneapolis, every day.

You will find information about the SSHAP meeting HERE. The Call for Submissions for the HOPOS meeting is below.

HOPOS 2016 – Call for Submissions

June 22-25, 2016

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


Keynote Speakers

Karine Chemla, REHSEIS, CNRS, and Université Paris Diderot

Thomas Uebel, University of Manchester

HOPOS: The International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science will hold its eleventh international congress in Minneapolis, on June 22-25, 2016.  The Society requests proposals for papers and for symposia to be presented at the meeting.

HOPOS is devoted to promoting scholarly research on the history of the philosophy of science. We construe this subject broadly, to include topics in the history of related disciplines and in all historical periods, studied through diverse methodologies.  In order to encourage scholarly exchange across the temporal reach of HOPOS, the program committee especially encourages submissions that take up philosophical themes that cross time periods.

If you have inquiries about the conference or about the submission process, please write to Maarten van Dyck: maarten.vandyck [at] ugent.be.


To submit a proposal, please visit the following website:  http://hopos2016.umn.edu/call-submissions

Proposals for papers should be prepared for anonymous review. Proposals should include:

  • Title and abstract of the paper (maximum 500 words).

Proposals for symposia should be prepared for anonymous review. Proposals should include:

  • Title of the symposium.
  • Symposium summary statement (maximum 500 words).
  • Titles and abstracts of the papers (maximum 500 words for each paper).
  • A symposium should consist of 3 or 4 papers.


Program Committee

  • Maarten van Dyck (Ghent University), “Kant and Before” Subcommittee Chair
  • Karen Detlefsen (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Andrea Falcon (Concordia University)
  • Sophie Roux (École Normale Supérieure, Paris)
  • Marius Stan (Boston College)
  • Lydia Patton (Virginia Tech), “After Kant” Subcommittee Chair
  • Janet Folina (Macalester College)
  • Greg Frost-Arnold (Hobart and William Smith Colleges)
  • Matthias Neuber (Universität Tübingen)
  • Jonathan Tsou (Iowa State University)

Davidson on Practical Knowledge

Volume 3.9 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy [JHAP] has now been published.
This issue features an article by David Hunter entitled “Davidson on Practical Knowledge”. Here is an abstract:

Did Donald Davidson agree with G.E.M. Anscombe that action requires a distinctive form of agential awareness? The answer is No, at least according to the standard interpretation of Davidson’s account of action. A careful study of Davidson’s early writings, however, reveals a much more subtle conception of the role of agential belief in action. While the role of the general belief in Davidson’s theory is familiar and has been much discussed, virtually no attention has been paid to the singular belief. This essay makes a start on remedying this neglect. I begin, in section 1, by examining Davidson’s claim that for a desire or belief to rationalize and cause an action it must have a suitable generality. It must, he says, be ‘logically independent’ of the action itself. While he was clear about this requirement in the case of the desire that forms part of a person’s primary reason, I show in section 2 that his early treatment of belief confuses general and singular beliefs. This confusion reflects his failure clearly to distinguish the two roles belief can play in his account of action: as rationalizing cause and as agential awareness. Somewhat surprisingly, though, after he carefully drew the distinction and announced that intentional action requires practical knowledge, he pretty much ignored it. This may explain why some have assumed that Davidson parted ways with Anscombe on this. But a careful study of their writings shows that in fact they held remarkably similar views on the nature and need for practical knowledge.

Call for Participants: Logic in Kant’s Wake


From 6-8 May 2016, McMaster’s Philosophy Department will be hosting the final installment of the workshop. The event is sponsored by McMaster’s Bertrand Russell Research Centre (Faculty of Humanities), Michael Forster’s Humboldt Professorship (Bonn, Germany) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

The general motivation for the project is to better understand the development of logic in the 19th century and, in particular, to make sense of an idea that seems to have been formidably widespread at the time, namely, that Kant had a tremendous influence on the discipline. This surprising observation raises a number of questions, for instance: What did logicians understood ‘logic’ to mean before and after Kant? What were Kant’s views on logic and how did they inform the views of his successors? What characterizes the Idealists’ reception of Kant’s ideas on logic? How does logic develop in other post-Kantian contexts, e.g. in Fries’ and Herbart’s theories, and later in those of Trendelenburg, Lotze and the algebraists in Britain? Where does the groundbreaking work of Bolzano, Frege and Russell fit within the broader (German-speaking, British) contexts? What of the relation between logic and psychology before the well-known anti-psychologistic criticisms of the end of the 19th century?

Workshop Participants:

  • Frederick Beiser, Syracuse
  • Michael Forster, Bonn
  • Nicholas Griffin, McMaster
  • Jeremy Heis, UC Irvine
  • Sandra Lapointe, McMaster
  • Gary Ostertag, CUNY
  • Lydia Patton, Virginia Tech
  • Consuelo Preti, The College of New Jersey
  • Graham Priest, CUNY/Melbourne
  • Brigitte Sassen, McMaster
  • Nick Stang, Toronto
  • Clinton Tolley, UC San Diego

Call For Participants

We welcome anyone who is interested to attend to indicate their intention in advance, so that we can plan in consequence. The program is also still open. Each participant will be allocated 90 minutes. Ideally, presentations should be 30-35 minutes, to allow time for thorough discussion and maximize constructive input as well as the exchange of ideas. Each participant will be expected to contribute to the proceedings (in a volume with a first rate publisher). The workshop should be a place where participants can test ideas and benefit from discussion toward the final draft of their paper.

There are not many spots available, but we warmly welcome submissions, especially from experts whose work might help throw lights on aspects of the development of logic in the 19th century – e.g. alternative conceptions of its scope, method and place within philosophy – that have been neglected. If you are interested in participating, please send a short message indicating your interest and an abstract, no later than 1 November to:


Notification will be given shortly thereafter.