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14:00-15:50 Session 2: Opening Remarks & Presidential Address

Opening Remarks: Hans Bernhard Schmid, Dean of Faculty of Philosophy and Education, University of Vienna. (14:00-14:05)

Presidential Address: Katalin Farkas, President, European Society for Analytic Philosophy (14:05-15:50)

Location: Audi Max
On Character

ABSTRACT. Character trait attributions are ubiquitous both in describing people and in explaining their actions. While there has been significant interest in character traits in moral psychology and virtue ethics, they have received surprisingly little attention in the philosophy of mind. One reason for this neglect may be that character traits don't readily fit the usual marks of the mental: they are not conscious, and they are not obviously intentional - they don't seem to be about something. In this paper, I ask what character traits are, and how they fit into the broader landscape of mental features.

16:10-18:05 Session 3A: Symposium: Alois Höfler in Vienna
Location: Hörsaal 6
Alois Höfler in Vienna

ABSTRACT. On the occasion of Alois Höfler’s 170th birthday and one year after the centenary of his death, this symposium commemorate his contribution to Austrian philosophy and to early analytic philosophy in the city in which he spent most of philosophical career: Vienna. More concretely, the objective of this symposium is to reassess the philosophy of the polymath Höfler from various perspectives, in particular by considering his involvement with cultural movements such as Wagnerism (Fisette), his ontology and the descriptive psychology that supports it (Mulligan), and his influence on the Vienna Circle, and in particular on Waismann (Limbeck-Lilienau).

16:10-18:05 Session 3B: Philosophy of Mind and Action
Location: Seminar Room 1
A critique of the two-dimensional semantics of psychiatric terms

ABSTRACT. I will criticize the account of two-dimensional semantics of psychiatric terms presented by Hane Maung. I argue that his proposal is wrong, as it has counterintuitive consequences. Firstly, it allows for cases of asymptomatic mental illnesses. Secondly, it assumes that the concept of mental illness can be easily divided into surface and beneath-the-surface levels. I think that noticing those consequences is important for shaping the debate about the concept of mental illness.

How Sensorimotor Processes Gain Intentionality

ABSTRACT. Intentionality is largely understood as goal-directedness. However, a system cannot only direct its behaviour at the abstract goals philosophers associate with proper intentions (those a person can consider). How could a less abstract intentionality arise on a subpersonal level? This talk (i) summarises the organisational features which allow a system to display regulatory behaviour, guided by what is good or bad for its continued existence. Building on that, (ii) the activity of sensorimotor prioritisation is introduced as a specialised action selection – detailing out how priming activities and networked interactivity result in increasingly flexible, individual, and abstract intention(ality).

(Fictional-)Imaginings are Entertainings (in a Project)

ABSTRACT. What are imaginings? The paper defend the deflationary view that imaginings are entertainings, I=E from an argument by Walton against it. The main point made in response to Walton’s arguments is suggested by Walton himself: that many imaginings – i.e., entertainings, on the view defended here – are mental episodes that agents launch for a purpose. The paper also appeals to this fact to dispose of a miscellany of other considerations against I=E. In addition to answering objections, the paper offers as a positive consideration for I=E that it helps establishing the imagination as a fundamental, irreducible mental attitude

16:10-18:05 Session 3C: Epistemology; credence
Location: Seminar Room 2
A match made in (rational) heaven? How credences relate to probability beliefs

ABSTRACT. In my talk, I will argue that there is a normative relation between credences and probability beliefs. More specifically, I will propose what I call the Interdoxastic Coherence Principle (ICP) which says that a subject is epistemically rational only if (roughly put) her credences and her beliefs' epistemically probabilistic contents match. I will provide two arguments in support of ICP. I will first show that ICP explains a new class of puzzling cases involving probabilistic incoherence. I will then provide a Dutch book argument for ICP that shows that violating the latter makes on susceptible to sure loss.

Fitting Credencs: Not for Free!

ABSTRACT. What are the fittingness-conditions of credences? In my talk I want to investigate the two most promising answers to this issue. I argue that, either, one understands credences as being analogous to beliefs, i.e. they have to fit the truth of the proposition they are directed at. On the other hand, one could drive a wedge between the normative profile of both attitudes and maintain that credences have to fit the evidential probability of the proposition in question. I show that both options come with their peculiar theoretical commitments, especially with regard to the normative relationship between beliefs and credences.

Doxastic Gradualism WIthout Credences

ABSTRACT. A widely accepted assumption in epistemology is that there is something gradual about our believing. The aim of my paper is to explicate this assumption – which I call doxastic gradualism – without appealing to the concept of credence. The ontology that I propose in the paper contains two ontologically different items: full beliefs (either probabilistic or non-probabilistic) and metacognitive states that I call doxastic epistemic feelings: the feelings of confidence, doubt and certainty. My contention is that this ontology offers an elegant explanation of doxastic gradualism while overcoming some of the classical problems with the credence-based accounts.

16:10-18:05 Session 3D: Metaphysics
Location: Seminar Room 3
If Numbers, Then Internal Relations

ABSTRACT. I offer and defend an argument to the effect that Mathematical Realism, i.e. the view that there are numbers, and Nihilism about internal relations, i.e. the view that internal relations do not exist, are inconsistent by means of a Reductio ad Absurdum based on three assumptions.

[CANCELLED] Ready Player Two? Joint action and the limitations of methodological individualism in the philosophy of games.

ABSTRACT. An influential explanation of agency in games is centred around a so-called ‘lusory attitude’ directed toward rule-constituted challenges. I identify a serious problem for this approach: aggregation of lusory attitudes held severally by various individuals fails to yield a coherent explanation of mutual interaction in games with two or more players. I argue that (competitive or collaborative) social play should be understood in terms of an irreducibly relational form of practical reasoning – expressible in the formula ‘I am playing X with you’ – and that the assumption of ‘methodological individualism’ is misguided in the philosophical study of games.

Spontaneity in Kant’s Discussion of Infinite Series in the Critique of Pure Reason

ABSTRACT. This paper investigates the role of spontaneity in Kant’s discussion of infinite series in the Transcendental Dialectic’s third antinomy, including its implications to contemporary discussions of infinity, self-consciousness, and self-knowledge. By doing so, the paper claims that this form of spontaneity contributes to our understanding of freedom by looking into spontaneity’s function in creating an original rule (first rule) which according to Kant is the form of absolute spontaneity, which is freedom. Because of this form of spontaneity, the paper proposes a discussion of infinite series in light of Kant’s conception of freedom as absolute spontaneity.

16:10-18:05 Session 3E: Ethics; moral progress
Location: Seminar Room 4
Is Moral Progress an Illusion?

ABSTRACT. I argue that a common intuition that our moral views are superior to those of the past is truth insensitive.

My argument is founded on two claims: (1) widespread endorsement of contemporary moral norms and (2) gradual change in moral norms. If (1) and (2) are true, then we should expect the greatest endorsement of the contemporaneous moral norms, lesser endorsement of more recent but non-contemporaneous moral views, and even lesser endorsement of temporally distant moral views. This is sufficient to generate the general impression (illusion) that moral progress has occurred.

Moral Intuitions as an Obstacle to Moral Progress

ABSTRACT. In ethics, the belief in moral progress is strongly embedded. The paper aims to explain why the biggest obstacle to moral progress present moral intuitions. Firstly, I will present different definitions of moral progress and its criteria. Secondly, I will show how the idea of moral progress can be endorsed from the position of naturalized ethics, which takes into account the unreliability of moral intuitions. Finally, I will argue for the necessity of moral progress, as striving for moral progress presents the only way to prevent societies from accepting practices which were in the past for good reasons condemned.

Moral progress as progress in understanding: two problems

ABSTRACT. This talk examines the so-called “understanding-based accounts of moral progress.” According to Severini (2021), since evolutionary mechanisms entail skepticism about moral knowledge, understanding-based accounts are more promising than knowledge-based accounts of moral progress. We challenge this claim by offering two arguments. First, since it is too demanding, the standard notion of understanding (i.e., “grasping”) undermines the possibility of moral progress. Second, evolutionary factors are equally threatening to moral understanding as they are to moral knowledge. Accordingly, not only is the possibility of moral progress via understanding threatened by evolutionary considerations, but also by the demanding notion of understanding.

16:10-18:05 Session 3F: Philosophy of Language
Location: Seminar Room 5
The expression of anger

ABSTRACT. This talk addresses the following question: in what contexts is the expression of anger permissible? The plan for this talk is the following: I first present arguments in favour of the place of the expression of anger in the public domain, and explain why they rely crucially on the idea that anger has fittingness or aptness conditions, which include moral wrongs or moral injustice. If anger is apt when it is a response to moral wrongs, then its expression would likewise be appropriate and admissible under conditions of injustice, the argument goes (Srinivasan 2018, Lepoutre 2018, Shoemaker 2017, Silva 2021). I will then show that it's not obvious that anger constitutively appraises injustice. Moreover, we cannot ignore the counterproductive effects of the expression of anger (Nussbaum 2016, Lepoutre 2018). But more importantly, and as Callard (2020) also argues, anger is essentially bad, even when fitting. I conclude with some considerations about the contexts in which anger's expression is permissible.

Testing the reference of proper names: an eye-tracking study

ABSTRACT. Machery, Mallon, Nichols and Stich (MMNS, 2004) tested laypeople’s referential intuitions in a scenario modeled on Kripke’s Gödel Case. MMNS found a cross-cultural and an intra-cultural difference in participants’ referential intuitions on proper names. Martí criticized MMNS’s study. Referential intuitions reveal participants’ meta-linguistic leanings rather than their dispositions to use proper names. Our study tests linguistic usage by collecting eye-tracking data in a visual-word paradigm. Two conclusions are drawn. First, eye-tracking data corroborate the causal-historical theory. Second, contrary to what is widely accepted in the literature, truth-value judgments are not reliable tests of linguistic usage.

Linguistic Diversity and Retraction: An English-Spanish Cross-Linguistic Study

ABSTRACT. The aim of this work is twofold. First, investigate possible linguistic differences in the concept in each language. Second, to assess whether these possible differences are reflected in how English and Spanish speakers conceive retraction. To this end, I will investigate the collocates (see Hunston 2002) of the terms “retract”, “retraction”, retractar “retract” and retractación “retraction” in two different corpora in Sketch Engine, the English Web 2020 corpus (see Jakubícek et al., 2012), and the Spanish Web 2018 corpus (see Kilgariff & Renau, 2013).

16:10-18:05 Session 3G: Philosophy of Science
Location: Seminar Room 6
The formal structure(s) of analogical inference

ABSTRACT. Recently, Dardashti et al. (2019) proposed a Bayesian model for analogical inference. We investigate how their model performs when varying the degree of similarity between the source and the target system. We show that there are circumstances in which the degree of confirmation for the hypothesis about the target system obtained by collecting evidence from the source system goes down when increasing the degree of similarity between the two systems. We then develop an alternative model in which the direction of the variation of both degrees always coincides and compare the two models.

Conceptual Spaces: A Solution to Goodman’s New Riddle of Induction?

ABSTRACT. Peter Gärdenfors treats Goodman’s New Riddle of Induction as a problem of knowledge representation. He maintains natural concepts – those we project in inferential reasoning – are regions in Conceptual Spaces with certain geometric properties. I will argue his account does at best offer a partial solution to Goodman's Riddle, since it provides no justification of our inferential practice. It is based on an instrumentalist and purely cognitive notion of naturalness that merely helps to discern which concepts we de facto project. But invoking ontological naturalness would render the cognitive demarcation criterion Gärdenfors advances obsolete.

Computer simulation vs. computer-aided proof – a priori or a posteriori?

ABSTRACT. Computer simulations and computer-aided proofs both use digital computers. Despite that, they have not often been considered together. Yet, both methods raise similar questions. In particular, are they a priori or rather a posteriori? In both cases, there are conflicting intuitions. By connecting literature from philosophy of computer simulation and philosophy of mathematics, I argue that the answers depend on similar sets of other questions, e.g. in which way experience is “needed” to underwrite a posteriori knowledge and what exactly the epistemic subject is. I use related distinctions to show that both methods are in an interesting sense a priori.

16:10-18:05 Session 3H: History of Philosophy
Location: Seminar Room 7
On the Separation of Aristotle's Universal Substances

ABSTRACT. It is controversial what Aristotle's characterisation of substances as separate/separable (χωριστὸν) means. It is standardly assumed though that individual substances, but not universal substances, are separate, since Aristotle rejects Plato's conception of universals as separate entities. I argue against this view. Aristotle's criticism shows that Platonic universals are conceived as entities besides (παρά) individuals. While this would still allow them to be in individuals as their substrates, Plato denies this by conceiving them also as separate entities. Aristotle's universal substances are also not in individuals and thus separate from them; however, they are not besides, but essential 'parts' of individuals.


ABSTRACT. Aristotle's natural philosophy presents tensions between theoretical and explanatory commitments that aren’t determined by one salient aspect, but rather by a combination of pulls and constraints. Certain cases in the domain of physics that raise theoretical dilemmas for Aristotle. (1) De Caelo 3.1: bodies aren't reducible to geometrical features. (2) Physics 7.3: seeming counterexamples to qualitative change being elicited only by sensible qualities. (3) De Sensu 6: changes appear as discrete transitions, but the parts of perceptible objects and qualities are perceptible and infinitely divisible. This interpretation lends to a comprehensive understanding of the driving factors in Aristotle's natural philosophy

Completeness in the Prior Analytics

ABSTRACT. In APr 1.23, Aristotle claims to prove the completeness of his syllogistic system with respect to his definition of the syllogism. This paper focuses on Aristotle’s argument, in that context, that every syllogism must have a middle term. The argument appears in a confused state and a charitable reconstruction is provided. It hinges on the condition that the terms of a syllogism must all be connected in a certain way through predications. The main thesis is that this condition is motivated through an implicit view of logical consequence which the paper attempts to explicate.

16:10-18:05 Session 3I: Social and Political Philosophy
Location: Seminar Room 8

ABSTRACT. Bernard Williams argued that political domain has its own specific form of normativity that cannot be captured by other means then by political realism (Williams 2005). Estlund offered many arguments to the effect that political realists have not demonstrated that anything is wrong with political theory that is abstract, unrealistic and morality-based (Estlund 2020). By building on their insights, I shall argue that that the best way to further advance their points is to take into account different levels of normative political theory. I will show that each of the levels has its own non-reductive kind of normativity.

Relational Equality and The Social Realm: A Scheme on How and Where to Apply the Requirements of Relational Equality.

ABSTRACT. In this paper, I focus on the site of the application of the requirements of relational equality. Departing from institutionalist relational egalitarians, I argue that the requirements of non-hierarchical relationships and respect ought to be applied to the social realm too. To present my view I show the importance of the social realm for relational equality. Next, I argue that applying its requirements only to institutions does not solve inequalities that stem from the social realm. Then I conclude by showing that intervention in the social realm is reasonable as far as it passes a test of reciprocity.

The Problem of Political Authority Revisited

ABSTRACT. The “problem of political authority” refers to the puzzle what makes laws binding. I argue that this puzzle is only troubling if bindingness is understood as a moral quality, implying an obligation to obey. On my account, a norm is binding if it is a game-theoretic equilibrium. To make binding norms, an authority requires (1) sanctioning power which (2) is exercised in accordance with an authorising convention. Such de facto authority stabilises a government’s rule but does not legitimate it, as power and conventions are mere social facts. This is what I identify as the actual problem of political authority.

16:10-18:05 Session 3J: Logic and Philosophy of Maths
Location: Hörsaal 5
On Axiom Selection

ABSTRACT. According to the classical view, mathematical proofs are derivations from agreed upon axioms: the self evident, unquestionable foundations of mathematics. But modern mathematics doesn’t reflect this. Modern Set Theory considers multiple possible axiomatic theories, not one unquestioned foundation, and the Univalent Foundations program has challenged a set theoretic foundation all together. A modern mathematician has a choice of foundation. This raises a number of philosophical questions. What are the correct criteria for axiom selection? Truth? Utility? Explanatory power? Do we even need a singular foundation? In this talk, I try to map possible answers to these questions.

Extremal Assumptions in the Foundations of Mathematics

ABSTRACT. Extremal axioms impose a condition of either minimality or maximality on the admissible models of a theory. In this talk, I distinguish between two ways to implement the restrictions of minimality and maximality. While the standard approach of Carnap & Bachmann (1936) defines model minimality/maximality in terms of the sumbodel relation, I consider the embeddings between models. In other words, the import of extremal assumptions concerns the structural variety of the model rather than the size of the domain considered. Based on this proposal, I show under what conditions the requirement of minimality/maximality entails the categoricity of the theory.

Alethic Pluralism and Kripkean Truth

ABSTRACT. Alethic pluralism holds that there is more than one way of being true: instead of there being a single truth property that belongs to all true sentences, there is a plurality of domain-specific truth properties, neither of which belongs to all true sentences. This paper shows how such a plurality can be represented in a coherent formal framework by means of a Kripke-style construction that yields distinct truth predicates. The theory of truth outlined in the paper can handle three crucial problems that have been raised in connection with alethic pluralism: mixed compounds, mixed inferences, and semantic paradoxes.

18:10-20:30 Reception

Opening Reception in Arkadenhof

Location: Arkadenhof