Orders of Being (International Workshop)
Wann: Sa, 11.12.2021, 09:00 Uhr bis 18:00 Uhr
Wo: Universität Hamburg, Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1, 20146 Hamburg, AS-Saal
To be – W.V.O. Quine famously told us – is to be the value of a variable. Importantly, there are two strands to the Quinean paradigm. First, it connects metaphysics (in particular: ontology) to quantification. Second, it takes a stance on the type of quantification at issue. For Quine was convinced that the only legitimate type of quantification is first-order quantification, i.e. quantification into the syntactic position of singular terms. Taking this into account, the Quinean paradigm can be expressed more precisely as follows: for Quineans, to be is to be the value of a first-order variable.
In recent years, we have seen a shift away from this Quinean paradigm: there is a growing consensus that higher-order quantifiers, in particular quantifiers binding variables in the syntactic position of predicates and sentences, are a perfectly legitimate and useful instrument in the logico-philosophical toolbox, while neither being reducible to nor fully explicable in first-order terms. This anti-Quinean, positive attitude towards self-standing higher-order quantification has a historical pedigree too: it can be seen as following a Fregean paradigm, since it is rooted in Frege’s Begriffsschrift (1879). Adapting a famous dictum by Boolos, we can contrast it with the Quinean paradigm as follows: for Fregeans, to be is to be the value of a first-order variable or the value of a higher-order variable.
This paradigm-shift is of great importance for many fundamental questions in metaphysics, concerning e.g. the reality and nature of properties, propositions and numbers as well as our notions of existence, being and ontological commitment. The aim of this workshop is to bring together philosophers from different theoretical backgrounds to present their latest research on these and related topics.
The speakers at this workshop include:
- Fiona Doherty (University of Notre Dame - London Campus)
- Berta Grimau (Czech Academy of Sciences)
- Tobias Rosefeldt (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
- Lukas Skiba (Universität Hamburg)
Health and Safety regulations permitting, the plan is to conduct this workshop in person. The event will be subject to a 3G policy (i.e. only those vaccinated, recovered, or tested will be admitted). Attendance is free, but prior registration is necessary, and the number of attendees is limited.
If you would like to attend, please send an email to: email@example.com.
Thanks to the GAP for supporting this event financially.