Talks in Philosophy of Language

June 26, 2024


DATE:  June 26, 2024
VENUE:  Konferenzraum (room A222), Political Science Department of the University of Vienna (NIG Building, second floor), Universitätsstrasse 7, Vienna


  • 3:30pm(CET) - 4:45pm 
    Naoya Fujikawa (University of Tokyo)
    Talk title: “On the de re/de dicto Distinction in Attitude Contexts
    Abstract: An anaphoric pronoun in a belief context may take as its antecedent a DP in another belief context (so-called intentional identity, or de dicto anaphora), or it may take as its antecedent a DP outside any attitude context (de re anaphora).
    (1)    a. Hob believes that a witch blighted Bob’s mare. Nob believes that she killed Cob’s sow.
             b. A delegate arrived. Mary believes that she registered.
    Fujikawa (to appear) proposes two corresponding strategies of anaphora resolution of pronouns in attitude contexts within the framework of DRT, based on the claim that indefinites and pronouns in the belief context introduce metadiscourse referents, a specific kind of discourse referents that represent mental files, into the discourse. The metadiscourse referent [x] introduced by a pronoun in a belief context may take as its antecedent another metadiscourse referent [y] introduced by another term in a belief context, with the condition that the mental file represented by [x] is coordinated with the mental file represented by [y], or it may take as its antecedent a discourse referent z introduced by a term outside any attitude context, with the condition that [x] and z are about the same thing ([x] is externally anchored to z).
    In this talk, I apply the semantics of de re and de dicto anaphora to proper names in attitude contexts, while assuming the presuppositional account of proper names (cf. Geurts 1999, Kamp 2015). By converting these two strategies of anaphora resolution into two strategies of resolving the presuppositions triggered by proper names in attitude contexts, it is shown that the de re/de dicto distinction concerning proper names in attitude contexts results from those two different strategies of presupposition resolution. If time allows, Kripke’s Paderewski case is briefly discussed.
    Fujikawa, N. to appear. Intentional identity, mental files, and coordination: a DRT account of anaphora in attitude contexts, Linguistics and Philosophy.
    Geurts, B. 1999. Presuppositions and pronouns, Amsterdam: Elsevier
    Kamp, H. Using proper names as intermediaries between labelled entity representations, Erkentniss, 80. 263-312.
  • 5:00pm - 6:15pm 
    Paolo Bonardi (University of Vienna)
    Talk title: “Millian Russellianism, Cognitive Coordination, and Token Attitudes
    Abstract: Modes of presentation play a central role in the philosophy of language, not only for Fregean philosophers but also for Millian-Russellian philosophers. Nevertheless, they face a major problem: their identity conditions are unclear. In my talk, I will argue that there is no persuasive solution to this problem. Therefore, I will propose to first eliminate modes of presentation at the semantic level, thereby adopting the Millian-Russellian semantics as a theory of semantic content. Subsequently, I will also eliminate modes of presentation at the cognitive and pragmatic levels, arguing that the cognitive and pragmatic roles typically attributed to modes of presentation by Millian-Russellian philosophers can be fulfilled by a non-semantic but merely cognitive relation, cognitive coordination (for which I will provide a definition), and by very fine-grained token attitudes (comparable in granularity to occurrences of Russellian propositions), for which I will provide suitable identity conditions.
  • 7:00pm  Dinner at 7:00pm  Dinner at Beaulieu Restaurant, Herrengasse 14 (limited seats)  


DINNER RESERVATION:  Please let know in advance if you want to join.

Organizer: Paolo Bonardi, FWF Meitner fellow,

Related event: Workshop in Philosophy of Language and Metaphysics  (27-28 June 2024)