The Empirical Status of Semantic Perceptualism
Fabrizio Calzavarini

June 3, 2022, 7:00pm - 9:00pm

This event is online


Al.I.Cuza Iasi University of Iasi
Politehnica University of Bucharest
University of Warsaw

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The ALEF research group (Cluj-Napoca, Romania) announces an online talk by Fabrizio Calzavarini (University of Bergamo & LLC Turin) entitled "The Empirical Status of Semantic Perceptualism". The talk is part of the group's regular seminar and takes place on Friday, JUNE 3, 19.00 EEST (please note the unusual starting time!). Please write to [email protected] or check our Facebook page ( if you want to participate. For more information about ALEF, as well as the schedule for the seminar in the 2021-2022 spring semester, please visit

Here is the abstract of the talk:

Semantic perceptualism is the thesis that meaning experiences (that is, experiences of grasping semantic properties in words and sentences) are forms of perceptual experiences. According to its defenders, this view is motivated not only by philosophical considerations, but also by empirical evidence. In the present article, I shall provide the first comprehensive and critical review of the empirical evidence in support of semantic perceptualism, including a detailed analysis of the relevant neuroanatomical data (i.e., data concerning which specific regions of the brain are more likely to represent semantic properties of language). The conclusions of my analysis are largely pessimistic. I believe that the relevant behavioural, cognitive and patient data are suggestive but hardly conclusive. Moreover, neuroanatomical data speak strongly against semantic perceptualism.

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June 3, 2022, 6:45pm EET

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