CFP: Alien Structure Workshop

Submission deadline: January 10, 2024

Conference date(s):
May 29, 2024 - May 30, 2024

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy , Uppsala Universitet
Uppsala, Sweden

Topic areas


The Alien Structure Workshop will consist of eight talks, four of which will be given by invited speakers, and four of which will be filled via open call. Selection will be based on anonymous review of long abstracts (750-1000 words).

If you are interested in submitting an abstract, please send an anonymized abstract to [email protected] by January 10, 2024. Abstracts should be suitable for a 45-minute talk, followed by 45 minutes of questions and answers. Any questions about the workshop can be directed to either Matti Eklund ([email protected]) or Daniel Berntson ([email protected]).

The main themes of the workshop will be these: What sorts of languages can there be? More specifically, what sorts of semantic differences can there be between languages? Can there be alien languages – languages whose expressions have semantic functions radically different from those of expressions of familiar languages? This is relevant to metaphysics. Might some such unfamiliar languages better represent reality? Might reality have alien structure that can only be fully captured by such a language?

We will consider submissions on a broad range of topics related to the main themes of the workshop. These include abstracts on topics in metaphysics and the philosophy of language, very broadly construed. They also include abstracts from other areas of philosophy, as well as other fields, like linguistics and cognitive science. Some examples of topics that might be a good fit for the workshop include:

  • The nature of predication

  • The structure of propositions

  • The role of language in scientific theorizing

  • Naturalness and fundamentality

  • Radically new approaches to formal languages

  • Natural language ontology

  • Varieties of non-linguistic representation

  • Metaontology

  • The syntax and semantics of natural language

The workshop will cover organized meals for all speakers. It will also cover lodging (and potentially other travel expenses) for speakers without sufficient travel funds.

The workshop will be held as part of the Alien Structure research project, which is funded by the Swedish Research Council. Researchers within the project are Matti Eklund (principal investigator) and Daniel Berntson (postdoc). For more information, see the following link (

Supporting material

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