Summer School: A map through the land of dragons. Syntax, Truth, and Paradox

June 17, 2024 - June 21, 2024
Institute of Philosophy (ISFI), Università della Svizzera italiana (USI)

Via Giuseppe Buffi 13
Lugano 6900


Oxford University
University of Salzburg

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We are pleased to announce the summer school "A map through the land of dragons. Syntax, Truth, and Paradox" taking place at USI, Lugano from June 17 to June 21 under the guidance of Volker Halbach (University of Oxford) and Lorenzo Rossi (University of Turin).

Description of content:

Volker Halbach and Lorenzo Rossi will provide an introduction to the theory of the semantic paradoxes and discuss their proposed solutions, analyses, and their philosophical relevance. The liar and related paradoxes do not only affect the notion of truth, but others that are central to philosophy such as necessity, apriority, and future truth. We will study the properties of such sentences as The sentence in italic on this page is not true in a precise formal setting. Participants are not expected to be familiar with techniques such as arithmetization and diagonalization. Bypassing the unnecessary mathematical tools by using an axiomatic syntax theory, we will still provide a formally precise account and proceed swiftly to the philosophical core of the discussions around the paradoxes. In particular, we will discuss the effect of paradoxes on the expressive power of truth, necessity, and related notions, as well as their impact on the foundations of semantics. We will also cover a wide variety of paradoxes such as the Visser-Yablo, the Knower, McGee's, and the No Future paradox. We will critically discuss a gamut of conceptions of paradoxicality, applying them to the study of the various kinds of paradoxes we have introduced, and we will investigate their connection with some of the main formal theories of truth.

Most of the content will be based on Graham Leigh's and Volker Halbach's new book The Road to Paradox: A Guide to Syntax, Truth, and Modality, which is scheduled to appear with Cambridge University Press in January 2024. The summer school, however, will be self-contained and all relevant teaching materials will be supplied to participants. Moreover, the course givers are happy to adjust their plans to the wishes and preferences of the audience to some extent. Hence there may be some deviations, especially in the later parts.


Deadline: February 15, 2024

Registration is open to graduate students and early career researchers.

Please send a copy of your CV, a one-page motivation letter and a reference letter from a supervisor or colleague to [email protected]

Accepted participants will have the possibility to send a short abstract to present some of their research to the two instructors (time permitting).


The fee for accepted participants is 400.- Swiss francs. It includes participation in the summer school, coffee breaks, 4 lunches and 2 drinks (one on the first evening and a second on another evening).

More information:

[email protected]

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February 15, 2024, 9:00am CET

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