CFP: Workshop on Truth, Definability and Quantification into Sentence Position

Submission deadline: March 22, 2024

Conference date(s):
September 27, 2024 - September 28, 2024

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Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, University of Vienna
Vienna, Austria

Topic areas



Workshop on Truth, Definability and Quantification into Sentence Position
27 and 28 September 2024, University of Vienna
Jointly organised by Max Kölbel, Julio de Rizzo and Benjamin Schnieder

Can truth be defined? Frege argued that it couldn't. Ramsey argued that defining it would be easy if only we had an analysis of judgement. Today Horwich claims that truth cannot be defined explicitly because doing so would require quantification into sentence position and such quantification is not coherent. Instead he proposes a “minimal theory” of truth, which comprises all the unproblematic instances of the equivalence schema. Künne, by contrast, argues that quantification into sentence position is coherent and may actually be part of some natural languages. Künne uses such quantification to define truth explicitly:
∀x (x is true iff ∃p ((x is the proposition that p) & p)). Or in English: a representation (belief, assertion etc) is true just if things are as it represents them as being. Künne claims also to find this definition in Frank Ramsey’s posthumous work, which, as an exegetical claim, is not uncontroversial.

Is truth definable? Is propositional quantification coherent? Do natural languages involve propositional quantification, and in what sense? What do the answers to these questions mean for philosophical attempts to define or explain truth? Is truth redundant if explicitly definable? Not redundant if not explicitly definable? We are interested in these and related questions (broadly conceived).

Confirmed speakers are:

Peter Fritz (Australian Catholic University)
Paul Horwich (New York University)
Wolfgang Künne (University of Hamburg)
Poppy Mankowitz (University of Bristol)
Cheryl Misak (University of Toronto)

We invite submissions of extended abstracts (1000 words max.) for up to 3 further talks. Please send your anonymized abstracts by 22 March 2024 to [email protected]. Selected speakers will be notified by mid April. We will cover accommodation of selected speakers (and on application offer them a travel subsidy of up to 400 Euros).

This workshop is supported by the FWF Cluster of Excellence project "Knowledge in Crisis", the FWF project "Truth is Grounded in Facts" and the University of Vienna.

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