Events. New Work on Their Ontology and Semantics

June 18, 2024 - June 19, 2024
Laboratoire BCL: Bases, Corpus, Langage / CNRS, Université Côte d’Azur, Nice

Bâtiment de l’Horloge, 25 avenue François Mitterrand

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University of Genoa
Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche (CNR)
PTH Brixen College
University of Innsbruck
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique


University of Crete
University of Genoa
PTH Brixen College
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

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Workshop: New Work on the Ontology and Semantics of Events

Université Côte d’Azur, Nice,

Date: 18-19 June 2024

Events (in the broad sense) play a fundamental role in our interaction with the world: actions, events, processes, states are crucial components of reality as we represent it. Research on events comprises disciplines as diverse as natural language semantics, the syntax-semantic interface, analytic metaphysics, applied ontology and conceptual modeling. 

Events have come to play a central role in natural language semantics since Davidson’s highly influential proposal, which has led to a great range of developments including, in its Neo-Davidsonian version, in the syntax-semantic interface. There are a number of challenges that have received little attention, though, such as the distinction between events and acts, events and abstract states, as well as events and situations (as truthmakers). Moreover, there are alternatives to Davidsonian events semantics that have been proposed, but ask for further developments, such as truthmaker semantics, force semantics and radical decomposition of verbs in syntax (as light verb-noun complexes). Finally, there are various interesting issues regarding events and syntactic structure, including the decomposition of event predicates in syntactic structure and the relevance of cartography for event semantics.

Recently, also the metaphysics of events have seen renewed interest. Several issues have been addressed such as that concerning nature of, and the internal structure of, processes and events, the related issue that concerns the modal profile and the essential properties of events (and whether these features differ from the ones possessed by processes), the question of whether a theory concerning these entities has a descriptive or prescriptive import, as well as the issue concerning the relations between events, dispositions, and causation, and that concerning the nature of negative events and actions.

Finally, the notion of event (in the broad sense)  is pervasive and plays a key role in applied ontology and conceptual modeling. It is a general category of the most widespread foundational ontologies such as UFO, DOLCE, and BFO. On the one hand, these ontologies recently provided insightful accounts concerning the nature of events, their part-whole structure, and their difference from, e.g., situations, states, and processes. On the other hand, the notion of events played a key role in elucidating notions such as those of prevention, risk, production, money, and many others.

This conference aims to bring together new research on events from different perspectives. 

Submission: If you want to contribute, please submit an abstract of approximately 1000 words suitable for a 30-minutes presentation that should be prepared for blind review and include a cover page with the full name, institution, and contact information. Abstracts should be sent in PDF format to: [email protected] 

Further information:

Conference Fees: 60€ regular; 40€ students/unemployed


Informal queries: [email protected]

Deadline for submission: 30 March 2024

Notification of acceptance: 15 April 2024


R. Casati and Varzi: ‘Events’. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (online)

R. Casati and A. Varzi (eds.): Events. Darthmouth Publ. Company, 1996

F. Moltmann: ‘Events in Contemporary Semantics’ (forthcoming), in M. Cassina et al. (eds): 21st-Century Philosophy of Events: Beyond the Analytic / Continental Divide. Edinburgh UP.

Truswell, R. (ed.): Oxford Handbook of Event Structure. Oxford UP, Oxford, 2019.

J. Higginbotham, F. Pianesi, A. Varzi (eds.): Speaking of Events. Oxford UP, 2000.

S. Rothstein (ed.): Events and Grammar, Kluwer, 1998

A. Williams (2021): ‘Events in Semantics’. In P. Stalmaszscuk (ed.): Cambridge Handbook of the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge UP.

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