Lewis: Representation in Mind & Language (Redux)

October 21, 2024 - October 23, 2024
University of Notre Dame

South Bend
United States


University of St. Andrews
New York University
University of Leeds
Stockholm University
Toronto Metropolitan University
University of Leeds
University of Notre Dame
University of Leeds


University of Leeds

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Over the course of about three decades and more than a dozen separate works, David Lewis developed a unique — and uniquely sophisticated — theory of mental and linguistic representation. Starting from a relatively simple base of purely physical facts about an agent, Lewis tells us how to derive that agent’s beliefs and desires. With our knowledge of the beliefs and desires of a community we can then derive what conventions they follow. This affords us access to the meanings of sentences in their language, and in turn the meanings of the words from which those sentences are composed. The result, if it works, is a more or less complete picture of how meaning and intentionality fit into the natural world.

The focus of this workshop will be on philosophical matters arising specifically in relation to Lewis' theory of representation in mind and/or language.

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September 30, 2024, 9:00am EST

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