Contextualism and Singular Reference
François Recanati (Institut Jean Nicod)

July 17, 2014, 5:00am - 2:00pm
University of Tartu


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François Recanati: Contextualism and Singular Reference, June 17-19, Tartu, Estonia

Tartu's "Gottlob Frege Lectures in Theoretical Philosophy" will in 2014 be delivered by FRANCOIS RECANATI.

In the lectures professor Recanati will discuss three debates that have taken place in the philosophy of language since the mid-twentieth century: the debate between 'ideal language philosophy' and 'ordinary language philosophy' in the fifties and sixties, the debate over speaker's reference and the attributive/referential distinction in the sixties and seventies, and the debate between contextualism and minimalism which started in the eighties and culminated a few years ago. These debates, he will argue, are facets of one and the same controversy over the foundations of semantics. The controversy is still alive today: it is a mistake to believe that the issue has settled by the famous arguments put foward by Geach, Grice and Kripke against their contextualist opponents.

We are very glad that François Recanati has accepted our inivitation to present the GOTTLOB FREGE LECTURES IN THEORETICAL PHILOSOPHY in 2014. Everyone interested is invited to participate. Please send us an email to [email protected] if you want to attend the lectures, so we can estimate the number of participants.

François Recanati has taught in several major universities around the world, including Berkeley, Harvard, Geneva, and St Andrews. In addition to being research fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris, he is a 'directeur d’études' at EHESS, and the Director of a research lab in philosophy, linguistics and cognitive science at Ecole Normale Supérieure. His numerous publications in the philosophy of language and mind include Meaning and Force (Cambridge University Press, 1987), Direct Reference: From Language to Thought (Blackwell 1993), Oratio Obliqua, Oratio Recta (MIT Press/Bradford Books 2000), Literal Meaning (Cambridge University Press, 2004), Perspectival Thought (Oxford University Press, 2007), Philosophie du langage (et de l’esprit) (Gallimard 2008), Truth-Conditional Pragmatics (Oxford University Press, 2010) and Mental Files (Oxford University Press, 2012). He is a co-founder and past President of the European Society for Analytic Philosophy, and has been elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012.

For further information, please visit our website at

The Gottlob Frege Lectures in Theoretical Philosophy are named in honour of the German mathematician and philosopher Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege. We have chosen Frege as the patron for our lecture series as he is widely recognised for his clarity and unpretentious, no-nonsense style of dealing with philosophical problems. So are the lecturers we are honoured to host in Tartu.

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