The Unstructured Conference

April 22, 2016 - April 23, 2016
Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University

New Brunswick
United States

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Main speakers:

Justin Bledin
Johns Hopkins University
Kit Fine
New York University
Jeffrey King
Rutgers University
Sarah Murray
Cornell University
John Perry
Stanford University
Kyle Rawlins
Johns Hopkins University
Susanna Schellenberg
Rutgers University
Robert Stalnaker
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
J. Robert G. Williams
University of Leeds
Stephen Yablo
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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In addition to invited talks, there will be a CFA for 2-4 further talks. 


Conceptions of unstructured content take contents to be sets of possibilities, or circumstances, or conditions (or functions from such things to truth values). In recent years, a great variety of new conceptions of unstructured content have been developed and applied, often with great formal ingenuity. Debates on relativism and context-sensitivity more generally, on expressivism, de se attitudes, counterfactual attitudes, vagueness, truthmaker semantics, and many more bear witness to these developments. At the same time, not as much attention has been paid to the philosophical foundations of unstructured conceptions. 

In sharp contrast, proponents of structured propositions have recently spent a great amount of their time developing and clarifying the foundations of their conceptions in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind. This conference encourages new reflexion on the foundations of unstructured conceptions of content, the availability of existing foundational stories to new technical conceptions, the competitiveness of unstructured conceptions vis-a-vis structured conceptions as well as the relationship between the two conceptions. It also aims to establish renewed dialogue between, on the one hand, proponents of structured conceptions and of unstructured conceptions and, on the other hand, between proponents of the various conceptions and applications of unstructured content.

Friday, 22 April:

9:30 – 10:50am:Jeff King: “Unstructured Content”

11:05 – 12:25pm:Justin Bledin & Kyle Rawlins: “Resistance and Resolution in Discourse”

1:30 – 2:50pm:Sarah Murray: “Unstructured Content, Structured Context”

3:15 – 4:35pm:Bob Stalnaker: “Expressivism and Propositions”

5:00 – 6:20pm:John Perry: “The Great Detour”

Saturday, 23 April:

9:30 – 10:50am:Steve Yablo: “Relevance and Minimality”

11:05 – 12:25pm:J. Robert G. Williams: “The Grain and Ground of Doxastic Space” 

1:30 – 2:50pm:Susanna Schellenberg: “Modes of Presentations, Mental Capacities, and Gaps”

3:15 – 4:35pm:Friederike Moltmann: “A Truthmaker Semantics for Modals and Attitude Verbs”

5:00 – 6:20pm:Kit Fine: “The Shrinking State Space”

Organisers: Andy Egan (Rutgers), Dirk Kindermann (University of Graz), Peter van Elswyck (Rutgers)

Please direct all queries to [email protected] If you'd like to attend the event, please informally register at [email protected]

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