Judgment: Act and Object

July 4, 2016 - July 5, 2016
New College of the Humanities

19 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3HH
United Kingdom


  • The Mind Association

All speakers:

Simon Blackburn
Cambridge University
McMaster University
Friederike Moltmann
Daniel Morgan
Logos, University of Barcelona
Alexandra Newton
University of Illinois
Christopher Peacocke
Columbia University
Mount St. Joseoh University


Brian Ball
New College of the Humanities
Christoph Schuringa
New College of the Humanities

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Judgment is a mental act: more specifically, it is the activation of belief; and its object is a proposition.

Orthodoxy has it that a proposition is an abstract entity, existing independently of any mental or linguistic act, intrinsically possessing truth-conditions, and therefore susceptible of truth or falsity. It is also widely held that these entities can be the objects not only of cognitive attitudes, such as belief and knowledge, but also of conative ones, such as desire and intention – that one and the same thing can be e.g. believed and desired.

Opposed to this view is one on which the object of judgment is dependent upon the act itself: perhaps, for example, what one judges when one judges is essentially some type of judgment, much as what one dances when one dances is essentially some type of dance. Such a view would leave open the questions whether objects of judgment can also be objects of desire, for instance, and whether the latter are truth-apt.

This workshop will investigate these and related questions about judgment – both the act itself and its object – and the history of the attempts to answer them. It will take place over two days, and will bring together leading experts on judgment and the history of its philosophy.

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