Reminder CFP: Topoi Conference Turin 2018: Foundational Issues in Philosophical Semantics

Submission deadline: November 17, 2017


Topoi Conference Turin May 31-June 1 2018: Foundational Issues in Philosophical Semantics

Topoi is an international journal of philosophy based in Rome, Italy. You can find more information about the journal here:

Every other year, Topoi funds a conference in a different city, that purports to focus on foundational issues in some subfield of analytic philosophy. Previous Topoi conferences were Rome 2012 (“Intentions: Philosophical and Empirical Issues”); Oxford 2014 (“The Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics”);  Munich 2016 (“New Trends in Rational Choice Theory”). Following the conference, contributions are then selected for publication on  Topoi.

Next year (2018), Topoi conference will happen at the Center for Logic, Language, and Cognition  ( in Turin and will focus on foundational issues in philosophical semantics. The event will take place for 2 days on May 31-June 1. It will involve 6 keynote speakers (listed below) as well as several other speakers selected through a call for abstract.

Keynote Speakers

Emma Borg (University of Reading)

Elisabeth Camp (Rutgers University)

Hannes Leitgeb (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich)

Paul Pietroski (Rutgers University)

Francois Recanati (Paris Institut Jean-Nicod)

Frank Veltman (ILLC, University of Amsterdam)

Call for Abstracts


17 November 2017, at midnight  


Abstracts shoud be prepared for blind review and emailed to the following address:  

Please include your name, affilliation and contact information in the body of the email. Abstracts should not be longer than 1000 words and should fall within the broad topics described below.  After the conference, the best papers will be selected for publication on a Topoi special issue.  Verdicts will be communicated by the end of December 2017. 

Foundational Issues in Philosophical Semantics

The last 15 years have seen an explosion of renewed philosophical interest in semantics and its foundations. This renewed interest is partly due to an unprecedented collaboration between philosophers of language, linguists, computer scientists, and psychologists. This interdisciplinary effort that has led to breakthroughs on specific topics, such as, notably, the semantics of conditionals, of epistemic modals,  deontic modals, imperatives, de se reports ,  non-factual language such as predicates of taste, moral language, and so on. In addition to specific results in the semantics of natural languages’ fragments, the exchange with linguists, computer scientists, and psychologists has also led to the widening of a discussion of foundational questions about the nature of meaning, such as, for example, whether the meaning of sentences is to be modeled as static and truth-conditional, as traditionally understood, or dynamically, as an update on context; whether conventional meaning, plus eventually saturation of hidden variables, suffices to determine truth-conditional content, at least a “minimal” one, or whether it provides just a semantic potential that must be freely enriched with contextual information in order to get truth conditional content; whether the content that is conventionally encoded by a sentence coincides or not with its truth conditional/at issue meaning, or whether, more plausibly, exceeds its truth conditional content to include presuppositions, conventional implicatures and more generally “non-at-issue content”; how to understand the semantics/pragmatics divide in the light of the complexity of the at issue/non-at-issue distinction, in the light of the phenomena of sarcasm and metaphor, and in the light of the debate between static and dynamic approaches to the study of languages; the nature of linguistic conventions and the study, following Lewis (1969), of their game-theoretical underpinnings; the effect of question-sensitivity on the nature and structure of content; whether a sufficiently fine-grained notion of semantic content can be construed using the notion of truth-making; whether notions such as truth and reference, at the core of truth-conditional semantics, are really suitable for doing semantics of natural languages or whether one should abandon them in favour of other notions, such as use and instructions, assertibility conditions, inferential and conceptual role.

The aim of this conference is to bring together experts of the field to discuss and to assess some of these most recent advances on foundational issues in philosophical semantics. As well as the 6 keynote speakers listed above, we will be looking for papers on themes that include:

  1. The debate on expressivism/non-factualism about meaning;

  2. Hyperintensionality: the nature of propositions; truth-making semantics;

  3. The debate between dynamic semanticists and static semanticists;

  4. Question-sensitivity and the mereology of content;

  5. The semantics/pragmatics divide;

  6. The nature of presuppositions, at-issue content versus non-at-issue content.

  7. Experimental semantics and its methodology;

  8. Non truth-conditional approaches to semantics in the philosophy of language and in the cognitive sciences.

    Scientific Committee

    Stefano Caputo (University of Sassari)

    Vincenzo Crupi (University of Turin)

    Andrea Iacona (University of Turin)

    Carlotta Pavese (Duke University/University of Turin)

    For additional information, email

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