Questioning Propositionalism in Philosophy and Linguistics

March 26, 2018
Department of Philosophy, Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, Univerity of London, Malet Street (Birkbeck main building)
London WC1E 7HX
United Kingdom

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


Birkbeck, University of London

Topic areas

Talks at this conference

View all | Add a talk


Many mental states represent the world and one of the best ways to understand the representational features of the mind is by looking at the representational nature of language. This event aims to pressure a fundamental assumption in theories of representation. It is often assumed that all representational states are “propositional”, but detailed arguments for that assumption – call it ‘Propositionalism’ – are rarely given, and arguments against it are starting to gain ground in the literature. Two classes of mental states in particular seem to cause a problem for the Propositionalist, those attributed using an objectual construction of the form “S ψ’s o” (“Don fears the media”; “I can hear a peacock”), and those attributed using an infinitival construction of the form “S ψ’s to ϕ” (“We want to organise a conference”; “I intend to apply for funding”). This event will bring together philosophers and linguists to explore questions such as: Are these mental states really non-propositional? If these states’ contents are not propositions, what are they? And what does it mean to classify a mental state as ‘propositional’ in the first place?


10:00-11:15 Jennifer Hornsby - Birkbeck, University of London
11:15-12:15 Alex Grzankowski - Birkbeck, University of London
12:15-1:15 Lucy Campbell - University of Oxford
1:15-2:30 Lunch
2:30-3:45 Sean Crawford - University of Manchester
3:45-5:00 Kasia Jaszczolt - University of Cambridge

An updated schedule with talk titles will be circulated at the beginning of March.

Please register here:

Attendance is free but does not include lunch or refreshments.

Accessibility information about the venue can be found here:

For financial support we are thankful to the Birkbeck Philosophy Faculty.

Lucy Campbell ([email protected])

Alex Grzankowski ([email protected])

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)




March 20, 2018, 7:00pm BST

External Site

Who is attending?

No one has said they will attend yet.

Will you attend this event?

Let us know so we can notify you of any change of plan.

RSVPing on PhilEvents is not sufficient to register for this event.