The Metaphysics of Words

June 3, 2019 - June 4, 2019
DAFIST, Philosophy Section, University of Genoa (Italy)

Via Balbi 2
Genoa, Italy

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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University of Hong Kong
Tufts University


Universität Konstanz
Università degli Studi di Genova
Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology

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CFA: The Metaphysics of Words

3rd and 4th June 2019, Genoa, Italy.

Venue: TBA

We are pleased to announce the first Genoa Conference on the Metaphysics of Words. The Conference will take place at the University of Genoa, Italy, on June 3rd and 4th, 2019.

David Kaplan, with his groundbreaking paper “Words” (1990), renewed the interest in the debate on words and their ultimate nature. Mind you, words have been under intense study since ancient times. Yet, the research has been largely restricted to the linguistic properties of words, leaving aside metaphysical reflections (see Cappelen 1999; Alward 2005; Hawthorne and Lepore 2011). The aim of this conference is to bring together experts to discuss and to assess words as entities and their metaphysical nature. The main topics of interest are the followings (see Wetzel 2002):

1. What is a word?

2. How is a word to be individuated?

3. Is there anything all and only inscriptions/utterances of a particular word have in common   other than being inscriptions/utterances of that word?

4. How do we know about words?

5. What is the relation between words and their inscriptions/utterances?

6. What makes an inscription/utterance an inscription/utterance of one word rather than another?

7. How are inscription/utterance to be individuated?

8. What makes us think something, produced by another, is an inscription/utterance of one word rather than another?


Invited speakers:

Professor Herman Cappelen (University of Oslo and University of St Andrews)


Professor Brian Epstein (Tufts University)


Abstracts (1000 words, in .doc format, references not included) should be sent to [email protected] by February 15, 2019. Notifications of acceptance will be communicated by March 15, 2019. Abstract must not contain any personal information. Please send personal details in a separate file. Each contributed speaker will have 45 minutes for presentation, followed by 15 minutes of discussion.


Important Deadlines:

Abstract submission (deadline): 15 February 2019.

Notification of acceptance: 15 March 2019.

Conference: 3-4 June 2019.

Conference Website (updaiting):

For any queries and clarifications, please contact [email protected]

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