Truthmaker Semantics

July 29, 2019 - July 31, 2019
Philosophisches Seminar, Universität Hamburg

Akademischer Senatssaal
Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1

View the Call For Papers

Keynote speakers:

New York University
Nottingham University
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
University College London
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


New York University
Universität Hamburg

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Truthmaker Semantics: Applications in Philosophy and Linguistics
Conference Announcement and Call for Extended Abstracts

Kit Fine and the Emmy Noether Project Relevance are delighted to announce a conference on truthmaker semantics and its applications in philosophy and linguistics, to take place July 29-31, 2019 at the University of Hamburg. The conference is generously funded by Prof Fine’s Anneliese Maier Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation as well as by the DFG through Stephan Kraemer's Emmy Noether grant (KR 4516/2-1).

Topic. Truthmaker semantics deviates from the familiar framework of possible world semantics in two fundamental and related ways. First, the notion of a possible world is replaced by a more general notion of a state that applies to any fragment of a world. Second, a sentence is taken to be made true by a state only if every part of the state is involved in rendering the sentence true. A significant advantage of truthmaker semantics over the possible worlds approach is that it connects sentences with the worldly items that are directly relevant to their truth, thereby allowing important and intuitive hyperintensional distinctions to be drawn in a natural and formally elegant way. While the framework was originally developed as a semantics for relevant entailment by van Fraassen in the 1960s, recent developments have demonstrated its wide applicability in logic (e.g.  deontic logic), metaphysics (e.g. ground), the philosophy of language and linguistics (e.g. subject matter, presupposition, counterfactuals), the philosophy of science (e.g. confirmation), and epistemology (e.g. belief revision).

The conference will bring together leading experts on truthmaker semantics and junior researchers. The confirmed keynote speakers are

-       Kit Fine (NYU)
-       Mark Jago (Nottingham)
-       Friederike Moltmann (CNRS Paris, NYU)
-       Daniel Rothschild (UCL)
-       Steve Yablo (MIT)

More information is available at

Call for Extended Abstracts. Eight one-hour slots (up to 40 minutes for the talk, followed by 20 minutes for discussion) are available for contributed papers on the topic of the conference. If you would like to present a paper, please submit a CV and an extended abstract of up to 2,000 words, suitable for anonymous review, to hamburgrelevance (at) gmail (dot) com by the deadline of 17 May. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by the end of May. We will cover the full accommodation costs of successful applicants (four nights in a nearby hotel) as well as travel costs of up to 300 EUR per person.

Student Bursaries. Up to eight stipends, each in the amount of 500 EUR, will be available for graduate students to help finance their visit to the workshop. To apply please send to hamburgrelevance (at) gmail (dot) com by the deadline of 17 May a CV together with a cover page including your name, affiliation, contact information, and a brief statement of no more than 250 words explaining how your research would benefit from the workshop. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by the end of May.

Hamburg Summer School on Truthmaker Semantics. In the week before the conference, from 22-26 July, there will be a Summer School on the topic of Truthmaker Semantics taught by Kit Fine, Mark Jago, Friederike Moltmann, Johannes Korbmacher, and Stephan Krämer. More information is available at 
Contact. For any questions concerning the conference, please write us at hamburgrelevance (at) gmail (dot) com.

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