Higher-Order Metaphysics

June 17, 2019 - June 18, 2019
Department of Philosophy, University of Birmingham

European Research Institute, room G51
Birmingham b15 2tt
United Kingdom


  • AHRC

All speakers:

Indiana University, Bloomington
Australian Catholic University
University of Southern California
University of Birmingham
University of Manitoba
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Oslo
University of York
University of Southern California


University of Birmingham

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The final two-day workshop of the AHRC-funded Higher-Order Metaphysics project will be on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 June 2019.

The workshop is free and open to all.There is no need to register, but please let the organiser (Nick Jones, n.k.jones@bham.ac.uk) know if you’re planning on attending, for catering purposes.

All talks will be in the European Research Institute, room G51 (building G3 on this map)


Monday 17 June

0930-1045 – Sam Roberts (Oslo): The Iterative Conception of Properties

1100-1215 – Agustín Rayo (MIT): Strict Contingentism

1330-1445 – Adam Murray (Manitoba): Propositional Dependence

1500-1615 – Jeremy Goodman (USC): The Undefinable

1630-1745 – Vera Flocke (NYU): Metaphysical Lessons of Russell’s Paradox

Tuesday 18 June

1000-1115 – Peter Fritz (Oslo): A Path To Worldliness

1125-1240 – Nicholas K Jones (Birmingham): Type-Neutrality and Pattern Recognition

1345-1500 – Gabriel Uzquiano (USC): Impredicativity and Intensionality

1515-1630 – Rob Trueman (York): Idealism and the Identity Theory of Truth

Rayo’s abstract: I distinguish between strict and moderate contingentism, and offer a formal semantics for the former.

Fritz’s abstract: According to a familiar view, propositions are individuated in terms of possible worlds: propositions are identical if they are true in the same worlds. One way of motivating this view is by appealing to desirable features such as consistency and usefulness. In this talk, I will provide a more direct motivation for the possible-worlds view of propositions. This involves several steps. Some of them are well-known, such as the observation that certain propositions play the role of possible worlds if propositions form a certain kind of structure (roughly, a complete atomic Boolean algebra). Others will be new, including some steps in an argument for the claim that propositions form such a structure.

Trueman’s abstract: In a recent article, Hofweber  presents a new, and surprising, argument for idealism. His argument is surprising because it starts with an apparently innocent premise from the philosophy of language: that 'that'-clauses do not refer. I do not think that Hofweber's argument works, and my first aim in this talk is to explain why. However, I entirely agree with Hofweber that what we say about 'that'-clauses can have important metaphysical consequences. My second aim is to argue that far from leading us into idealism, denying that 'that'-clauses refer is the first step toward a kind of direct realism about belief.

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