The Fourth Taiwan Metaphysics Colloquium (TMC-IV) - A Workshop on Realism-Antirealism Debates (to be updated)

January 8, 2020 - January 10, 2020
Department of Philosophy, National Taiwan University

No.18, SiYuan St., Zhongzheng Dist
Taipei 100

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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Université de Fribourg
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
New York University
University of Hong Kong
University of York
Oxford University
University of Maryland, College Park
Australian National University


National Taiwan University
National Taiwan University
National Chung Cheng University
Soochow University

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The Taiwan Metaphysics Colloquium (TMCs) is a series of biennial conferences founded in 2013 and hosted by the Department of Philosophy at National Taiwan University, accompanied with the Taiwan Philosophical Logic Colloquium (TPLCs) established since 2012. The TMC-series intends to provide a forum for dialogues amongst researchers working on traditional metaphysical issues/problems, but not exclusively, from a variety of contemporary perspectives, such as philosophical logic, the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, to mention a few. To narrow the scope of the discussions and to enhance the interaction among the speakers, we typically have a main theme for each TMC conference. 

We are now organizing TMC-IV, the main theme of which is ‘the realism-antirealism debates’. Traditionally, realism has been a dominant position in metaphysics. On a prominent realist position, there are abstract entities such as universals and numbers. Such entities will guarantee the objectivity and truth of metaphysics and mathematics. But antirealists claim that the objective reality should not include these kinds of entities. In particular, mathematical/ scientific theories are not about the external world but merely useful tools with explanatory power. We have observed a variety of strong arguments for antirealism in the second half of the last century, by some influential philosophers, such as Nelson Goodman, W. V. Quine, Hartry Field, etc. For the past two decades, however, a group of leading philosophers, noticeably Kit Fine, Timothy Williamson, and some others, have argued for realism with the equipment of a large-scaled theorization of the fixed subject matter. Perhaps it is time to re-examine the debates between realism and anti-realism again.

The realism-vs.-anti-realism debate is very complex, intricate, long-lasting and ubiquitous, in character. It has appeared in a large number of philosophical concepts/issues, ranging from universals with regard to general terms and properties since the middle age to controversial mathematical entities, unobservable theoretical entities in scientific theories, meaning in the philosophy of language, qualia in the philosophy of mind, and more recently modal reality in modal discourse and some fundamental concepts in meta-ethics, to mention a few. We will focus (not exclusively) on five topics:

(i) Objectivity in Mathematics and Logic 

(ii) Structural Realism and Philosophy of Mind 

(iii) The Identity of Indiscernibles

(iv) Meta-ethical Robustness 

(v) Expressivism 

Keynote speakers:

Hartry Field (New York University)

Daniel Stoljar (Australian National University)

Invited speakers:

Ralf Bader (Merton College, Oxford)

Simon Goldstein (Lingnan University, Hong Kong) 

Nate Charlow (University of Toronto)

Mary Leng (University of York, UK)

Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra (Oriel College, Oxford). 

Paolo Santorio (UC San Diego);  

and some more will join us


Lok-Chi Chan (National Taiwan University)

Szu-Ting Chen (National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan.)

Duen-Min Deng (National Taiwan University) 

Kok Yong Lee (National Chung Cheng University) 

Churn-Jung Liau (Academia Sinica) 

Hsuan-Chih Lin (Soochow University, Taiwan)

Syraya Chin-Mu Yang (Chair, National Taiwan University) 


Lok-Chi Chan [[email protected]]

Duen-Min Deng [[email protected]]

Syraya Chin-Mu Yang [[email protected]]

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Who is attending?

2 people are attending:

University College London
Adrian Kreutz

1 person may be attending:

National University of Singapore

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