Value in Language

March 29, 2021 - March 31, 2021

This event is online


  • Slovak Academic Information Agency

Main speakers:

Institut Jean Nicod
Nottingham University
University of Leeds


Slovak Academy of Sciences
Slovak Academy of Sciences
University of Warsaw

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Many expressions in natural language are used to convey how we value parts of the world – things, events, actions, people. We use them to express our own opinions, but they also help us gain insight into what others think. Value and valuing is a crucial part of our lives: it guides us into action, it categorizes the world around us, it shapes our identity.

The workshop focuses on issues in the semantics of natural language expressions that are used to express value and valuing. Evaluative expressions (moral terms like “good”, “bad” or “ought to”, aesthetic adjectives like “beautiful”, “ugly”, “balanced”, predicates of taste like “tasty”, “disgusting”, ”boring”, thick terms like “curageous” or “generous”), slurs like “boche” and expressives like “damn” are among the expressions that involve, in some way or another, valuing and value. Among the questions this workshop aims at tackling are the following:

-       How do languages encode value (if at all)?

-       Should value be part of the semantics of a language or of pragmatics (or neither)?

-       What are the best arguments for the main approaches to these expressions in the literature?

-       How to accommodate non-orthodox uses of the expressions at stake (e.g., non-derogatory uses of slurs)?

-       How is disagreement involving the expressions in question to be accounted for?

-       What is the connection between the semantics of these expressions and the social milieus in which they are used?

-       How are the most prominent linguistic features of those expressions (e.g., the “hyper-projectivity” of slurs) to be treated?

Organization and participants

The workshop is organized by Dan Zeman, Matteo Pascucci and Mirco Sambrotta, as part of the S.A.I.A. Initiative Project "Slovak-Austrian Philosophy of Language Network" ( and hosted by the Department of Analytic Philosophy, Slovak Academy of Sciences.

The invited speakers at this event are Bianca Cepollaro (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University), Stefano Predelli (University of Nottingham) and Pekka Väyrynen (University of Leeds). Their sessions are pre-read. If you want to participate, please write to [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected] For more information, visit the website of the event:

(All times are CEST)

11.30-12.45: Nils Franzén (University of Uppsala) & Andrés Soria Ruiz (Universidade Nova de Lisboa): "Moral and Moorean Incoherencies"
14.00-15.15: Julia Zakkou (Bielefeld University): "Conventional Evaluativity"
15.30-16.45: Camil Golub (University of Leeds/Rutgers University): "Quasi-Naturalism and the Problem of Alternative Normative Concepts"
17.00-18.00: Pekka Väyrynen (University of Leeds), "Normative Naturalism, on Its Own Terms" [pre-read session]

10.00-11.15: Zuzanna Jusińska (University of Warsaw): "Slur Reclamation: Polysemy, Echo, or Both?"
11.30-12.45: Justina Berškytė & Graham Stevens (University of Manchester): "Slurs and Slurring Metaphors"
14.00-15.15: Gillian Gray (University of Michigan): "Not-So-Neutral Counterparts"
15.30-16.45: Leopold Hess (University of Krakow): "What's in a Slur? Expressing Values and Evaluating Expressions"
17.00-18.00: Bianca Cepollaro (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University), "The Moral Status of the Reclamation of Slurs" [pre-read session]

14.00-15.15: Natalia Karczewska (University of Warsaw): "Illocutionary Disagreement in Faultless Disagreement"
15.30-16.45: Victor Carranza (University of Milan & Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris): "The Expressive Creation Problem"
17.00-18.00: Stefano Predelli (University of Nottingham), "Unmentionables. Some Remarks on Taboo" [pre-read session]

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March 29, 2021, 5:30am CET

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