Theoretical and Empirical Challenges to Retraction

June 23, 2021 - June 24, 2021

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  • Polish National Science Center

Keynote speakers:

University of Padua
Yale University
Universitat de Barcelona
Freie Universität Berlin


University of Warsaw

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Retraction (the act of "taking back" a previous assertion due to, e.g., a change in perspective) has been appealed to in the debate between contextualism and relativism about "perspectival expressions" (predicates of taste, epistemic modals, aesthetic adjectives, moral terms, epistemic vocabulary etc.). This phenomenon has been taken to favor relativism (at least in one of its forms) over its rivals. Recently, various challenges to using retraction data to support relativism have surfaced in the literature, of both a theoretical and an empirical nature. This workshop focuses on assessing these challenges, presenting new ones, and ascertaining whether relativism can answer them, as well as on surveying extant experimental studies and showcasing novel ones.

Among the main questions tackled by the presentations at the workshop are the following:
- What are the best theoretical arguments in favor of and against using retraction to support relativism?
- Is retraction mandatory? Under which conditions?
- Is relativism committed to taking retraction as being mandatory?
- What are the linguistics markers of retraction?
- How robust is the phenomenon of retraction?
- What exactly do the experimental studies on retraction show vis-à-vis the contextualism/relativism debate?
- What can approaches within frameworks like speech act theory tell us about retraction? Etc.

The workshop is part of the project Semantic Relativism about Perspectival Expressions: A Reassessment and Defense (OPUS 17 project no. 2019/33/B/HS1/01269) and is organized by Dan Zeman, with the support of the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Warsaw. Please write to if you want to participate.

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June 22, 2021, 5:00am CET

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2 people are attending:

Yale University
Universitat de Barcelona

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