Reference in Remembering
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Further details for this event will be added in the near future.
We expect this to be a hybrid event, with speakers and some attendees present in-person and others joining the talks and Q&As virtually through Zoom. Registration will be required for this and we will post details on how to register in due course.
Speakers: Nikola Andonovski; Michael Barkasi; Imogen Dickie; Manuel García-Carpintero; Rachel Goodman & Aidan Gray; Christoph Hoerl; Kristina Liefke & Markus Werning; Kourken Michaelian & James Openshaw; Denis Perrin & Christopher McCarroll; François Recanati; Sarah Robins.
Conference theme: When one consciously recalls making coffee this morning, or running in the park yesterday, one is directed towards a particular event in one’s past, and, as one recollects, sensory and affective mental imagery enables one to ‘relive’ it. It is because of this directedness that the memory’s accuracy is determined by what that very event was like. It is also because of this directedness that remembering is characterised by a sense of re-experiencing a specific event from one’s past, rather than simply undergoing a similar experience anew. And it is, finally, because of this directedness that we rely on our memory of events in ways that we do not rely on our imaginings of unexperienced events. We can integrate and explain these observations by thinking of remembering as involving reference to particular past events, just as an utterance of a referring term like ‘Here’ singles out a particular place as the very subject matter of the sentence in which it occurs. This feature of remembering is essential for the kind of awareness and knowledge we have of the past. And understanding the kind(s) of reference which remembering involves, and which it enables in the form of singular thoughts (the cognitive analogues of referring terms in language), is essential if we are to understand memory. But while reference lies at the heart of remembering, the nature of the connection remains obscure and underexamined. This conference will bring together leading researchers on memory and on reference and singular thought to make progress on the multi-faceted issues at the intersection of these topics.