Alien Structure: Language and MetaphysicsMatti Eklund (Uppsala University), Matti Eklund (Uppsala Universitet)
The ALEF research group (Cluj-Napoca, Romania) announces an online talk by Matti Eklund (Uppsala University) entitled "Alien Structure: Language and Metaphysics". The talk is part of the group's regular seminar and takes place on Friday, MARCH 25, 17.00 EET (please note the unusual starting time!). Please write to [email protected] or check our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ALEF-100692348488914) if you want to participate. For more information about ALEF, as well as the schedule for the seminar in the 2021-2022 spring semester, please visit https://sites.google.com/view/alefgroupcluj.
Here is the abstract of the talk:
What sorts of languages can there be? More specifically, what sorts of semantic differences can there be between languages? Can there be alien languages – languages whose expressions have semantic functions importantly different from the semantic functions of expressions of familiar languages? We can ask corresponding questions in metaphysics. Might some alien language better represent reality than familiar languages do? Might reality have alien structure, better captured by an alien kind of language? It is a well-known assumption in contemporary metaphysics that languages can differ in how well they represent reality. Metaphysicians debate what the language of the book of the world is, to use a common phrase. But the debate proceeds against the background assumption that the language of the book of the world uses resources found in familiar languages. If languages can be semantically alien, other possibilities open up. In this talk I elaborate on the themes just briefly described. Among other things, I discuss and assess some different strategies for making progress on them.
March 25, 2022, 4:45pm EET