Alien Structure: Language and Metaphysics
null, Matti Eklund (Uppsala Universitet)

March 25, 2022, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

This event is online


Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi
University of Warsaw

Topic areas


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 ( 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

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.

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)




March 25, 2022, 4:45pm EET

Who is attending?

2 people are attending:

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
University of Helsinki

1 person may be attending:

Polish Academy of Sciences

See all

Will you attend this event?

Let us know so we can notify you of any change of plan.

RSVPing on PhilEvents is not sufficient to register for this event.