The Nature of Representation project in 2013-14

With postdocs (Carr and Goodman) and research students (Gamester and Tasker) in place, the NatRep core group was formed, and the seminar series got into full swing, with a focus initially on classic work on the metaphysics of representation (e.g. Dretske, Millikan, Lewis). Colleagues from the wider philosophy department continued to participate and support our activities. With the additional resource, we started organizing workshops and more visits. In this year, as well as four international workshops, we had several visitors. They either gave a single talk or (on the model of Dickie’s visit from the previous year) a series of linked papers.

We find that workshops are most effective if the number of talks per day is kept comparatively low (three or at most four talks/day). This allows room for a relaxed question period and lots of informal discussion in the period between talks. It also means that energy-levels remain high at every talk, and the temptation of participants to “skip” talks is reduced, keeping the conference together. A nice pattern for a four-person workshop is to split it over two days—starting and finishing at lunchtime. That allows for participants to travel up and back within working hours, and means that everyone is fresh for every talk.

In 2013-14 our visitors included:

  • Damian Rochford (MIT).
  • Gurpreet Rattan (Toronto).
  • Richard Holton (Cambridge).
  • Wolfgang Schwarz (ANU) (three talks).
  • Zoe Drayson (Stirling) (three talks).
  • Mahrad Almotahari (UIC).


Workshops in this period included:

  • Belief and Credence.
    • Scott Sturgeon (Birmingham).
    • Hilary Greaves (Oxford).
    • Hannes Leitgeb (Munich).
    • Jonathan Weisberg (Toronto).
    • Daniel Greco (Yale).
  • Propositions.
    • Lorraine Juliano Keller (Niagara University)
    • Jeff King (Rutgers)
    • Kris McDaniel (Syracuse)
    • Friederike Moltmann (CNRS/NYU)
    • Scott Soames (USC)
    • Jeff Speaks (Notre Dame)
  • Singular thought and perception.
    • John Campbell (Berkeley).
    • Kathrin Gluer-Pagin (Stockholm).
    • Jason Leddington (Bucknell University).
    • M.G.F Martin (UCL).
  • Conditional thinking workshop.
    • Dorothy Edgington (Birkbeck).
    • Arif Ahmed (Cambridge).
    • Daniel Elstein and Robert Williams (Leeds).
    • Richard Bradley and Orri Stefansson (LSE).

We also co-sponsored a conference on Naive Realism in perception (speakers: Alex Byrne, M.G.F. Martin, Thomas Raleigh, Susanna Schellenberg, Charles Travis).

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