The Nature of Representation project in 2015-16

Personnel switched around this year as Jennifer Carr and Rachel Goodman secured tenure track positions in the USA (Goodman remained part-time on the project during this period). They had done fantastic work on the project, and it was sad to see them go. In their place, we appointed Daniel Elstein, who as a lecturer in the department of philosophy had been working with the project from the beginning, and Gail Leckie. Daniel’s background in metaethics (as well as his direct interest in developing an anti-realist metaphysics of representation) was an ideal fit with the increasing interest in the project with the interaction of normativity and representation. Gail’s work ties directly to the research items on the agenda for the final two years of the project, particularly in her interest in accounts of understanding (and their relation to inferentialist theories of meaning) and the vehicles of representation. We were also able to appoint Ed Elliot to a short-term postdoc, and his expertise in representation theorems and formal philosophy of mind added another angle to the project team. In his time with us he secured both a Marie Curie incoming fellowship to work on the Nature of Belief–and a continuing lectureship at Leeds.

The seminar series continued, with one focus being a series of presentations by the PI, Williams, of core papers on the main project themes. These kicked off the final writing-up phase of his project work.

The year had a balanced schedule of two large workshops and three extended visits, drawing on what we’d found worked best in the previous two years of the project.

In 2015-16 our visitors were:
  • David Chalmers (NYU). Three talks.
  • Guy Longworth (Warwick). Three talks.
  • Tim Button (Cambridge). Three talks.

We organized the following workshops:

  • The nature and understanding of sense.
    • Francois Recanati (Paris).
    • Robert Williams (Leeds).
    • Laura Schroeter (Melbourne).
    • Richard Heck (Brown).
    • Gail Leckie (Leeds).
    • Imogen Dickie (Toronto).
  • Mental representation in linguistics.
    • Georges Rey (Maryland).
    • David Adger (QMU).
    • Frances Egan (Rutgers).
    • John Collins (UEA).
    • Ianthi Tsimpli (Cambridge).
    • Wolfram Hinzen (ICREA,¬†Universitat Pompeu Fabra).

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