The Nature of Representation project in 2016-17

Leckie and Elstein continued as project postdocs for the final year of the project, and both project PhD students, Nick Tasker and Will Gamester, secured Jacobsen studentships to support the fourth year of their research (so the NatRep project alone hosted a 1/4 of the awards of this prestigious studentship in this year). The team was joined by Simon Hewitt as project postdoc whose expertise in logic and the philosophy of mathematics assisted the case study into the metasemantics of quantification that Williams was pursuing. Also joining was Thomas Brouwer (1/3 time) who brought a special interest in the metaphysics of groups and group representation. During the final year, Elstein secured a continuing lectureship at Leeds, Leckie a position at Oxford, and Hewitt a three year Leverhulme early career fellowship.

The seminar series continued, with a particular focus in 2017 on scoping out and planning follow-up research beyond the time-scale of the current project. This ultimately led to a new 5-year project plan, “Group thinking: new foundations” which takes the progress made on the foundations of *individual* representation, and seeks to extend this to the foundations of representational states of collectives and groups (small teams, whole organizations, or nations).

The final year of the project again saw a balanced schedule of two international conferences and a series of visitors, three of whom gave seminars/talks in the extended “solo workshop” format of which we have become so fond.

In 2016-17 our visitors (so far):

  • Jason Turner (Arizona).
  • Adam Pautz (Brown). Three talks.
  • Ian Rumfitt (Oxford). Three talks.
  • Sarah Sawyer (Sussex). Three talks.
  • Brian Epstein (Tufts). Three talks.
  • Amie Thomasson (Miami). Three talks.
  • Florian Steinberger (Birkbeck). Three talks.
  • Herman Cappelen (Oslo). (By skype). One talk.
  • Oystein Linnebo (Oslo). One talk.

We organized the following workshops:

  • Metaphysics of Words.
    • Stefano Predelli (Nottingham).
    • Lee Walters (Southampton).
    • Linda Wetzel (Georgetown).
    • Nick Tasker (Leeds).
    • Robert May (UC Davis).
    • Mark Richard (Harvard).
  • Foundations of Conceptual Engineering.
    • Alexis Burgess (UCLA).
    • Herman Cappelen (Oslo).
    • Catarina Dutilh Novaes (Groningen)
    • Amie Thomasson (Miami).
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