Foundations of Conceptual Engineering  

16th-17th November 2016

This workshop addresses foundational questions about the methodology and limits of conceptual engineering, also known as “explication” and “ameliorative analysis.”
Philosophers try to achieve clear descriptions of many of the concepts we have, such as race, gender, truth, existence, moral obligation, personhood—but they also seek to improve on them.  This workshop is concerned with the general principles underlying conceptual amelioration. Questions that may be covered include: Which conceptual changes are improvements?  What standards are in play in this evaluation? Do we need to appeal to the *purpose* or *function* of concepts, and measure how well concepts subserve their function? If so, what facts make it the case that concept C has function F, and how do we find out about such facts? Once we identify better concepts, how do we achieve the desired conceptual revision?


Alexis Burgess (UCLA)

Herman Cappelen (Oslo/Arche)

Catarina Dutilh Novaes (Groningen)

Amie Thomasson (Miami)


The Nature and Understanding of Sense

15-16th June

With support from the European Research Council and the Nature of
Representation research group at the University of Leeds.

IDEA Building, University of Leeds
8-10 Fenton St, Leeds.

June 15:

10.30-11.00am: Coffee/Registration

11.00am-12.30pm: Francois Recanati, ‘Co-Reference De Jure’

12.30-1.45pm: Lunch (catered)

1.45-3.15pm: Rachel Goodman, ‘Sense, Rationality and Explanation’

3.15-3.30: Coffee break.

3.30-5.00pm: Laura Schroeter, ‘Rationalising Self-Interpretation’

7.00pm: Conference Dinner

June 16:

11.00am-12.30pm: Richard Heck, ‘Sense as Mode of Representation’

12.30-1.45pm: Lunch (catered)

1.45-3.15pm: Gail Leckie, TBA

3.15-3.30: Coffee break.

3.30-5.00pm: Imogen Dickie


Mental Representation in Linguistics

 26-27 May 2016

Hosted by the Nature of Representation Group (Leeds),  and supported by the Analysis Trust.

Aim: To bring together linguists and philosophers to discuss the characterisation of human cognition involved in contemporary linguistic theorising and the disputed role in the theory of attributions of mental states with representational content.

Invited speakers:

  • Georges Rey (Maryland), “Intentional inexistents as the common coin of the interfaces”
  • David Adger (QMU), “Representation, derivation and syntactic structure”
  • Frances Egan (Rutgers), “A deflationary account of mental representation in linguistics”
  • John Collins (UEA), “What does a syntactic representation represent?”
  • Ianthi Tsimpli (Cambridge), “The use of referential expressions across children and adults: the argument in favour of language autonomy in cognition”
  • Wolfram Hinzen (ICREA, Universitat Pompeu Fabra), “The nature of linguistic representation – and how we might find out”

Workshop on Belief and Credence

The workshop on belief and credence takes place  Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd June!  If you’re interested in attending, please register as soon as possible:

June 2:

12:00 – 12:20 — coffee and tea

12:20 – 2:00 — Scott Sturgeon:  “The Tale of Bella and Creda”

2:20 – 4:00 — Hilary Greaves:  TBA

4:20 – 6:00 — Hannes Leitgeb:  “The Humean Thesis on Belief“

6:00 – late — drinks, dinner, and more drinks

June 3:

11:20 – 1:00 — Jonathan Weisberg:  “Belief in Psyontology”

1:00 – 2:00 — lunch (catered)

2:00 – 3:40 — Daniel Greco:  “It’s a Small World After All, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Probability 1”

All talks will take place in the IDEA CETL, 8-12 Fenton Street, in the ground floor seminar room.


Conference on Propositions

On May 7-8, 2014, we will be hosting a conference on propositions.

Speakers: Lorraine Juliano Keller (Niagara University), Jeff King (Rutgers), Kris McDaniel (Syracuse), Friederike Moltmann (CNRS/NYU), Scott Soames (USC), Jeff Speaks (Notre Dame)

Abstracts for conference papers.


May 7:

9.20am-9.45am: Registration/Tea & Coffee

9.45am-11.25am: Jeff Speaks, ‘Cognitively distinct but representationally identical propositions’

11.25am-11.40am: Coffee/tea (catered)

11.40am-1.20pm: Scott Soames, ‘Objections’ (Background reading: ‘Cognitive Propositions’ & ‘Propositions as Cognitive Acts’)

1.20pm-2.20pm: Lunch (catered)

2.20pm-4.00pm: Lorraine Juliano Keller, ‘Against Naturalised Propositions’

4.00pm-4.20pm: Afternoon tea (catered)

4.20pm-6.00pm: Kris McDaniel, ‘Propositions Individuated Metaphysically’

7pm: Conference Dinner

May 8:

10.00am-11.40am: Jeff King, TBA

11.40am-11.55am: Coffee/tea (catered)

11.55am-1.35pm: Friederike Moltmann, ‘Cognitive Products and the Semantics of ‘that-‘Clauses’ (Backround reading: ‘Propositions, Attitudinal Objects, and the Distinction between Actions and Products’‘Propositions and Attitudinal Objects’ (Ch. 4, from Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language)

1.35pm: Lunch

Organiser: Rachel Goodman (

There is no cost to attend the workshop, but registration is required. To register, please email

Workshop on Singular Thought and Perception

On January 10-11, 2014, we will be hosting a workshop on Singular Thought and Perception:

In defending some particular view about the nature of perceptual states (most often naive realism) it is sometimes claimed that perceptual states have a special role to play in the theory of mind: that of making contentful thought possible. There is a related suggestion sometimes made about singular thought: there must be singular thoughts because, without singular thoughts, contentful thought in general would not be possible. Given that a similar grounding role is assigned by some philosophers to perceptual states, and by others to a singular thoughts, we might ask: why are perceptual states rather than singular thoughts, or singular thoughts rather than perceptual states, distinctively fit to play the role of making contentful thought possible? The role of this workshop is to address this and closely related questions about the role of, and relationship between, singular thought and perception.

Confirmed Speakers: John Campbell, Kathrin Gluer-Pagin, Jason Leddington, M.G.F Martin.

Organiser: Rachel Goodman (

There is no cost to attend the workshop, but registration is required. Please email to register. (Please register by January 1, 2014)

Naive Realism workshop

We co-sponsored the workshop on Naive Realism in Perception, January 8-10 2014.

Speakers included  Alex Byrne, M.G.F. Martin, Thomas Raleigh, Susanna Schellenberg, Charles Travis

Conditional Thinking Workshop

We will be sponsoring a workshop on Conditional Thinking on January 14 and 15, 2014.

Jan 14:

  • 1:00 – 2.30:  Dorothy Edgington (Birkbeck)
  • 3:00 – 4.30:  Arif Ahmed (Cambridge)

Jan 15:

  • 9:00 – 10.30:  Daniel Elstein and Robbie Williams  (Leeds)
  • 11:00 – 12.30:  Richard Bradley and Orri Stefánsson (LSE)

The conference will take place in University House, Beech Grove room.  There will be a conference dinner on the evening of the 14th, which conference participants are invited to attend.

We invite you to register as soon as possible, because space will be limited.  To register, email with your name and affiliation, whether you’d like to attend the conference dinner, and if so, any dietary restrictions.

Dummett Day

We are co-organizing and co-sponsoring a symposium on the work of Michael Dummett on Sept 4/5 2013.

Speakers included Douglas Bridges, Imogen Dickie, Daniel Isaacson, Per Martin-Loef, Michael Rathjen, Philip Welch, Crispin Wright.



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