Institut Jean Nicod

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Aidan GRAY


(University of Illinois at Chicago,
maître de conférences invité à l’EHESS)




Aidan Gray’s research focuses on the philosophy of language, linguistics, and the philosophy of mind. He has a special interest in theories of proper names in philosophy and linguistics. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2012, and is currently an Assistant Professor in Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Les recherches d’Aidan Gray portent sur des questions de philosophie du langage, de  linguistique et de philosophie de l’esprit. Il travaille plus particulièrement sur la théorie des noms propres en philosophie et en linguistique. Il a obtenu son doctorat à l’Université de Chicago en 2012 et est actuellement Professeur assistant à l’Université de Lillinois à Chicago


Le 31 mai et les 2, 6 et 9 juin 2017 de 15h30 à 17h30

Institut Jean Nicod - Ecole normale supérieure, 29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris, Salle de réunion, RDC.


Mercredi 31 mai 2017 de 15h30 à 17h30

Relational Approaches to Frege’s Puzzle

Résumé :

I will discuss a family of recent approaches to Frege’s puzzle which posit representational relations. I identify the central commitments of relational approaches, and present several arguments for them. I also distinguish two kinds of Relationism, corresponding to two conceptions of representational relations. I briefly discuss the consequences of relational approaches for foundational questions about propositional attitudes, intentional explanation, and compositionality.


Vendredi 2 juin 2017 de 15h30 à 17h30

Indistinguishable Senses

Résumé :

Under what conditions do two thoughts about the same object present that object from the same perspective? This talk is about two competing approaches to this question : Fregeanism and Relationism. I aim to clarify what is at stake between the two approaches and argue - by focusing on purported examples of qualitatively indistinguishable modes of presentation – that neither approach is satisfactory.

Mardi 6 juin 2017 de 14h à 15h30

What does de jure coreference explain, and how does it explain it?

Résumé :

A number of theories of representation appeal to de jure coreference as part of a theory of Frege-cases. In this talk, my first aim is to distinguish different ways in which the notion is deployed, corresponding roughly to how it interacts with compositional semantic explanation. With that distinction in view, I argue that Semantic Relationism (which posits relationally-individuated propositions as the semantic upshot of de jure coreference) has no advantages over Formal Relationism (which does not posit propositions of that kind).


Vendredi 9 juin 2017 de 15h30 à 17h30

On the very idea of metalinguistic approaches to proper names

Résumé :

Metalinguistic approaches to names hold that proper names are semantically associated with name-bearing properties. I argue that in contrast to what is normally assumed, metalinguistic theorists owe us an account of the metaphysics of name-bearing properties. The only plausible account of name-bearing would treat name-bearing properties as a species of response-dependent property. I outline how such an account should look, drawing on forms of response-dependence identified in the literature on colour and moral properties.