Institut Jean Nicod

Accueil > Séminaires/Colloques > Archives > Séminaires > 2018-2019 > ÆCS > Présentation


Past sessions 


Monday 15 April, 11h00-13h00
Salle Ribot, 29 rue d’Ulm 75005 Paris (you can enter also from rue Lhomond and then follow the directions for Bâtiment Jaurès)
Louise Hanson 

"Robust Moral Realism and Robust Aesthetic Realism"



Many philosophers find robust moral realism (RMR) appealing. They find it plausible that there are moral truths, and that these are entirely independent of what anybody happens to think and how anybody happens to feel. But pretty much no one is inclined towards robust realism about beauty (RAR). And even philosophers who do not themselves accept robust moral realism, take it to be a respectable position worth engaging with. Not so with robust aesthetic realism ! 

The mainstream view is that robust realism is more tenable in the moral case than it is in the aesthetic case. There are two ways that this could be correct. The first way is Obstacle Asymmetry : RAR faces obstacles that RMR doesn’t face. The second is Motivation Asymmetry : RMR is better motivated than RAR - there are compelling arguments for RMR that lack counterparts in the aesthetic case. 

This paper considers Motivation Asymmetry. I argue that there is no good reason to think it holds. I consider the three main kinds of argument that are commonly taken to motivate RMR, and I argue that each has an equally compelling aesthetic counterpart.

(i) Extensional Adequacy : Anything short of RMR is committed to implausible claims about is morally right and wrong

(ii) Morality : Anything short of RMR is committed to morally objectionable claims

(iii) Categorical Imperatives : Moral requirements are categorical, and RMR is the only position that can accommodate this. 

If I am right, then in the absence of further arguments for RMR, we should take robust realism to be no less well-motivated in the aesthetic case than in the moral case. 

This is a surprising result. Metaethicists often talk as though the considerations that motivate RMR are specifically moral ones, and as though RAR is not correspondingly well-motivated. 


Monday 11 February, 9h30-11h
IJN Pavillon Jardin, 29 rue d’Ulm 75005 Paris (you can enter also from rue Lhomond and then follow the directions for Bâtiment Jaurès)
Enrico Terrone (LOGOS Research Group in Analytic Philosophy, Barcelona)

" The Myth of Mitys and the Nature of Narratives"



Carroll (2001, 2007) conceives of narratives as representations of events that involve causal connections. Yet, as pointed out by Velleman (2003) and Currie (2006) this view is challenged by a case proposed by Aristotle : Mitys was killed and then one day his statue accidentally felt down killing his killer. Although there is no relevant causal connection between the assassination of Myth and the death of his killer, the "myth of Mitys" looks like a sort of narrative. I shall argue that this depends on another key feature of narratives, namely, teleology : the statue felt down not *because of* the assassination of Mitys but rather *with the alleged aim of* avenging it. I shall show that paradigmatic narratives are governed by a teleological closure that affects causal connections. However, I shall contend, there can be non-paradigmatic narratives exhibiting either causation without teleology or teleology without causation. I shall conclude that the "myth of Mitys" is of the latter kind.


Monday 1 October, 14h-16h
Salle séminaire du DEC, 29 rue d’Ulm 75005 Paris (you can enter also from rue Lhomond and then follow the directions for Bâtiment Jaurès)
Elisa Caldarola (Padua)
"Conceptual Art and Prop Oriented Make-Believe"

Some philosophers have claimed that works of conceptual art are ideas, ontologically speaking (Carroll 1999 ; Matravers 2007 ; Schellekens 2007). Others maintain that works of conceptual art are not ideas, although they enjoy a special relationship with ideas (Cray 2014 ; Dodd 2016). In this talk, I present a proposal that looks deeper into the relationship between certain works of conceptual art and ideas, analysing Michael Craig Martin’s work An Oak Tree (1973) and claiming that such work hints at a certain idea by means of engaging the public in a game of prop oriented make-believe (Walton 1993). I argue that my proposal presents some advantages over alternative views (especially Young 2001) and that it casts light on the relationship between those works of art that are conceptual and those that aren’t.


Monday 15 October 14h-16h
Salle Séminaire du DEC, 29 rue d’Ulm (you can enter also from 24 rue Lhomond and then follow the directions for Bâtiment Jaurès)
Merel Semeijn (Groningen) 
"Fiction and Common Ground : A Workspace Account"


Because Stalnaker’s common ground framework is focussed on cooperative information exchange, it is challenging to model fictional discourse. To this end, I develop an extension of Stalnaker’s analysis of assertion that is inspired by Matravers’ theory of fiction interpretation. Assertions and fictional statements are modelled as proposals to first update a temporal common ground : The ‘workspace’. At the end of the discourse, ‘assertive’ or ‘fictive closure’ is performed ; The content of the workspace is added to the common ground directly (for assertions) or as ‘parafictional information’ under an “In story Sp”-operator (for fictional statements).

I argue that pronominal anaphora across mixed parafictional/metafictional discourse (e.g. In The Lord of the Rings, Frodoi goes through an immense mental struggle. Heis an intriguing fictional character !) poses a problem for the workspace account and evaluate different possible solutions based on Zalta’s logic of abstract object and Recanati’s dot-object analysis of fictional characters