Institut Jean Nicod

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22 février 2013 : Achille Varzi (Columbia University)


Vendredi 22 février 2013 de 11h à 13h
Institut Jean-Nicod, ENS, 29, rue d’Ulm. Pavillon Jardin, salle de réunion, RDC.

Achille VARZI (Columbia University)

"Negative Events and Logical Form"


Abstract — Thesis : Just as it is a contradiction in terms to say that there are things that don’t exist, it is a contradiction in terms to say that there are events that don’t occur. We often speak as though there were such things, but deep down we want our words to be interpreted so as to avoid any serious ontological commitment to the realm of non-being. Antithesis : Non-occurring events are more resistant to Occam’s razor than the analogy with non-existing objects might suggest. Not only do we often speak as though there were such things as failures, omissions, non-occurrences ; we frequently speak in such a way as to require that reference to or quantification over negative events be taken literally. Moreover : How can we deny that sometimes we are causally responsible, not only for our actions, but also for our omissions ? How can we provide a reasonable account of our talk about tryings and intendings without bringing in negative outcomes ? Etc. Synthesis : TBA.