Institut Jean Nicod

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Doc’in nicod


Séminaire doctoral et postdoctoral de l’Institut Jean-Nicod.
Doctoral and post-doctoral seminar of the IJN.

Doc’in Nicod is a biweekly seminar providing an opportunity for young researchers, doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows from the IJN to receive feedback on work in progress from fellow graduate students and researchers of the Institute. Each session will feature one researcher of the IJN as a commentator.

The seminar is open to the public.

Talks will be held at the Institut Jean Nicod, ENS, 29 rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris. Conference room of the Pavillon Jardin.

Contact : Armando Lavalle or Chloé Tahar 


Session 4

Friday, January 18th, 2019, 4:00 - 5:30 pm
Speaker : Guido Robin Löhr, (IJN/RUB)
Commentator : Marta Abrusen
Title : A Simulation-based account of copredication


Copredication allows us to refer to two distinct but related entities in a single sentence using a single expression. I first propose a number of desiderata for a successful theory of copredication and show why none of the current theories of copredication meet them. I then outline a theory of copredication in terms of a simulation-based account of linguistic understanding that does meet the desiderata. Finally, I briefly state why copredication cannot be used as a test for polysemy.


Past sessions

Session 1

Friday, November 9, 2018, 4:00 - 5:30 pm
Speaker : Hye Young Kim (IJN Postdoctoral Researcher)
Commentator : Frédéric Nef
Title : A Topological Analysis of Knotted-Time-Consciousness


Does time’s arrow flow straightforward ? What if not ? What if it’s in the shape of a knot ? By applying Louis Kauffman’s knot-logic (knot set theory), the structure of our consciousness of time will be analyzed from a different perspective. In doing so, an attempt will be made to prove how consistent subjective consciousness would be possible and that our subjective consciousness is necessarily intersubjective.


Session 2

Friday, November 23, 2018, 4:00 - 5:30 pm
Speaker : Merel Semeijn (University of Groningen Ph.D. student)
Commentator : Paul Egré
Title : Bald-faced lies and parafictional statements


A famous counterexample to definitions of lying that involve an intention to deceive is what Sorensen (2007) has dubbed the ‘bald-faced lie’. For instance, in The Godfather II, Pentangeli testifies in court “I never knew no Godfather”, to ensure that mafioso Corleone is not convicted. However, it is common knowledge in the courtroom that Pentangeli did know the Godfather. Hence, even though we judge that Pentangeli lied, his speech act cannot involve an intention to deceive anyone.

In response, Stokke (2013) has proposed a Stalnakerian analysis according to which Pentangeli does not intend that anyone believes that he knew no Godfather but instead intends that this becomes commonly accepted. I argue that this is not a convincing characterization of the bald-faced lie and propose an alternative Stalnakerian framework according to which bald-faced lies are more akin to fictional statements than to stereotypical lies : The ‘workspace account’. All statements – fictional statements, assertions and (bald-faced) lies – 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 as belief (for non-fictional statements) or as ‘parafictional belief’ of the form “In story S, p” (for fictional statements). Crucially, Pentangeli’s bald-faced lie is aimed at making it a common parafictional belief that according to the account that Pentangeli gave in court, he knew no Godfather. Hence, bald-faced lies have a stronger resemblance to fictional statements than to lies.


Session 3

Friday, December 14, 2018, 4:00 - 5:30 pm
Speaker : Maryam Ebrahimi Dinani (IJN PhD Student)
Commentator : Uriah Kriegel
Title : The Truth Norm for Assertion : Definitional or Individuative ?


This paper is about the norm of truth for assertion, which I henceforth call “The Truth Rule”, and is formulated as follows : “One ought to assert only what is true”. I argue that The Truth Rule as thus formulated is a norm for assertion in a specific sense. I defend the view that assertion is, by its nature, governed by the rule according to which one ought to assert only what is true. The paper proceeds in two parts : a historically expository part in which I situate the problem and a conceptual one in which I defend the thesis. I start the first part with Dummett, who argued for the importance of the norm of truth for assertion through an analogy with games. I then explain how this analogy is formulated in the literature in terms of what is known as “constitutive rules”, and I discuss two distinct, but conflated, ways of characterizing constitutive rules from the works of Williamson and Searle. In the second part, I introduce a distinction between two types of constitutive rules, which I call “definitional” vs. “individuative” constitutive rules. I argue then for the truth rule as being of the individuative type, and I give a possible explanation of the distinction within the institutional framework. I finish by looking at one possible account of the nature of the individuative type of constitutive rules.

Keywords : Assertion, Truth, Constitutive Rules.