Institut Jean Nicod

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Présentation

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. - Change of venue for session 7 -

Contact : Armando Lavalle or Chloé Tahar 

 

Session 6
Friday, March 29, 2019, 4:00 - 5:30 pm
Speaker: Raphael Milliere (PhD student, University of Oxford)
Commentator: Bénédicte Veillet
Title: The myth of constitutive self-consciousness

Abstract

In this paper, I examine the claim that self-consciousness or self-awareness is constitutive of consciousness in general. I start by distinguishing two broad reading of the claim found in the literature: (a) Necessarily, whenever one is in a conscious mental state, one is aware of that conscious mental state; and (b) Necessarily, whenever one is in a conscious mental state, one is aware of oneself. Before assessing each of these claims, I motivate a number of foundational claims about consciousness that plausibly follow from Nagel’s influential definition. I subsequently argue that existing statements of (a) and (b) can be interpreted in different ways, and that the resulting claims can be divided into two groups. In the first group are claims that merely point to aspects of phenomenology already acknowledged by the foundational claims outlined in this paper. While such claims are very plausible, they are not really about the subject’s awareness of her experience or awareness of herself in any interesting sense. In the second group are claims that point to distinctive aspects of phenomenology going beyond the foundational claims outlined in this chapter; I argue that such claims are not sufficiently motivated. I conclude that claiming that self-awareness or self-consciousness – whether construed as awareness of one’s experience or awareness of oneself – is constitutive of consciousness in general is at best misleading, and at worst unwarranted.

 

Session 7
May 24, 2019 (room Paul Langevin)4:00 - 5:30 pm
Speaker: Géraldine Carranante  (PhD student, IJN / ENS)
Commentator: Anouk Barberousse
Title: What notion of perception should guide scientific research on it?

Abstract 

Arguably, experimental psychology alone cannot define the limits of perception in the mind, without some pre-theoretical notions of what kind of thing perception is. An intuitive thesis is that the precursor of the scientific concept of perception is the folk-psychological concept of perception, which is updated through scientific discoveries. However, I argue that such intuitive thesis is misguided by formulating two objections against it. The first objection pertains to the continuity between ordinary and scientific categories. The second problem is the impossibility to draw a distinction between negative results which should generate an update of the concept and negative results tout court. In a second part, I offer an alternative in which the starting point of scientific elaboration on the concept of perception should be free of any intension or extension, and should only be constituted by epistemic goal(s), i.e. the kind of problem in need of explanation, for which this concept is used.

 

 

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

Abstract

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

Abstract

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?

Abstract

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.

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

Abstract

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.

 

Session 5

Friday, March 8, 2019, 4:00 - 5:30 pm
Speaker: Matthieu Koroma (Sid Kouider’s Team, Laboratoire des Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique UMR 8554)
Commentator: Pascal Ludwig
Title: Self-evidencing conscious experience and vicious circularity

Abstract

The meta-problem of consciousness aims to explain the particularity of our intuitions about consciousness and how they trigger conceptual issues such as the hard problem of consciousness. I propose in this talk that these intuitions stem from a basic function of the brain: self-evidencing explanation. To make sense of its sensory inputs, the brain is believed to build test models of the state of the world based on sensory information (Hohwy, 2016). This self-evidencing process has been proposed to describe the type of inference performed by consciousness (Friston, 2018). I will show how this situation is viciously circular and prevents us from proving the existence of consious experience or explaining it without presupposing its existence. I will show how it accounts for the particularity of our intuitions avour consciousness and then I propose a solution to the meta-problem of consciousness using a formally defined process at the core of conscious inference. 


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