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Notice

AISB event Bulletin Item

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: "The Epistemology of Modality", 23-24 Feb 2012, Cologne, GERMANY


Modal discourse is ubiquitous in everyday life: how things could have been different, what we might
do, what the future could be; questions of this kind, with different readings of (or restrictions 
on) the kind of modality involved, are likely to be asked about almost any subject that attracts 
interest in human life, no matter whether the topic is addressed informally or through a scientific 
discipline. Analytic philosophy also concerns itself with modal discourse in many ways; as an 
object of analysis, as a tool (when a modal account is offered of apparently non-modal phenomena) 
and, more directly, when philosophers argue about metaphysical modal claims. But how do we get to 
know the answers to the modal questions? By definition, modal claims transcend the way things are. 
This seems to pose a peculiar difficulty for the epistemology of modal discourse, somewhat 
analogous to the (alleged) problem for our knowledge of abstract objects known as "Benacerraf 
dilemma"; in both cases there seems to be a tension between the metaphysics and the epistemology 
of the relevant area. A related issue is whether the solution to the problem requires tracing modal
knowledge back to a priori or conceptual truths. In the workshop, we aim to discuss and develop 
different answers that have been given recently to this problem.

Speakers: Jacek Brzozowski (Kln), Bob Hale (Sheffield), Sonia Roca-Royes (Stirling), Daniele 
Sgaravatti (Kln), Anand Vaidya (San Jose), Timothy Williamson (Oxford).

Participation to the workshop is free, but registration is needed and there is a limited number of 
available places. For registration and inquiries write to: 
contact@fromthearmchair.net

Registration deadline: January 10, 2012

The Workshop is organized by the Emmy Noether research group 'Understanding and the A Priori': 
http://fromthearmchair.net