EN

MERELY — MEANINGS: ENDURING, REVISING, ENGINEERING | LISBON 2019

July 11, 2019

WORKSHOP 11-12 JULY | NOVA FCSH - ID BUILDING ROOM 0.06

 

In one sentence, the central and general goal/task of this workshop is to question and challenge the “merely” that is often used to qualify meaning or verbal disputes. Frequently, in linguistic communication, the suspicion arises that interlocutors are talking past each other and failing to get their meanings through. Resisting the mereness verdict allows such disruptive events to be used to focus, and render especially salient and urgent, a number of fundamental questions on the nature and processes of linguistic meaning and communication. These include, but are by no means exhausted by: What is it for interlocutors to converge or coordinate on the meaning of the words they exchange, and how is it accomplished? How do meanings persist and change across contexts? To what extent can speakers control constancy and change? To what extent are they even scrutable, traceable or understood? What’s the role of intention and planning in meaning making? What purposes or goals could be served by deliberate intervention on our semantic resources? What norms and criteria govern these processes? What are the limits of reinterpretation? How to distinguish misunderstanding from disagreement?

 

Pedro Abreu (NOVA University of Lisbon)

Ernest Lepore (Rutgers University)

Marcin Lewinski (NOVA University of Lisbon)

Peter Ludlow (University of Campinas)

Poppy Mankowitz (NOVA University of Lisbon)

Sofia Miguens  (University of Porto)

Erich Rast  (NOVA University of Lisbon)

Nuno Venturinha (NOVA University of Lisbon)

 

Organization: Pedro Abreu

Part of the Values in Argumentative Discourse project (PTDC/MHC-FIL/0521/2014)

Principal Investigator: Erich Rast

 

PROGRAMME

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

11 JULY

 

11:15-11:30

Opening: Erich Rast

 

11:30 -12:30

Peter Ludlow

Deference and the Dynamic Lexicon

 

12:45-14:00 Lunch

 

14:00-15:00

Erich Rast

Some Remarks on Theory Change and Topic Continuity

 

15:00-16:00

Poppy Mankowitz

How to Have a Metalinguistic Dispute

 

16:00-16:20 Coffee break

 

16:20-17:20

Nuno Venturinha

To be announced

 

12 JULY

 

11:30 -12:30

Sofia Miguens

Consequences of Forgetting Austin — ‘Merely Contextual’ and Varieties of Contextualism

 

12:45-14:00 Lunch

 

14:00-15:00

Marcin Lewiński (& Pedro Abreu)

Misunderstanding, Disagreement and the Interpretative Work of Argumentation

 

15:00-16:00

Pedro Abreu

Disputes, Indeterminacy and the Social Nature of Meaning

 

16:00-16:20 Coffee break

 

16:20-17:20

Ernest Lepore

Nonnegotiable Meanings

 

 

ABSTRACTS
_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Peter Ludlow

Deference and the Dynamic Lexicon

The common view about linguistic deference is that it is a largely passive process in which we automatically defer to defer to domain experts.  In this talk I expand on ideas about the dynamic lexicon in Living Words, in particular ideas about lexical warfare, and argue that deference too is a dynamic process within the control of speakers.  In particular, I argue that we continually issue challenges to putative domain experts using partial knowledge proof procedures, both concerning their expertise and the semantic reach of their expertise. I argue that for domain experts understanding the meaning of an expression is in part the ability to reconstruct this history of challenges, as well as the prior history of the disputes about meaning. For the rest of us, understanding the meaning involves having a strategy for locating and "proving" a path to such experts. I argue that contrary to popular opinion, this view is not internalist, but externalist. Or at least it can be.

Erich Rast

Some Remarks on Theory Change and Topic Continuity

When the circumstances are good, people can follow other people's theories and world views with an almost uncanny precision and are able to adapt their own world views and the meaning of terms they use with ease. How is this possible? Some authors have suggested topic continuity as a way of (partly) explaining why terminological disagreements remain substantive and not merely about words when different theories and world views are changing or are changed. In this talk, I lay out the ‘Tracking View’ of topic continuity and argue that it fares better than other accounts. However, I also argue that topic continuity is not needed for a philosophical justification of the potential fruitfulness of particular endeavours of Conceptual Engineering (Cappelen 2018) and Conceptual Ethics (Burgess & Plunkett 2013ab). Metalinguistic disagreements about a term can - and usually will - be substantive even when there is a good case to be made that the underlying background theories or world views are about different topics. If that is true, then a lack of topic continuity cannot be used as an argument against ameliorative projects.

 

Poppy Mankowitz      

How to Have a Metalinguistic Dispute

There has been recent interest in the idea that speakers who appear to be having a verbal dispute may in fact be engaged in a metalinguistic negotiation: they are communicating information about how they believe an expression should be used at the relevant context. While many have argued that metalinguistic negotiation is a pervasive feature of philosophical and everyday discourse, the literature currently lacks an account that can be situated within a 'mainstream' view of communication. After identifying a number of adequacy conditions and desiderata, I provide such an account. I claim that individuals reconstruct metalinguistic propositions by means of a pragmatic, Gricean reasoning process.

Sofia Miguens

Consequences of Forgetting Austin — ‘Merely Contextual’ and Varieties of Contextualism

J.L. Austin claimed that  “When we examine what we should say when, what words we should use in what situations, we are looking again not merely at words (or “meanings”, whatever they may be) but also at the realities we use words to talk about”. In this talk I will examine the way Michael Williams follows Austin’s lead in recent exchanges with Duncan Pritchard in order to spell out some (bad) consequences of forgetting Austin when one is a contextualist.


Marcin Lewiński (& Pedro Abreu)

Misunderstanding, Disagreement and the Interpretative Work of Argumentation


Pedro Abreu

Disputes, Indeterminacy and the Social Nature of Meaning

 

Ernest Lepore

Nonnegotiable Meanings

While tradition teaches us that a precondition on communication is that interlocutors share mutual knowledge of the meanings of expressions of a language, innovative lexical usage suggests this cannot generally be the case. We can engage in a process of lexical innovation effortlessly, introducing novel expression-meaning pairings on the fly. Furthermore, some have argued that not only is it easy to introduce novel expressions, but that the standing meanings of virtually any expression is dynamic, constantly renegotiated by the conversational agents even within the course of a single conversation (in particular, Ludlow; see also Armstrong, Carston, Plunket & Sundell, inter alia). We by contrast will argue that meanings are non-negotiable — they do not (typically) change through reflective or non-reflective negotiation on the part of the conversational agents. However, we shall argue that despite non-negotiable meanings, a requirement of prior knowledge of meaning on the part of conversational agents is problematic — speakers don’t generally have such knowledge in any interesting sense. But how then do they successfully communicate? Drawing on the lessons from our criticism of the dynamic meaning accounts, we sketch our own solution to this problem   

 

 

 

For any questions, please contact pedroabreu@fcsh.unl.pt

Back to previous page


Events

All Events

Vito Evola, 11 October 2019, 11h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "More than words: Worldmaking and stancetaking…

October 11, 2019

1st ERB Project Workshop, 28-29 June 2019

Wittgenstein and the Epistemology of Religious Belief

June 28, 2019

Gloria Andrada de Gregorio, 27 June, 2019, 15.00h to 16.00h

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar | An Enculturated Approach…

June 27, 2019

Francesca Ervas, 4 June 2019, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Visual metaphor, argument evaluation, and the…

June 04, 2019

Dina Mendonça, 15 May, 2019, 15.00h to 16.00h

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar | Why Immersion is…

May 15, 2019

Jorge Durán Solórzano, 7 May 2019, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Competing narratives for change"

May 07, 2019

Klaus Gärtner, 10 April, 2018, 15.00h to 16.00h

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar | The Epistemology of…

April 05, 2019

Frank Zenker, 12 March 2019, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Why replication is your problem, too"

March 12, 2019

Steven Gouveia, 13 Feb, 15:00 to 16:00

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar | "Predictive Processing and…

February 13, 2019

Erich H. Rast, 5 Feb 2019, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Multidimensional ‘better than’"

February 05, 2019

Manuel Garcia Carpintero's talk - 14 December, 2PM - Auditorio Aud. 001, Edif Torre A, Piso -1

Singular Reference in Fictional Discourse?

December 14, 2018

Javier Gonzalez de Prado Salas, 12 Dec, 15:30 to 16:30

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar | "Regulation, selection and…

December 12, 2018

Chrysi Rapanta, 4 Dec 2018, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Bewilderment as a predictor of different…

December 04, 2018

The Mechanistic Approach in Biology and Cognition (Inter-University workshop), 9h-19h, 20th Nov

An Inter-University Workshop held on the 20th of November organised…

November 20, 2018

Marcin Lewiński. 6 Nov 2018, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Speech act pluralism in polylogues"

November 06, 2018

Felipe Oliveira, 26 October 2018, 11h, Room I&D 006

Reason-giving as an expressive speech act

October 26, 2018

Value Seminar Talk by Rosalice Pinto, 16:00, Sala B1 1.15

Talk by Rosalice Pinto (CEDIS) at 16 o'clock, Sala B1…

October 26, 2018

Erich Rast, 28 September 2018, 11h, Sala 0.06ID

Value Seminar Talk by Erich Rast (IFILNOVA): Reasons for the…

September 28, 2018

Book Launch: Schizophrenia and Common Sense: explaining the relation between madness and social values with Thomas Fuchs

Schizophrenia and Common Sense: explaining the relation between madness and…

June 25, 2018

Workshop: Misunderstanding, disagreement, manipulation

The idea of the workshop is to explore the blurred…

June 22, 2018

Katharina Stevens, 18 June 2018, 14h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Argument-Design through Role-Taking"

June 18, 2018

Workshop: Communication and metaphors for health. An educational challenge

The workshop discusses the importance of communication and metaphors in…

June 01, 2018

Inês Hipólito, 30th May 11:00 - 12:00

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar |"Perception as Cognition: Beyond…

May 30, 2018

Dima Mohammed, 28 May 2018, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Proposals for the examination of networked…

May 28, 2018

Jakob Krebs, 16 May, 15h to 16h

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar |"Pictorial Models, Imagination, and…

May 16, 2018

Mehmet Ali Üzelgün, 14 May 2018, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Level, focus, and force of argumentative…

May 14, 2018

Virtualism and the Mind: Rethinking Presence, Representation and the Self

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning Workshop "Virtualism and the Mind"

April 23, 2018

João Leite, 16 April 2018, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "An Online Social Debating System"

April 16, 2018

Klaus Gärtner, 20 Mar, 2018, 14.30h to 15.30h

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar |"4E Cognition: Radical or…

March 20, 2018

Javier Gonzalez de Prado Salas, 19 March 2018, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Reasoning as a self-doubter"

March 19, 2018

Erich Rast, 16.3., Sala 1.05 ID, 16h

Value Seminar Session with Erich Rast, Sala 1.05 ID 16h

March 16, 2018

Value Seminar Marcin Lewiński, Sala 105 ID 16h

Value Seminar with Marcin Lewiński, Sala 1.05 ID 16h

March 09, 2018

Value Seminar Dima Mohammed, Sala 105 ID 16h

Value Seminar with Dima Mohammed, Sala 1.05 ID 16h

March 02, 2018

The 1st European Conference on Argumentation

International Conference | Argumentation and Reasoned Action

June 09, 2015

Institutions

IFIL FCSH/NOVA
Faculdade de Direito Universidade Nova de Lisboa
FCSH
UNL
FCT