KCL Workshop on Logic and Language



The AHRC Research Grant H/V015516/1 Properties, Paradox, and Circularity. A New, Type-Free Account organizes a workshop on Logic and Language at KCL, hosted by the Department of Philosophy at King's College London.

Date: April 21st, 2023.

Location: Bush House (South Wing) 2.02, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG.


13-13:50: Louise McNally (UPF)
14-14:50: Johannes Stern (Bristol), Semantic Indeterminacy: Restricted Quantification and Conditionals
14:50-15:20: Coffee Break
15:20-16:10: Gillian Russell (ACU), Rethinking Logical Consequence
16:20-17:10: Lorenzo Rossi (Turin), Cognitive Modelism
17:20-17:40: Coffee Break
17:40-18:30: Michael Glanzberg (Rutgers), Encoding time in language: how much formalism counts empirically

Please register for attendance (required for security) by sending an email to carlo.nicolai[at]kcl.ac.uk.

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Some practical info

The workshop will take place at the Strand Campus. Here are some maps and information about travel.

There will be a conference dinner after the talks (location TBC). Attendance is open to non-speakers, although the project will only cover dinner for speakers.

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Gillian Russell (ACU) Rethinking Logical Consequence
Etchemendy's On the Concept of Logical Consequence (1999) distinguishes two ways of thinking about logical models. On the first (metaphysical) models represent different ways the world might be, on the second (semantic) they represent different reinterpretations of the non-logical parts of the formal language. In this paper I argue for a third view, on which models represent different Combinations of language with the world (a kind of hybrid of the metaphysical and semantic views) and show how to use this approach to characterise a novel conception of informal logical consequence.

Lorenzo Rossi (UniTO), Cognitive Modelism
Structures are ubiquitous in mathematics. But how should they be understood? Modelists (Button and Walsh, 2018) argue that they should be understood as specified by model theory. This raises at least two fundamental questions: how we talk about set-theoretic structures, and how we conceptualize them. Objects-modelism addresses the first question, while addressing the second one leads to concepts-modelism. Button and Walsh (2018) have recently articulated and defended a detailed version of objects-modelism. However, they deliberately avoided the development of concepts-modelism. In this paper, we articulate and defend a version of concepts-modelism, which we call cognitive modelism, by building upon recent cognitive science of mathematical concepts and conceptual development. More specifically, we employ Carey's (2009) theory of core cognition, in its application to mathematical concepts. We then show how cognitive modelism addresses the challenges that Button and Walsh pose for the development of a conceptual account of mathematical structures, and observe some of its implications for classical foundational debates in the philosophy of mathematics.

Louise McNally (UPF), Nominalization and my discontents
Alongside tools for talking about and classifying entities, natural language offers us tools for talking about and classifying properties and propositions -- so-called nominalization (Consistency is a virtue, That there are inconsistencies is troublesome). Nominalizations were famously brought to bear on philosophical questions by Zeno Vendler over 50 years ago; however, nominalization remains surprisingly understudied and poorly understood by linguistic semanticists. In this talk, I offer some reflections on why the formal analysis of nominalization has been such a vexed topic, despite its prevalence in our everyday conversation, and I will summarize some of the lessons I've learned in my research on the topic, as well as some nagging questions.

Johannes Stern (Bristol), Semantic Indeterminacy: Restricted Quantification and Conditionals
I investigate truth-conditions of conditionals and restricted quantifiers in light of semantic indeterminacy broadly understood. To this effect I propose a semantics that combines elements of strong Kleene logic and supervaluational semantics. The semantics lends itself for constructing semantics for self-applicable truth, but I argue that the truth-conditions for conditionals and restricted quantifiers are independently motivated.

Michael Glanzberg (Rutgers), ncoding time in language: how much formalism counts empirically
In this talk I consider the question of the semantics of tense in natural language. There are multiple competing theories, which give tenses different sorts of semantic values. I argue that little if any solid evidence distinguishes between two good candidates, and so, we have some underdetermination of semantic value. But, I also offer some parallels that make one option seem more appealing.