Saturday, May 28, 2011
Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science
Location: Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway, room 1517
Attendance is free, but registration with Patty Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org) by May 13th is appreciated.
8:30 Continental Breakfast
9:00 Joan Weiner (Indiana University): "Frege's Context Principle and Julius Caesar"
Abstract: Frege writes that "it is only in the context of a proposition that words have any meaning [Bedeutung]" (The Foundations of Arithmetic, section 62). This is puzzling if, as on the standard reading of Frege's use of Bedeutung, a proper name's having Bedeutung is to be understood as the holding of a reference relation between the name and an object in the universe. Of course, Frege explicitly says that he did not use the terms Sinn and Bedeutung in Foundations as he came to use them later. So, it is tempting to think that the context principle was simply abandoned in his later work. There is, however, one snag: something that looks very much like a generalized version of the context principle appears in volume I of Basic Laws in 1893. How significant is this snag? The answer, I will argue, is to be found by looking at how the generalized context principle is used in the early part of Basic Laws, particularly, in sections 10 and 29-31. The result, I will argue, is that we come away with a different understanding, both of the context principle of Foundations and of Frege's later use of Bedeutung.
10:30 Ian Proops (University of Texas): "Russellian Acquaintance"
Abstract: I identify a trio of distinctions that involve Russell's technical notion of "acquaintance": (a) knowledge by acquaintance vs. knowledge by description; (b) acquaintance vs. knowledge about; (c) mental contact by acquaintance vs. mental contact by description. I argue that these distinctions play strikingly different roles in Russell's philosophy. Distinction (a) figures in Russell's attempt to refute an idealist argument he associates with the "Egocentric Predicament" discussed by Ralph Barton Perry. Distinction (b) figures in Russell's attempt to refute an argument for the "monistic" idealism of Harold Joachim and the other "British Idealists." Distinction (c), finally, is the key contrast for understanding Russell's "Principle of Acquaintance," and for appreciating its initial (and best) rationale.
12:00 Thomas Ricketts (University of Pittsburgh): "Analysis, Simplicity, and Independence in Wittgenstein's Tractatus"
Abstract: I develop a model of how the Tractatus has logical resources to handle a variety of apparent logical necessities, including necessities like those of geometry. I go on to maintain that analysis in the Tractatus is guided solely by the general sentence-form, and how this understanding of analysis reduces content to quantity, as it were. This is what the simplicity of Tractarian objects comes to. I conclude with some remarks on the requirement of the general sentence-form that elementary sentences be independent.
3:00 David Stern (University of Iowa): "The Origins and Development of Wittgenstein's Rule-Following Paradox"
4:30 Alan Nelson (University of North Carolina): "The Treatment of Philosophical Analysis in the Philosophical Investigations"