Congratulations to Sarah Willen and the Pandemic Journaling Project

June 9, 2021

The Pandemic Journaling Project (PJP) met an important milestone recently—one full year of gathering journal entries from people around the world about the impact of the pandemic in their lives. In that time, more than 1,500 journalers in over 45 countries—including the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, India, and elsewhere—have contributed over 15,000 journal entries. You can experience a sample of those journal entries, in English and Spanish, on their featured entries page. The project has received local, national, and international media attention, including a feature on the cover of the New York Times Science section. Learn more about the project by reading the project overview, or watching the PJP at one-year video:

The goal of the Pandemic Journaling Project is to make sure that ordinary people struggling through this pandemic have their voices heard, and their experiences remembered. Historical records tend to favor the powerful and the well-connected, and by soliciting journal entries from all kinds of voices, PJP ensures that future historians will be able to reconstruct how the pandemic affected the everyday lives of a wide array of people. You can listen to some of those voices in their anniversary sound collage:

UCHI is proud to have been an early supporter of the project, and we’re very excited that PJP co-founder Sarah S. Willen will join our 20th-anniversary cohort of fellows this fall as our Future of Truth Fellow. As Future of Truth Fellow, Sarah will launch a book project, tentatively titled, “Chronicling the Meantime,” that explores how PJP’s remarkably diverse community of journalers has used this unique online space to chronicle the impact of the pandemic on the warp and woof of everyday life—for their own purposes, and for posterity.

VICTR Presents: Stefano Caputo “The Dependence of Truth on Being”

May 10, 2021

The Dependence of Truth on Being: Is there a Problem for Minimalism?” (tentative title)

Stefano Caputo (University of Sassari) will present at the Virtual International Consortium for Truth Research (VICTR), May 24 at 10:00am EDT.

Abstract (tentative): The aim of this paper is first to defend the intuition that truth is grounded in how things are and, second, to argue that this fact is consistent with Minimalism. After having cashed out that intuition in terms of explanatory claims of the form ‘if it is true that p, it is true that p because p’, I set out an argument against Minimalism which is based on the same intuition, and I argue that a strategy the minimalist could adopt to resist the argument, i.e. to deny the correctness of the intuition, is flawed. Then I explain why the intuition is correct and I make some claims concerning the kind of explanations which are involved in it. Now the stage is set up to present the right way for the minimalist to resist the argument. I finally answer some objections.

Registration required. You can register for this talk at the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIocu-prj4iGdY0NwHUWjPYWLvywnGfLeku

You can also email VICTRgroup@gmail.com

VICTR Presents: Jinho Kang, “Truth as a Normative Property”

April 26, 2021

Truth as a Normative Property

Jinho Kang (Seoul National University) will present at the Virtual International Consortium for Truth Research (VICTR) on May 10, 8:00pm EDT / May 11, 9:00am KST.

Abstract: I criticize the widely held assumption that truth is a descriptive property and argue that it should be understood as a normative property. I first spell out under what condition a property should count as normative, and argue that the property of being true meets this condition. I then address various objections to the normativity thesis, including the ones based on the correspondence intuition, the Tarski T-schema, and the implausibility of a Moorean open question argument for truth. I show that all of them can be answered.

Registration is required. You can register for this event (and for other upcoming VICTR events) at this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIocu-prj4iGdY0NwHUWjPYWLvywnGfLeku

Eduardo Barrio, “Anti-Exceptionalism, Truth, and the BA-Plan”

April 12, 2021

Anti-Exceptionalism, Truth, and the BA-Plan

Eduardo Barrio (University of Buenos Aires) will present at the Virtual International Consortium for Truth Research (VICTR) on April 26, 10:00am EDT, on “Anti-Exceptionalism, Truth, and the BA-Plan”.

Abstract: Anti-exceptionalism about logic states that logical theories have no special epistemological status. Such theories are continuous with scientific theories. Contemporary anti-exceptionalists include data about semantic paradoxes as a part of the logical evidence. Exploring the Buenos Aires Plan, the recent development of the metainferential hierarchy of ST-logics shows that there are multiple options to deal with such paradoxes. There is a whole ST-based hierarchy, of which LP and ST themselves are only the first steps. The logics in this hierarchy are also options to analyze the inferential patterns allowed in a language that contains its own truth predicate. This talk explores these responses analyzing some reasons to go beyond the first steps. I will show that LP, ST, and the logics of the ST-hierarchy offer different diagnoses for the same evidence: the inferences and metainferences the agents endorse in the presence of the truth-predicate. But even if the data are not enough to adopt one of these logics, there are other elements to evaluate the revision of classical logic. How close should we be to classical logic? Which logic should be used during the revision? Should a logic be closed under its own rules? How could a logic obey the validities it contains? And mainly, which is the best explanation for the logical principles to deal with semantic paradoxes? I will argue that, if the answers to these questions are provided from an anti-exceptionalist perspective, ST-metainferential logics in general are the best available options.

You can register for this event at this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIocu-prj4iGdY0NwHUWjPYWLvywnGfLeku

Following this link will generate a unique zoom link to you, that you can then use to access any of the Centrally Organized talks coming up at VICTR through May. You can also register by emailing VICTRgroup@gmail.com

VICTR Presents: Romy Jaster

April 8, 2021

Bullshit and the Norms of Assertion

Romy Jaster (Humboldt-University, Berlin) will present at the Virtual International Consortium for Truth Research on April 12, 10:00am EDT / 14:00 UTC.

Abstract: With his seminal “On Bullshit”, Frankfurt drew attention to the fact that lies are not the only form of untruthful assertions: there is also bullshit – assertions which are characterized by a specific attitude of indifference on the bullshitter’s part. In the literature, Frankfurt is usually read as characterizing bullshit via two conditions: (1) the bullshitter is indifferent to the truth and (2) the bullshitter tries to deceive her audience about the fact that she is indifferent to the truth. In the talk, I argue that neither of the two conditions is necessary. In contrast to (1), I propose that the bullshitter’s characteristic indifference is directed, not at truth itself, but at the norms of assertion. Against (2), I draw attention to the fact that recent political communication exhibits a form of bullshit that is ostentative in the sense that the bullshitter displays her indifference toward the norms of assertion quite openly. Accepting (2) obscures this phenomenon.

You can register for the talk at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIocu-prj4iGdY0NwHUWjPYWLvywnGfLeku

VICTR Presents: Kourken Michaelian

March 15, 2021

True, accurate, faithful: Accuracy in memory for dreams

Kourken Michaelian (Université Grenoble Alpes) will present “True, accurate, faithful: Accuracy in memory for dreams” at the Virtual International Consortium for Truth Research (VICTR) on March 29, at 11:00am EDT / 15:00 UTC.

Abstract: What is it to remember a dream accurately? This paper argues that neither of the two available concepts of mnemic accuracy, namely, truth and authenticity, enables us to answer this question and that a new understanding of accuracy is therefore needed: a dream memory is accurate not when it is true or authentic but rather when it is “faithful” to the remembered dream. In addition to memory for dreams, the paper applies the notion of faithfulness to memory for perceptual experience, memory for imagination, and memory for hallucination and considers the implications for causalist and simulationist approaches to remembering of adopting an understanding of mnemic accuracy as faithfulness.

Registration is required. You can register for this talk (and for other upcoming events at VICTR) at this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIocu-prj4iGdY0NwHUWjPYWLvywnGfLeku

You can also email VICTRgroup@gmail.com

UConn Reads: Truth, Democracy, and Climate Change

March 11, 2021

Poster for UConn Reads: Truth, Democracy, and Climate panel

Truth, Democracy, and Climate Change

March 25, 2021, 4:00pm. An online panel discussion. Registration required.

Join this panel discussion on truth, democracy, and climate change, part of the UConn Reads program which focuses on The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable (University of Chicago, 2016) by Amitav Ghosh.

The climate crisis facing our society isn’t only an environmental crisis; it is also an urgent political and epistemological problem.

For decades, climate scientists have been warning that greenhouse gas emissions are changing the climate, destroying biodiversity, and threatening human health. By this point, the evidence is overwhelming and the scientific consensus well-documented.

Still, significant segments of the public (especially in Anglophone countries) remain unconvinced, with positions on climate change polarized along partisan lines. Denialism – usually defined as the employment of rhetorical tactics to give the appearance of legitimate debate about a question the relevant community of experts regards as settled – persists in many quarters and effectively dominates one of two major American political parties. Evidently, warning the public about climate change is one thing; getting people to accept it is another; and translating popular acceptance into effective government policy a further matter still.

Why do so many people, in the face of so much scientific evidence and expert consensus, remain so staunchly unconvinced? How can science advocates persuade skeptics to take action? What should liberal democratic societies do about polarization and anti-science propaganda? And what is the proper role for science in a democratic society?

Join us for a discussion of the political and epistemological dimensions of science denial with eminent scholars.


The panel is organized by Thomas Bontly (Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Connecticut), who’ll be moderating. Bontly’s research centers on several interrelated issues: the nature of mind, the basis of meaning, and the multifarious relations between both of these and the physical. His research interests also include various topics in metaphysics (especially the nature of causation), epistemology, metaphilosophy, the philosophy of biology, and environmental ethics.

The Panelists

Elizabeth Anderson is John Dewey Distinguished University Professor, John Rawls Collegiate Professor, and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Value in Ethics and Economics, The Imperative of Integration, and, most recently, Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (And Why We Don’t Talk About It), as well as articles on value theory, the ethical limitations of markets, facts and values in social scientific research, feminist and social epistemology, racial integration and affirmative action, rational choice and social norms, democratic theory, egalitarianism, and the history of ethics (focusing on Kant, Mill, and Dewey).

Kent Holsinger is Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, Vice Provost for Graduate Education, and Dean of The Graduate School at the University of Connecticut. His research focuses on the evolution and genetics of plants. He has studied the evolution of plant mating systems; explored how basic principles of ecology, evolutionary biology, and systematics should influence conservation decisions; and developed statistical methods for analyzing genetic diversity in spatially structured populations.

Lee McIntyre is a Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University and an Instructor in Ethics at Harvard Extension School. Boston University. McIntyre is the author of Philosophy of Science (Routledge, 2019), The Sin Eater (Braveship, 2019), The Scientific Attitude (MIT Press, 2019), Post-Truth (MIT Press, 2018), Respecting Truth (Routledge, 2015), Dark Ages (MIT Press, 2006), and Laws and Explanation in the Social Sciences (Westview Press, 1996). He is also the co-editor of four anthologies.

Registration is required for the event.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057.

VICTR Presents: Volker Halbach, “Axiomatic Approaches to Truth”

March 1, 2021

Axiomatic Approaches to Truth

Volker Halbach (Oxford) will present at the Virtual International Consortium for Truth Research (VICTR) on March 15, 10:00am EST, on “Axiomatic Approaches to Truth”.

Abstract: Philosophically useful theories of truth cannot treat truth as defined. Instead it needs to be axiomatized. However, there are several obstacles to specifying a useful theory of truth. I discuss some problems and options. The consequences for some forms of truth-theoretic deflationism will be analyzed.

Registration is required. You can register for this talk (and for other upcoming events at VICTR) at this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIocu-prj4iGdY0NwHUWjPYWLvywnGfLeku

You can also email VICTRgroup@gmail.com

VICTR Presents: Ragnar van der Merwe

February 15, 2021

A Dilemma for Determination Pluralists (or Dualists)

Ragnar van der Merwe (University of Johannesburg) will present “A Dilemma for Determination Pluralists (or Dualists)” at the Virtual International Consortium for Truth Research on March 1, at 10:00am EST.

Abstract: Douglas Edwards is arguably the most prominent contemporary advocate of moderate alethic pluralism. Significantly influenced by Crispin Wright and Michael Lynch, his work on the nature of truth has become widely discussed in the topical literature. Edwards labels his version of moderate alethic pluralism determination pluralism. At first blush, determination pluralism appears philosophically promising. The position deserves thoughtful consideration, particularly because of its capacity to accommodate the scope problem. I argue, however, that upon analysis the view is better understood as a form of metaphysical dualism or what I will call meta-dualism. Furthermore, determination pluralists face a dilemma; there appears to be an instability at the core of their dualistic model. On the one horn of the dilemma, they need a clear metaphysical demarcation at the interface of their two necessary domains. On the other horn, they seem to need to a metaphysically vague boundary at the interface of their two necessary domains. Determination pluralism needs substantial revision.

This will be a read-ahead talk. For a copy of the paper to be read in advance, “A Dilemma for Determination Pluralists (or Dualists)”, forthcoming at Axiomathes, please email VICTRgroup@gmail.com.

Registration for this event is required. To register for the event (and for other upcoming VICTR events), visit: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIocu-prj4iGdY0NwHUWjPYWLvywnGfLeku

 

VICTR Presents: María José Alcaraz León, “Truth and Imagination”

February 1, 2021

Truth and Imagination

María José Alcaraz León

María José Alcaraz León will be giving a talk entitled “Truth and Imagination” at the Virtual International Consortium for Truth Research on February 15, 10:00am EST.

Abstract: Recent approaches to imagination have emphasized its cognitive dimension. This, in turn, has provided some support to the idea that artworks can, as products of imagination, possess cognitive value. In this presentation, I would like to explore one sense in which imagination prominently features in artistic representations -imagination as an iconic or aesthetic capacity- and see if we can rely on it as a source of knowledge.

María José Alcaraz León is Associate Professor of Aesthetics at the University of Murcia. Her main research interests are aesthetic normativity, art theory, art and morality, and environmental aesthetics. She is a member of the research group ARESMUR, SWIP Analytic España, and the Nordic Network for Women in Aesthetics.

Visit her webpage.

If you are interested in attending, please email VICTRgroup@gmail.com for the Zoom link.