VICTR Presents: A Pop-Up Panel on “Truth and Polarization”

November 24, 2020

Truth and Polarization

The Virtual International Consortium of Truth Research (VICTR) will host a Pop-Up Panel on “Truth and Polarization” on December 1, 2020, 10:00am-12:00pm EST (15:00-17:00 UTC). 

Truth is under significant threat. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 US Presidential election, we face the very real danger of different ‘realities’ emerging, where there is little common ground. The polarization that threatens to emerge endangers the democratic institutions of the United States, not to mention the lives of its people. Join special guests Maria Baghramian, Cailin O’Connor, and Michael Lynch, along with VICTR steering committee members Robert Barnard, Douglas Edwards, Joseph Ulatowski and Chase Wrenn to discuss the problem of truth and polarization: what is the problem, exactly how serious is it, and what might we do to try to fix it? 

Please email VICTRgroup@gmail.com for the Zoom link. We hope you will join us for discussion on this topic!

VICTR Presents Junyeol Kim

November 9, 2020

Frege on Logic: The Truth-Value True and Logic Qua the Science of Truth

Junyeol Kim

Junyeol Kim will present a talk titled “Frege on Logic: The Truth-Value True and Logic Qua the Science of Truth” at the Virtual International Consortium of Truth Research on November 17, 2020 at 10:00 am EST.

An abstract will follow.

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

Junyeol Kim is a visiting assistant professor at the University of Connecticut. He works on Gottlob Frege, epistemology, social/political philosophy, and philosophy of music.

VICTR Presents Kensuke Ito

October 13, 2020

A Challenge to Tractatus 4.062 and Two Types of Theories of Truth

Kensuke Ito

Kensuke Ito will be giving a talk entitled “A Challenge to Tractatus 4.062 and Two Types of Theories of Truth” at the Virtual International Consortium of Truth Research on October 26, 2020 at 10:00 am EDT.

Abstract: In 4.062 of Tractatus, Wittgenstein repudiates the possibility of ‘mak[ing] ourselves understood with false propositions just as we have done up until now with true ones’, because ‘a proposition is true if we use it to say that things stand in a certain way, and they do; and if by ‘p’ we mean ~p and things stand as we mean that they do, then, construed in the new way, ‘p’ is true and not false’. This paper challenges this conclusion by distinguishing two possible cases in which people exchange truth-apt information through false propositions. The first case presents a semantic option, where false propositions become true ‘construed in the new way’ while people aim at conveying truths, whereas the second case presents a pragmatic option, where false propositions remain false while people aim at falsehoods. Wittgenstein’s conclusion applies to the semantic option, but not to the pragmatic one.

If you are interested in attending, please email VICTRgroup@gmail.com for details about the zoom link and for a copy of the paper to be read in advance.

Kensuke Ito is a graduate student at University of Connecticut, who is interested in some of the central concepts in the analytic tradition such as truth, assertion, proposition, and their origins or precursors.

VICTR Presents Lavinia Picollo

October 7, 2020

The Unity of Logical Consequence

Lavinia Picollo

Lavinia Picollo will be giving a talk entitled “The Unity of Logical Consequence” at the Virtual International Consortium of Truth Research on October 12, 2020 at 10:00 am EDT.

Abstract: The two traditional approaches to formal validity, i.e. the semantic, in terms of semantic clauses and truth preservation, and the syntactic, in terms of rules of inference and the availability of proofs, are often conceived of as rivals. I show, to the contrary, that, modulo a deflationary account of truth and satisfaction, semantic clauses and inference rules turn out to be conceptually equivalent (in a sense to be explained). As a result, the two approaches to logical consequence conceptually converge too. I conclude as well that, unlike what is normally believed, deflationism is not incompatible with truth-conditional semantics (for logical terms) and semantic approaches to logical consequence.

If you are interested in attending, please email VICTRgroup@gmail.com for details about the zoom link and for a copy of the paper to be read in advance.

Lavinia Picollo is a Lecturer in Philosophy at UCL. She received her PhD from the University of Buenos Aires in 2015. After that she spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies and two years as an Assistant Professor at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP), both at LMU Munich. Her research is in philosophical logic, formal metaphysics, and the philosophy of logic and mathematics. She has a special interest in reference and content, deflationary conceptions of truth and satisfaction, propositions, properties, and classes, second-order logic, absolute generality, neologicism, logical pluralism, logicality, logical constants, and logical consequence. She’s also interested in ontology, epistemology, philosophy of language, and metaphysics.

VICTR Presents Masahura Mizumoto

September 15, 2020

A Prolegomenon to the Empirical Cross-linguistic Study of Truth

Masahura Mizumoto

Masahura Mizumoto will be giving a talk entitled “A Prolegomenon to the Empirical Cross-linguistic Study of Truth” at the Virtual International Consortium of Truth Research on September 29, 2020 10:00 EDT, 15:00 BST, 16:00 CEST, 23:00 KST, 00:00 AEST +1, 03:00 NZDT +1.

Abstract: In this paper we propose and justify the cross-linguistic study of truth based on empirical studies of truth predicates, by investigating in particular those in English and Japanese. Based on what we call the argument from linguistic diversity, we try to establish the relevance of linguistic data by showing the data of significant differences of the uses of truth predicates between English and Japanese. Our main discovery is that the moral-political factor in the truth-bearer (utterance) strongly affects the uses of Japanese truth predicates but not those of English “is true”. We will argue that this difference is due to the different semantic properties of respective truth predicates, by appealing to what we call the argument from intra-linguistic variance. Although this project is still preliminary, it shows that there is a linguistic variance in truth predicates, or at least that the possibility of what we call the lexical alethic pluralism is real, which would have significant implications for contemporary debates over relativism, deflationism, theory of meaning, etc.

If you are interested in attending, please email VICTRgroup@gmail.com for details about the zoom link and for a copy of the paper to be read in advance.

Masaharu Mizumoto is associate professor of School of Knowledge Science, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

VICTR Presents Nicoletta Bartunek

September 4, 2020

Truth in the Investigations

Nicoletta Bartunek

Monday, September 14, 10:00–12:00 EDT (New York), 15:00–16:00 BST, 16:00–17:00 CEST, 23:00–24:00 KST, 00:00–01:00 AEST +1, 02:00–03:00 NZST +1.

Nicoletta Bartunek will speak on “Truth in the Investigations” at the Virtual International Consortium of Truth Research (VICTR), the first the first in a series of events held at VICTR over the fall.

According to a widespread interpretation, in the Investigations Wittgenstein adopted a deflationary or redundancy theory of truth. On this view, Wittgenstein’s pronouncements about truth should be understood in the light of his invocation of the equivalences ‘p’ is true = p and ‘p’ is false = not p. This paper shows that this interpretation does not do justice to Wittgenstein’s thoughts. Bartunek argues that, in fact, in his second book Wittgenstein is returning to the pre-Tractarian notion of bipolarity, and that his new development of this notion in the Investigations excludes the redundancy-deflationary reading. Wittgenstein’s thoughts about truth are instead compatible with another interpretative option: Wittgenstein remains faithful to his methodological pronouncements, and he merely presents us with (grammatical) platitudes about the notions of “true” and “false.”

If you are interested in attending, please email VICTRgroup@gmail.com for details about the zoom link and for a copy of the paper to be read in advance.

 

Nicoletta Bartunek, PhD, is a graduate of the University of Turin, Italy. She specializes in Wittgenstein’s philosophy and its relation to contemporary philosophy. Her previous work on the topic includes Truth in the Investigations (Synthese, 2019) and Assertability Conditions and the Investigations (Philosophia, 2019).

VICTR Fall 2020 Events

September 3, 2020

The Virtual International Consortium of Truth Research (VICTR) will hold a series of online talks through Fall 2020. If you are interested in attending, please email VICTRgroup@gmail.com for the zoom link for the talks.

Schedule of talks:

September 14, 2020, Nicoletta Bartunek: “Truth in the Investigations”; 10:00-12:00 EDT

September 29, 2020, Masahura Mizumoto: “A Prolegomenon to the Empirical Cross-linguistic Study of Truth”; time TBD

October 12, 2020, Lavinia Picollo: “The Unity of Logical Consequence”; 10:00-12:00 EDT

October 26, 2020, Ken Ito: “A Challenge to Tractatus 4.062 and Two Type of Theories of Truth”; 10:00-12:00 EDT

November 17, 2020, Junyeol Kim: “Frege on logic: The truth-value True and logic qua the science of truth”; 10:00 EDT

December 1, 2020, Rachel Handley: “Moral Authority, Truth, and Quasi-Realism”; 10:00-12:00 EDT

15 December 2020, Sherif Gamal Salem: title TBD, time TBD

Amy Meyers Named the 2020–21 Future of Truth Fellow

May 15, 2020

Amy Meyers has been named the the 2020-21 Future of Truth fellow at the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute. As a fellow, Meyers will join the lively intellectual culture at the Humanities Institute and contribute to the ongoing study of truth at the heart of the Future of Truth project.

Meyers retired from the directorship of the Yale Center for British Art in June of 2019. She has written extensively on the visual and material culture of natural history in the transatlantic world. With Therese O’Malley, Meyers currently is organizing an exhibition with the working title of William Bartram and the Origins of American Environmental Thought. The project, which will be the focus of her work as a fellow at the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute for the coming academic year, will place special emphasis on conceptions of the natural world that were at play in the Native American and African cultures that Bartram encountered on his explorations from the Carolinas through present-day Alabama. The exhibition will bring together for the first time a wide selection of Bartram’s extraordinary drawings to examine his integrated view of nature and the emergence of environmental thought in North America, from the colonial period through the first decades of the republic.

Microsoft’s Nancy Baym on Social Media and Human Interactions

January 13, 2020

“The Relational Affordances of Platforms” by Nancy K. Baym

People have been socializing on the internet for nearly fifty years. In recent years, online social life has become increasingly concentrated in a relatively small number of commercial platforms. How can we make sense of the impacts they are having on our relational lives? How can we theorize platforms when they are constantly changing and used in so many different ways? In this talk, Nancy Baym draws on a range of her recent research on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to articulate a model for understanding platforms as the dynamic, unstable entities they are, and to explore their roles in shaping, constraining and opening up new possibilities for relationships in contexts ranging from close romantic bonds to online communities and the ties that connect musicians to their audiences. The talk further considers how these platforms commodify the relational interactions that take place through them, and how their design choices have fostered environments in which relationships become tools for profit.

Join us on Wednesday, February 5, 2020, at 4PM at the UCHI Conference Room, Babbidge Library, Fourth Floor.

Co-Sponsored by UConn Department of Communication, and UCHI’s Digital Humanities and Media Studies (DHMS) and The Future of Truth (TFOT) initiatives.

Through the generous gift of her honorarium, Nancy K. Baym is supporting the Humanities Institute’s Digital Toolbox Working Group for the 2019–20 academic year.

 

Nancy Baym headshotNancy Baym

Senior Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research New England
Research Affiliate, Comparative Media Studies/Writing, MIT

Nancy Baym is a Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New England, where she conducts basic research into how people understand and act with new communication technologies in their relationships. A pioneer in the field of internet research, Baym wrote some of the first articles about online community in the early 1990s. With Jean Burgess, she is the author of Twitter: A Biography (forthcoming 2020, NYU). Other books include Playing to the Crowd: Musicians, Audiences, and the Intimate Work of Connection(2018, NYU), Personal Connections in the Digital Age (2010, Second Edition 2014, Polity), Internet Inquiry: Conversations About Method (co-edited with Annette Markham, 2010, Sage), and Tune In, Log On: Soaps, Fandom and Online Community (2000, Sage). She was a co-founder of the Association of Internet Researchers and served as its second president. She has been recognized with the Frederick Williams Prize for Contributions to the Study of Communication and Technology awarded by the International Communication Association, the naming of the Nancy Baym Book Award by the Association of Internet Researchers, and an Honorary Doctorate from the Faculty of Information Technology at the University of Gothenburg. Most of her papers and more information are available at nancybaym.com.

UCHI-TFOT Co-sponsors London Conference on Truth, Democracy

November 6, 2019

The University of Connecticut Humanities Institute (UCHI), through its latest initiative—The Future of Truth—is co-sponsoring a global conference entitled “Under Pressure: Truth, Trust and Democracy.” In light of the election of Donald Trump in the United States and the ongoing Brexit gridlock in the United Kingdom, this conference, which takes place at the Senate House, University of London on November 28–29, 2019, brings together well known scholars from around North America and Europe to examine two broad themes: “Truth and Bias in Images,” and “Truth, Propaganda, and Public Discourse.” Participants of the conference include UCHI director and UConn Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, Michael P. Lynch. Other sponsors of this conference include: Institute of Philosophy – School of Advanced Study, University of London, and the United Kingdom Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Register for the conference