Institut Jean Nicod

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Reality & Representation


Institut Jean-Nicod, Pavillon Jardin, 29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris - Salle de réunion, RDC

Contact: Uriah Kriegel



Mardi 2 mai, 10h30-12h30
Jean-Baptiste Guillon (College de France) "The mereology of common-sense dualis".

Lundi 15 mai, 16h-18h
Daniël Hoek (NYU) "Mathematics as a metaphor"

Abstract: Scientists and the folk constantly use mathematics in describing the world. How can it be that reference to mathematical entities facilitates the description of concrete reality? The puzzle is especially vexing to the nominalist, who denies that mathematical objects even exist. But even mad-dog Platonists ought to ask themselves from time to time how it can be that investigations of remote and causally inert abstracta can serve a practical purpose. In an attempt to address the question, Stephen Yablo proposed that our use of mathematics to describe the concrete world around us is just like our use of metaphors to do the same. While that's an intriguing suggestion, it’s not all that illuminating unless we have an account of how, precisely, the relevant class of metaphors work. In this talk, I try to supply such an account. I’ll outline, in formal terms, a transformation on propositions that, at the same time, explains how relevant information is extracted from the metaphors we wrap them in, and how purely concrete information is extracted from the partly mathematical statements we use to present it. I will also prove a conservativity result, stating (roughly) that derivations involving reference to mathematical objects retain their classical validity after they’ve been transformed in this way into a sequence of propositions about the concrete world.

Mercredi 24 mai, 15h30-17h00
Andrew Lee (NYU) "Phenomenal Parts and Phenomenal Dimensions"

Abstract: I'll introduce two different ways of decomposing experiences—by way of parts, and by way of dimensions—and show how this distinction can be used to theorize more sharply about the structure of experience. In particular, I'll use the concepts of phenomenal parts and phenomenal dimensions to formulate substantive principles about the structure of experience, to develop atomism and holism about experience, to elucidate two distinct mechanisms for developing new phenomenal concepts, and to account for several structural features of experience—namely similarity, magnitude, quantity, and dimensionality.

Lundi 12 juin, 16h-18h
Nick Stang (Toronto) "Varieties of Idealism"


Past sessions

Mardi 20 septembre de 10h30 à 12h30
Patrick Todd (Edinburgh), "How to Russell Open the Future"

Mardi 4 octobre de 10h30 à 12h30
Uriah Kriegel (IJN), "Monism and Universals"