Graduate School 2004 on Abstract Entitie


Financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation and supported by the research project Iris, Kevin Mulligan (Geneva), Gianfranco Soldati (Fribourg), Michael Esfeld (Lausanne) and I are organising a summer school ("├ęcole doctorale"/"Graduiertenkurs") on abstract entities during summer term 2004. The school consists in five workshops, with two invited speakers each.

The aim of the workshops is to maximise interaction and discussion between the invited speakers and the other participants. There are two ways of participating in the workshops:

Workshops start with a tutorial on Thursday morning, where student participants discuss the paper they read and introduce themselves to the topic.

At the end of every workshop, we have a "general question period", where the invited speakers answer written questions by other participants, on either their presentation or other parts of their work. These questions are to be given to Philipp Keller before Saturday morning, so that the speakers have some time to prepare themselves.

calls for papers

Corresponding to the workshops, there are five calls for discussion papers, to be presented during the workshop. Discussion papers do not have to be well-polished publishable articles. The submitted written version will be distributed to all participants of the workshop - the oral presentation of about 20 minutes only summarises the argument. Presentations are in English, though papers may be in other languages too. Please send your papers as pdf documents to Here are possible topics (all disjunctions are inclusive):

  • papers on modality or (preferably related) work by Ian Rumfitt or Bob Hale. Deadline: 12 March.
  • papers on facts, events or (preferably related) work by Terence Parsons or Stephen Neale. Deadline: 16 April.
  • papers on Humean supervenience or (preferably related) work by Frank Jackson or John Hawthorne. Deadline: 16 April.
  • papers on relations, order, variables or (preferably related) work by Kit Fine or Manuel García-Carpintero. Deadline: 21 May.
  • papers on time, tense or (preferably related) work by Dean Zimmerman or Peter Ludlow. Deadline: 18 June.

Facts and Events

Invited speakers: Terence Parsons, Stephen Neale
Date: 29 April - 1 May
Place: University of Geneva, B302.
Click here for a very beautifully designed poster.
Program: (click here for a pdf version)

Pictures: click here for some pictures of the workshop

  • Thursday morning 10h15-12: tutorial and student discussion session
  • Thursday afternoon 14h15-14h30: introductory session
  • Thursday afternoon 14h30-15h45: presentation by Philipp Keller, "The Metaphysics of Adverbs"
  • Thursday afternoon 16h15-18h30: talk by Terence Parsons, "What Events and Facts are like"; commentator: Stephen Neale
  • Friday morning 10h15-11h30: presentation by David Filip, "Facts, Events, Objects & ASCs. Which of them are idle?"
  • Friday afternoon 14h30-15h45: presentation by Fabrice Correia, "Neale and the Slingshot"
  • Friday afternoon 16h15-18h30: talk by Stephen Neale, "Facts, Events, and Propositions", commentator: Terence Parsons
  • Saturday morning 10h15-11h30: presentation by Luc Schneider, "The Particulars of Meaning. Some Considerations on Formal Ontology and Logical Form"
  • Saturday morning 11h45-13h: questions for Parsons and Neale
  • Saturday afternoon 14h30-15h45: presentation by Anna Sierszulska, "Meinong's Facts"
  • Saturday afternoon 16h15-17h: round table and general question period


Suggested reading:

  • sections 1-4, 8-10 of: Bennett, Jonathan 1988, Events and their Names, Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing Co.
  • Parsons, Terence 1990, Events in the Semantics of English: a Study in Subatomic Semantics, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
  • Parsons, Terence 1995, Thematic Relations and Arguments, Linguistic Inqiry 26(4), pp. 635-662
  • Parsons, Terence 2000, Indeterminate Identity: Metaphysics and Semantics, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • Parsons, Terence 2000a, Underlying States and Time Travel, in Higginbotham, James, Pianesi, Fabio and Varzi, Achille (eds) Speaking of Events . N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2000, 81-93.
  • Parsons, Terence 2002, Eventualities and Narrative Progression, Linguistics and Philosophy 25(4-5), pp. 681-699
  • Neale, Stephen 1988, Events and 'Logical Form', Linguistics and Philosophy 11(3), pp. 303-321
  • Neale, Stephen 1990, Descriptions, Cambridge MA: MIT Press
  • Neale, Stephen 1995, The Philosophical Significance of Gödel's Slingshot, Mind 104, pp. 761-825
  • Neale, Stephen 2001, Facing Facts, Oxford: Clarendon Press

Available papers: