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 ("école 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.

Relations, Order, Variables

p> Participants: Kit Fine, Manuel García-Carpintero
Date: 4-8 June
Place: University of Geneva, B302.
Click here for a very beautifully designed poster.
Program: (click here for a pdf version)

The workshop starts Friday noon and lasts till Monday evening.

  • Friday afternoon 14h15-14h30: introductory session
  • Friday afternoon 14h30-15h30: presentation by Philipp Keller, "What natural numbers might be"
  • Friday afternoon 15h45-16h45: presentation by Anna Sierszulska, "The Reference and Denotation of Sentences in a Meinongian Semantics"
  • Friday afternoon 17h00-18h15: talk by Peter Roeper, "The Aristotelian Continuum"
  • Saturday morning 11h-12h: presentation by David Filip, "For what do we need a thick notion of a variable?"
  • Saturday afternoon 13h45-14h45: presentation by Anita Konzelmann, "At the limit of relations: Powers"
  • Saturday afternoon 15h-16h: presentation by Andri Töndury, "Communication and Knowledge of Semantics"
  • Saturday afternoon 16h15-18h30: talk by Manuel García-Carpintero, "The Conventional and the Analytic", commentator: Kit Fine
  • Sunday morning 11h-12h: presentation by Alexander Kellenberger, "Frege's Puzzle"
  • Sunday afternoon 15h-18h: talk by Kit Fine, "Semantic Relationism"
  • Monday morning 10h15-11h15: presentation by Andrea Borghini, "A Dispositional Theory of Possibility"
  • Monday morning 11h30-12h30: presentation by Philipp Keller, "The reducibility of relations"
  • Monday afternoon 14h15-15h30: talk by Kit Fine, "Our Knowledge of Mathematical Objects", commentator: Manuel García-Carpintero
  • Monday afternoon 15h45-17h15: presentation by Roy Cook, "The Limits of "The Limits of Abstraction""
  • Monday afternoon 17h30-18h30: presentation by Fabrice Correia, "Generic Essence"
  • Tuesday morning 9h-10h30: questions for Kit Fine
  • Tuesday afternoon, 16h30-17h30: presentation by Philipp Keller, "Qua qua qua"
  • Tuesday afternoon, 17h30-18h30: round table

Other talks of interest:

  • Tuesday morning 10h-12h (Centre Médical Universitaire, 1 rue Michel Servet, S1-S2): talk by Lynne Rudder Baker, "Persons and Other Things"
  • Tuesday afternoon 14h-16h (Centre Médical Universitaire, 1 rue Michel Servet, S1-S2): talk by Peter van Inwagen, "A Materialist Ontology of the Human Person"
  • Tuesday afternoon 16h-18h (Centre Médical Universitaire, 1 rue Michel Servet, S1-S2): talk by Michele Di Francesco, "Physicalism, Emergence and Mind"
  • Wednesday morning 10h-12h (Centre Médical Universitaire, 1 rue Michel Servet, S1-S2): talk by Natalie Depraz, "Une expérience radicale de la seconde personne"
  • Wednesday afternoon 16h-18h (Centre Médical Universitaire, 1 rue Michel Servet, S1-S2): talk by Bernard Baertschi, "La personne, notion cardinale entre l'ontologie et l'éthique"

    Suggested reading: :

  • Fine, Kit 2003, "The Role of Variables", The Journal of Philosophy 100, pp. 605-631
  • Fine, Kit 2003a, John Locke lectures, the first five of which are downloadable here.
  • Fine, Kit 2002, "The Proper Interpretation of Variables", course notes available here.
  • Fine, Kit 2000, "Neutral Relations", The Philosophical Review 109, pp. 1-33
  • Fine, Kit 1999, "Things and their Parts", Midwest Studies XXIII, pp. 61-74
  • Fine, Kit 1994, "Essence and Modality", Philosophical Perspectives, pp. 1-16
  • Fine, Kit 1982, "Acts, Events and Things", Proceedings of the Wittgenstein Symposion, pp. 97-105
  • García-Carpintero, Manuel 2003, "Editorial: Philosophy and Cognitive Neuroscience", Dialectica 57, pp. 3-6
  • García-Carpintero, Manuel 2001, "Gricean Rational Reconstructions and the Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction", Synthèse 128, pp. 93-131
  • García-Carpintero, Manuel 2000, "A Presuppositional Account of Reference Fixing", The Journal of Philosophy 97, pp. 109-147
  • García-Carpintero, Manuel 1998, "Indexicals as Token-Reflexives", Mind 107, pp. 529-563

    Available papers: