The Metaphysics of Representation

workshop in Ligerz, Wednesday, August 22 (evening) – Sunday, August 26 2018 (noon)

As part of the Swiss Doctoral Programme in Philosophy, I am organising for ου̉σία, the Centre for the Philosophy and Theology of Being at the University of Lucerne, a small and informal workshop in beautiful Ligerz.

Confirmed participants: Philipp Blum, Gyula Klima, Mark Kalderon, Charles Travis, José Pereira da Silva.

CfP. Recent work in the metaphysics of the mind has largely focussed on beliefs and emotions, leaving telic attitudes such as hope, fear, intention and desire to the side. Such attitudes, in addition to be of great practical importance, are also metaphysically quite puzzling. Despite the surge in interest in the history of the philosophy of mind, its metaphysics has been comparatively neglected. There is, however, much to learn from tradition when it comes to such important, but rarely squarely addressed questions as: how are we to understand the distinction between mental states and processes? are perception, imagination, knowledge and belief relations, and if so, what are their relata? what grounds the representational powers of (at least some) mental states, in virtue of what do they possess intentionality? how does the mass/count distinction apply in the mental realm, to such things as beliefs, odours, mental images? This conference brings together both historians and contemporary exponents of the philosophy of mind, to shed new light on its metaphysics.
If you are interested in participating, send a short abstract in pdf format to Philipp Blum. Participants will have costs of simple accommodation and of food covered, and may receive a travel stipend, depending on their needs.

Participation. Participants should arrive by Wednesday evening and stay at least until Sunday noon. They should commit to have a first draft / extended abstract of their paper ready a week before the start of the conference, read at least some of those of the others in advance and make an effort at reading some of the other material suggested by the other participants. They should commit to staying in Ligerz for the whole duration of the conference, except of course for the joint excursions to the regions' vineyards and the shores of the lake of Biel/Bienne.

Location. The conference takes place in the beautifully located bilingual village of Ligerz / Gléresse, on the shores of the lake of Biel/Bienne (also bilingual):

Talks and meals are at the Aarbergerhaus, where a beamer and facilities to print out handouts are available. Participants stay at the so-called "Louis Haus", where there's also a small bar for late-night drinks. When you get out of the train arriving either from Neuchâtel or from Biel/Bienne, and you face the mountain and the church (turning your back to the lake), the Aarbergerhaus is to your right (in the direction of Biel/Bienne), about 150 m along the main road. You reach it after passing by the hotel "Kreuz" and by going through a garden door located at your left (facing Biel/Bienne), just before there is a street for cars on your right going over a small bridge (in the direction of the lake). Please come there when you arrive. (The Louis-Haus, in contrast, is to your left, about 50m through the pedestrian street, on your right just before the fountain).

Reading material. It would be good if as much as possible of the reading material could be made available to participants in advance (via a dropbox folder, for which I will send participants an invitation). This includes (i) abstracts / drafts; (ii) background reading, e.g. articles by others specifically discussed or older texts not easily available.

Travel. Ligerz is mid-way between Biel/Bienne and Neuchâtel and reachable by train in 1h43 from Zurich Airport, in 1h50 from Geneva Airport and in 1h55 from Basel EuroAirport. Check the Swiss railways website for timetables.