[PLing] Reminder: ERC project "The Emergence of Relativism" seminar talk: Julien Dutant (KCL), MAY 11, 15.00, 3E

Dan Cristian Zeman dan.zeman at univie.ac.at
Tue May 8 23:40:07 CEST 2018

Dear all,
This is a reminder that this Friday, MAY 11, at 15.00 there will be an 
invited talk at the ERC project "The Emergence of Relativism" seminar by 
Julien Dutant (King's College London). Title and abstract below. 
Everyone welcome!

Luminous oughts for non-factualists

The paper brings together two literatures: one the one hand the debate 
in epistemology and ethics over “inter-level” principles such as “one 
may/ought to F just if one may/ought believe that one may/ought F” (and 
analogous principles framed in terms of sufficient and decisive reasons) 
and on the other hand the debate in philosophy of language and 
linguistics over non-factualist (relativist, expressivist or dynamic) vs 
actualist (standard contextualist) semantics for “ought”, “may” and 
related expressions. The paper shows that, roughly put, the principles 
stand or fall with non-factualist semantics. That is, non-factualist 
semantics validate a wide range of such principles, while absent strong 
“luminosity” assumptions about reasons, factualist semantics invalidate 
the principles. Four lessons can be drawn from this. (1) If a factualist 
understanding of these claims is correct, the principles fail; (2) if a 
non-factualist understanding is correct,the principles hold; (3) if, as 
some philosophers language think, “ought”, “reasons” can be used with 
either reading, the debate over inter-level principles is plagued with 
equivocation, and (4) either way, participants in the epistemology / 
ethics debate can’t afford neutrality on the semantics one.


Dan Cristian Zeman, PhD
Lise Meitner Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

University of Vienna
Department of Philosophy
Universitätsstraße 7
1010 Wien
Room: A0322
dan.zeman at univie.ac.at

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