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John MacFarlane's visit


Professor John MacFarlane (Berkeley) will be visiting Cogito from June 7 to June 11 2010.

Prof. MacFarlane will lead a series of five research seminars in Bologna.

Seminar description

A mini-seminar on what I call *assessment-sensitivity*: the relativity
of the truth of propositions to the context in which they are assessed.
In a series of articles, I have tried to articulate a formal and
philosophical framework for thinking about assessment sensitivity, and
I have argued that assessment-sensitive treatments of several kinds of
discourse are superior to the standard alternatives. This work lies
at the intersection of (a) traditional philosophical discussions of
"relative truth," (b) contemporary work on the semantics and pragmatics
of various expressions, and (c) the general theory of language and
communication. The seminar will focus on the central theoretical issues;
if there is time, we may discuss some of the important applications as
well.

Each session will focus on one or two chapters from my book manuscript
in progress, *Assessment Sensitivity: Relative Truth and Its
Applications*, available at

http://johnmacfarlane.net/reltruth-chs1-7.pdf

Participants should read these and come with questions for discussion. I
will present each section of the reading only briefly, as a kind of
reminder, with the aim of moving as quickly as possible to discussion.

Seminar schedule

June 7 first seminar - Motivations for Truth Relativism, and the Standard Objections
June 8 second seminar - Assessment Sensitivity
June 9 third seminar - Propositions
June 10 fourth seminar - Making Sense of Relative Truth
June 11 fifth seminar - Disagreement

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