May’s SWIP-Analytic workshop will be given by the winners of the 2014 SWIP-Analytic Graduate Student Essay Prize, Fatema Amijee (UT-Austin), with “The Normativity of Nonsense“, and Kate Nolfi (UNC-Chapel Hill), with “Why the Epistemic Status of Our Beliefs Ought to Weigh With Us“.
Amijee Abstract: I argue that if belief is subject to a truth-norm, then it is also subject to a norm of nonsense that is distinct from, though perhaps ultimately reducible to the truth-norm. I take as my starting point an old debate between Russell and Wittgenstein. Russell famously abandoned his multiple relation theory of judgment in response to Wittgenstein’s objection that Russell’s theory was unable to rule out judging nonsense. But what is nonsense, and why should it be a criterion of adequacy on any theory of judgment (i.e. belief) that it should make it impossible to judge nonsense? I distinguish between two distinct notions of nonsense, and show that while on the first construal nonsense does contribute to a criterion of adequacy on any theory of judgment, it does not on the second construal. However, the second notion of nonsense plays an important normative role for belief.
Nolfi Abstract: Reflection on certain sorts of cases suggests that although the epistemic status of our beliefs is not necessarily decisive in determining what we ought to believe, the epistemic status of our beliefs ought, nevertheless, to weigh with us. This paper develops and defends a novel explanation of why this is by showing how conceiving of our capacity for belief as constitutively tied to our capacity to act in the way that we paradigmatically do supplies a satisfying explanation of why it is that (i) if it is or would be irrational for one to believe that P, one has a reason to not believe that P and (ii) if it is rational for one to believe that P, one has a reason to believe that P.
Next Academic Year
Professor Laura Franklin-Hall (NYU) will present at SWIP-Analytic Fall 2014. Her presentation is tentatively titled “Natural Kinds as Categorical Bottlenecks.”
Professor Deirdre Wilson (UCL/CSMN) will present at SWIP-Analytic Fall 2014.
NEW! We are very pleased to announce that Professor Jessica Moss (NYU) will present at SWIP-Analytic Spring 2015.
Philosophy Songs Performance Our first event of the fall will feature philosophy songs written and performed by Vivian Feldblyum. Vivian will be visiting us from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where she is a philosophy student. The details of her performance will be announced at a later date.
Deductive Love Song by Vivian Feldblyum:
All SWIP-Analytic events are free and open to the public unless stated otherwise.
SWIP-Analytic is a branch of the New York Society for Women in Philosophy dedicated to providing a forum for women in the New York area working on language, mind, metaphysics, logic, ethics, epistemology, and philosophy of science. It strives to continue NYSWIP’s commitment to being resource for all women in philosophy in the New York area.