Work Packages

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The PETAF research project is divided into 6 work packages (WPs). The WPs are grouped under two main headings, ‘G’ for ‘Global Issues’ and ‘L’ for ‘Local Issues’.

G1: Issues in metaphysics

G1 comprises state-of-the-art research on the conceptual foundations of realism, the central notions of truth, fact and truth-making they require, and the classical logic standardly employed to properly state them. Research on these topics will improve and enhance our understanding of the conception of an objective, mind-independent reality and elucidate what alternatives to realism there are and what they must involve. Particular research tasks in these areas include investigations into the nature of evidence-transcendent truth, the composition of facts, and the status of the principle of bivalence. Two further strands in current research on mind-independence to be pursued in G1 concern issues that put pressure on realism and anti-realism, respectively: the problem of natural kinds naturally exerts a certain pull towards realism, while the problem of ontic vagueness speaks against unrestricted mind-independence and thus puts limits on a wholesale realism that depends on it. Particular research tasks in these areas include comparative assessments of theories of natural kinds and essences, and solutions to the problem of the many which takes centre stage in the debate about ontic indeterminacy.

WP-Coordinator: Katherine Hawley (St. Andrews)

WP-Participants: Hanoch Ben-Yami, Fabrice Correia, Aaron Cotnoir, Dorothy Edgington, Kathrin Glüer-Pagin, Sören Häggqvist, Katherine Hawley, Keith Hossack, Ferenc Huoranszki, Philipp Blum, Dan Lopez de Sa, Genoveva Marti, Kevin Mulligan, Peter Pagin, Stephen Read, Sven Rosenkranz, Ian Rumfitt, Barry C Smith, Åsa Wikforss, Crispin Wright, Elia Zardini

G2: Issues in semantics
G2 comprises top-level research on the semantics of perspective-bound cognition, both on its contextualist and relativist construals, and will make major advances in the study of context-sensitivity, index-relativity and the logic of context-shifting operators. Particular research tasks for G2 include the systematic study of different types of context-sensitivity and their effects on the truth-value of atomic and complex statements and thoughts such as result from logical, modal and attitudinal embeddings. Outcomes of theoretical semantics will be tested by applying them to specific cases such as attitude-reports and statements about colour. To factor out those perspectival differences that have no bearing on truth, it will also be crucial to distinguish truth-conditional from non-truth-conditional aspects of meaning. Given PETAF’s main research goal to investigate the nature of perspectivalism and its impact on our conception of objectivity, G2 thus complements G1.

WP-Coordinator: Isidora Stojanovic (Paris)
WP-Participants: Derek Ball, Herman Cappelen, Paul Egré, Manuel García-Carpintero, Ephraim Glick, Kathrin Glüer-Pagin, Patrick Greenough, Sören Häggqvist, Max Kölbel, Dan Lopez de Sa, Josep Macia, Genoveva Marti, José Martinez, Peter Pagin, François Recanati, Ian Rumfitt, Philippe Schlenker, Barry C. Smith, Benjamin Spector, Isidora Stojanovic, Åsa Wikforss

L1: Space and time
L1 is devoted to research in the philosophy of space and time which is one of the core areas in which the study of perspective-bound cognition and its consequences for our conception of reality plays a pivotal role. Research in L1 addresses both the subjective and the objective side of our discourse about time and space, thereby combining the two prongs of PETAF’s main research objective, separately studied at a more general level in G1 and G2. Thus, L1 will include research on self-locating beliefs and the contents of time- and location-bound experience as well as research on their realist and anti-realist interpretations. Particular research tasks for L1 include the construction of a semantics for tensed languages, the ontology of tensed facts, the systematic study of accounts of the openness of the future, and investigation of the consequences of special relativity for presentist and non-presentist realism about tense.

WP-Coordinator: Kevin Mulligan (Geneva)
WP-Participants: Hanoch Ben-Yami, Gábor Betegh, István Bodnár, Fabrice Correia, Manuel García-Carpintero, Kathrin Glüer-Pagin, Patrick Greenough, Katherine Hawley, Philipp Blum, Kevin Mulligan, Peter Pagin, Simon Prosser, François Recanati, Sven Rosenkranz, Paula Sweeney

L2: Metaphysical and epistemic possibility
Research in L2 focuses on discourse about metaphysical and epistemic possibility, which is a second area in which perspective-bound cognition abounds. Both thought about what, contrary to fact, could have been the case and thought about what, for all we know, might be the case arguably depends on our perspective, be it our conceptual scheme, the part of the world we happen to inhabit or the state of our current knowledge. Particular research tasks for L2 thus include those that address the relation between necessity and conceptual truth, and the interpretation of epistemic modals and indicative and subjunctive conditionals. One crucial research task for L2 will be to study, interpret and improve multi-intensional frameworks which have been used in order to model perspective-bound cognition about possible alternatives to the actual course of events and other features.

WP-Coordinator: Peter Pagin (Stockholm)
WP-Participants: Derek Ball, Herman Cappelen, Fabrice Correia, Aaron Cotnoir, Dorothy Edgington, Katalin Farkas, Manuel García-Carpintero, Ephraim Glick, Mike Griffin, Keith Hossack, Ferenc Huoranszki, Philipp Blum, Dan Lopez de Sa, Stephen Read, Ian Rumfitt, Isidora Stojanovic, Crispin Wright

L3: Subjectivity and experience
L3 comprises research in the philosophy of subjectivity and experience. First-person thoughts, as well as first- and third-person ascriptions of self-knowledge, raise important issues concerning the relation between the subject’s perspective and objective matters of fact about that subject. Research to be pursued in L3 includes the study of the intentionality (or ‘aboutness’) of such thoughts as they feature in the products of inner and outer sense, investigations into the nature of self-knowledge and its connection with knowledge of other minds, and the critical review of accounts of participatory imagination and mindreading as forms of access to perspectival thought.

WP-Coordinator: Barry C. Smith (London)
WP-Participants: Derek Ball, Hanoch Ben-Yami, Jérôme Dokic, Katalin Farkas, Kathrin Glüer-Pagin, Keith Hossack, Ferenc Huoranszki, Michael Martin, Aidan McGlynn, Kevin Mulligan, Peter Pagin, Christopher Peacocke, Jérôme Pelletier, Simon Prosser, François Recanati,
Howard Robinson, Barry C. Smith, Paul Snowdon, Åsa Wikforss, Crispin Wright

L4: Norms, values and taste
L4 is devoted to research in the philosophy of norms, values and taste, which is a fourth area of vital importance for the systematic study of perspectivalism in thought and language. Perspectival differences in the assessment of, moral and non-moral, normative claims are suggestive of a relativist interpretation of the discourse to which such claims respectively belong. Research in L4 focuses on three main strands in the current discussion about norms, values and taste: firstly the study of the norms governing judgement and assertion in general, and judgements about taste and value in particular, and the scope of their bindingness, secondly the debate about the fact-value distinction, and thirdly the critical assessment of moral relativism and its bearing on the legitimacy of intervention.

WP-Coordinator: Manuel García-Carpintero (Barcelona)
WP-Participants: Herman Cappelen, Pascal Engel, Manuel García-Carpintero, Max Kölbel, Dan Lopez de Sa, Aidan McGlynn, Peter Pagin, François Recanati, Ian Rumfitt, Barry C. Smith, Isidora Stojanovic, Paula Sweeney, Crispin Wright