Representation, Reality, and Truth

World-leading philosophers Céline Henne, Luca Incurvati, and Huw Price, will investigate three key concepts in philosophy — representation, reality, and truth — bringing together insights from epistemology, philosophy of language, and metaphysics.

  • Data: 07 GIUGNO 2023  dalle 14:00 alle 19:00

  • Luogo: Sala Rossa, Via Azzo Gardino 23, Bologna

Representation, Reality, and Truth

International Workshop


Organized by: Filippo Ferrari
With: Céline Henne, Luca Incurvati, Huw Price


In her talk titled "Two norms of truth: A domain-independent alethic pluralism", Céline Henne (Toronto) will defend a new kind of alethic pluralism, according to which the norm of truth that governs conversation and inquiry takes two forms, depending on whether the conversation or inquiry uses a settled conceptual framework, or whether the rules of the conceptual framework are themselves renegotiated. The norm of truth will look more realist in the former case, and more pragmatist in the latter case. Unlike most versions of alethic pluralism (Wright 1992, Lynch 2009, Ferrari 2018), this pluralism cuts across different domains of discourse. Henne will begin by presenting the foundations of my proposal: first, the conception of truth as a norm, based on Price (2003, 2022) and other recent pragmatist accounts (Shields forthcoming), and second, an inferentialist account of language (Brandom 1994). Henne then proposes to conceive of truth as a norm that emerges from the normativity of language itself, for then describing the two forms that the norm of truth can take in situations where the inferential rules are either settled or unsettled. Finally, Henne will show that her proposal can still accommodate the intuitions that drive domain-specific versions of alethic pluralism.

Luca Incurvati (Amsterdam) will give a talk titled “Inferential Expressivism” in which he will provide an overview of inferential expressivism, the view that the meaning of an expression is given in terms of inferential relations to attitude expressions. Inferential expressivism combines elements of inferentialism and expressivism. Incurvati will explain the advantages of the view over traditional forms of expressivism and traditional forms of inferentialism for then outlining applications of the inferential expressivist approach to negation, epistemic modals and the truth predicate among others. Incurvati's talk is based on joint work with Julian Schlöder.

The leading question of Huw Price’s (Bonn) talk, titled “Time for Pragmatism”, is the following: Are the passage of time and the distinction between past and future features of the world in itself, or manifestations of the human perspective? The latter view has much in common with pragmatism, though few of its proponents think of themselves as pragmatists, and pragmatists are often unaware of this congenial application of their methodology. This link between time and pragmatism only scratches the surface of the deep two-way dependencies between these two topics. The human temporal perspective turns out to be deeply implicated not merely in our temporal notions themselves, but in many other conceptual categories – arguably, in fact, in all of them, and in the nature of language and thought. In this way, reflection on our own temporal character vindicates James’ famous slogan for global pragmatism: ‘The trail of the human serpent is thus over everything.’