We are a University of London group aimed at fostering intercollegiate research in LEMMings studies - Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Mind. We host both talks and read-ahead discussions where postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty can share their work.
Our meetings usually take place in Senate House and are open to any current graduate/postgraduate students, postdoctoral students, and faculty members from London and beyond.
Thomas Crowther (Warwick)
June 12, 2023 - 4-5:30pm, 10 Gower Street, Paul Hirst Room
Title: Objects, Selves and the Simple View
Abstract: The simple view of the identity of the self over time is associated with the claims that self-identity is absolute or all-or-nothing, determinate, and also unanalysable, at least in any non-trivial or non-circular way. Philosophers who have adopted the simple view of the self have characteristically denied that any such simple view can be true of the identity over time of objects independent of us in the spatio-temporal environment. In this paper, I want to suggest that one who adopts the simple view of the self at least need not deny that the identity over time of objects around us is also simple in the relevant way. That will involve sketching a position from which various arguments that can be offered against the simplicity of ordinary objects can be resisted, but also having a better sense of what is fundamentally at issue in this question about simplicity.
Mike Martin (Oxford)
June 26, 2023 - 4-5:30pm, 8 Russell Square, Dreyfus Room (enter via 26 Russell Square)
Title: Illumination Fading
Abstract: Bertrand Russell famously abandons the sense-datum theory for a form of neutral monism. But what happens to Russell’s most serious objection to neutral monism concerning our understanding of ‘I’, ‘now’ and ‘this’, what he first calls ‘emphatic particulars’ (and then later ‘eogcentric particulars’)? In his manuscript notes from 1918, Russell indicates that he takes this, along with giving an account of the nature of belief, to be the hardest task for neutral monism. But he doesn’t return to the topic of the indexicals until 1940 in An Inquiry into Meaning & Truth. When he does, the resulting theory looks much like the original sense-datum theory. This presents us with two puzzles: what is the real form of Russell’s original argument in 1913 against neutral monism? And what assumption about it changes between 1913 and 1940? Addressing these interpretive questions will aid us in putting in context certain current debates about consciousness and subjectivity.
Our Past Events
Henry Schiller (Sheffield)
May 15, 2023 - 4-5:30pm, Senate House Room 243
Title: The Meaning of 'Wants' in a Theory of Rational Planning
Abstract: I defend the view that desires get their contents from stereotypical characterizations of the conditions under which they are satisfied. I connect this view to a simple account of desire satisfaction on which a desire is satisfied if it is brought to an end, contending with an oft-quoted but misleading objection by Wittgenstein, who claims that a desire is not satisfied merely by taking the desire away. I compare my account with empirical work on reward learning, and with theories of desire on which an agent wants p if that agent constitutes p as a reward (e.g., Dretske 1988, Schroeder 2004). I also show how this account unifies a set of disparate data about the mental state picked out by the English verb 'wants', including the phenomenon of desire underspecification (Lycan 2012, Graff Fara 2013), non-propositional desire attributions (Montague 2007, Grzankowski 2014), and advisory uses of 'wants' (Drucker 2019, Jerzak 2019).
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Senate House, University of London, Malet St, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HU, UK