Wykłady prof. Mitchella Greena (University of Connecticut) – wtorek 28 marca

A Cultural-Evolutionary Approach to Some Speech Acts (28.03, 11:30-13:00, s. 209)

On Acquiring Epistemic Value from Fiction (28.03, 17:30-19:00, s. 209)

Mitchell Green jest profesorem filozofii na University of Connecticut i członkiem Steering Committee kognitywistyki na tym uniwersytecie. Jest redaktorem naczelnym czasopisma „Philosophia”. Jego badania koncentrują się na filozofii języka, filozofii umysłu, estetyce i pragmatyce. Wniósł znaczący wkład w teorię aktów mowy, ewolucyjną biologię komunikacji, badanie empatii, samowiedzy, wyrażania siebie i przypisywania postaw, a także w epistemologię fikcji. Jego publikacje książkowe obejmują m.in. Know Thyself: The Value and Limits of Self-Knowledge (Routledge), Self-Expression (OUP). Jest współredaktorem Making Scientific Discoveries Interdisciplinary Reflections (Brill), Moore’s Paradox: New Essays on Belief, Rationality and the First Person (OUP), oraz licznych artykułów.
https://mitchgreen.academia.edu/

A Cultural-Evolutionary Approach to Some Speech Acts (28.03, 11:30-13:00, s. 209)

        Few researchers concerned with the issue are likely to dispute that modern-day speech acts came into being through something like an evolutionary process. However, not many appear to have investigated what such a process might have looked like. After a brief overview of the basic principles of cultural evolution, I will offer suggestions as to how a cultural-evolutionary account of the genesis of modern-day speech acts might go. My focus will be a “how-possibly” account of the evolution of the current practice of assertion. Central to the analysis is the suggestion that the notion of commitment widely thought to be crucial to assertion is distinguishable into three strands which I term liability, frankness, and fidelity. That tripartition raises the question whether a precursor of assertion might be characterized by just one or two of these dimensions of commitment, and whether cultural-evolutionary pressures might have moved communicating agents from one dimension to two, and then from two to our current three. The approach also enables us to raise the question whether our current practice could devolve into one of its precursors, and what might cause it to do so. Time permitting, we’ll discuss how this approach also sheds light on whether speech-act types are conventional in any interesting sense, and look at how the approach might apply to other types of speech act such as promises and commands.

On Acquiring Epistemic Value from Fiction (28.03, 17:30-19:00, s. 209)

        I first critically survey prominent recent scholarship on the question whether fiction can be a source of epistemic value for those who engage with it fully and appropriately. Such epistemic value might take the form of knowledge (for “cognitivists”) or understanding (for “neo-cognitivists”). Both camps may be sorted according to a further distinction between views explaining fiction’s epistemic value in terms of the author’s engaging in a form of telling, or instead via their showing some state of affairs to obtain, a special case of which is the provision of self-knowledge. Fictional works that show rather than tell often employ thought experiments. Some fictional works’ epistemic value is indicated by their enabling of empathy, itself illuminated via the psychological process of experience-taking. Whether a fictional work offers epistemic value by telling or showing, there is no in principle bar to its being able to deliver on what it offers, and consumers of fiction who exercise epistemic vigilance may gain either knowledge or some degree of understanding from their engagement with it.

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