Philosophy colloquium: David Liebesman (online event)

Copredication and the Possibility of Truth-Conditional Semantics

By David Liebesman (Calgary) (joint work with Ofra Magidor, Oxford)

Date: Thursday November 19, 2020

Time: 1730-1900 (GMT+3)

This is an online event. All are welcome. If you would like to listen to the talk please click on the following link when the event is due to begin. 

Zoom link: click here 

Meeting ID: 839 3281 5216

Zoom passcode: 796067

Abstract: Copredicational sentences can be true despite the fact that they ascribe prima facie categorially incompatible properties. For instance, “Lunch was delicious but took hours” can be true even though it is natural to assume that only events can take hours while only food can be delicious. Dramatic lessons have been drawn from this phenomenon. In particular, Chomsky and several of his followers have taken copredication to provide key evidence that we ought to abandon systematic truth-conditional semantics altogether. After clarifying the challenges posed by copredication, we’ll undermine Chomskyan arguments from copredication to scepticism about truth-conditional semantics. We’ll then sketch our favoured view–the property versatility view–which meets the challenges without either abandoning truth-conditional semantics or significantly complicating our semantic theory. 

About the speaker: David Liebesman is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Calgary. He works primarily in the philosophy of language and metaphysics, and has published numerous articles in such journals as Analysis, the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Mind, Noûs, and Philosophers’ Imprint.


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