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The Forum is open to everyone, including students, visitors, and faculty members from all departments and institutes!

The 60 minute lecture is followed by a 10 minute break and a 30-60 minute discussion. The language of presentation is English or Hungarian.


The scope of the Forum includes all aspects of theoretical philosophy, including:

  • logic and philosophy of formal sciences
  • philosophy of science
  • modern metaphysics
  • epistemology
  • philosophy of language
  • problems in history of philosophy and history of science, relevant to the above topics
  • particular issues in natural and social sciences, important for the discourses in the main scope of the Forum.



6 April (Wednesday) 5:00 PM  Room 226
Ákos Gyarmathy and Gábor Forgács
  Department of Philosophy and History of Science
Budapest University of Technology and Economics

Grounding inferences
In our talk we propose arguments contesting the idea that the nature of our inferences can be understood on the grounds of intuition. We believe that grounding inferences on intuition leads to confusion because of the same reasons shown by Williamson (2004) in general concerning the methodological issue of intuitions. Besides of the illusion of an “incontestable starting point” (of intuited facts or the fact that we intuit) it also obscures the relation between philosophical and everyday thinking. Furthermore grounding inferences on intuitions also disguises the differences between their conditions of adequacy. Boghossian (2014, 5) argues that an inference should be characterized in terms of what he calls the taking condition: “Inferring necessarily involves the thinker taking his premises to support his conclusion and drawing his conclusion because of that fact.” He explains the taking condition as something rooted either in the sub- personal level of cognition or in blind rule following. Choosing either of these options makes it impossible to distinguish inferences from other trains of thought. We argue that the nature of inference should be understood as an action with an aim to arrive at a certain conclusion. Being such actions occurring in dialogical settings, inferences should be understood as actions of the speaker to establish the truth of the conclusion from the premises and thereby issuing an intersubjective licence for the interlocutor to oppose it. Reasons for carrying out a certain inferential step are grounded in the dialogical settings for the participants of a certain dialogue which also grounds inference in the rational decision of the agent. By grounding inferences on rational decisions (in dialogical settings) we aim to avoid objections offered against the intuitive account.

13 April (Wednesday) 5:00 PM  Room 226
Péter Mekis
 Department of Logic, Institute of Philosophy
Eötvös University Budapest

The concept of understanding in Wittgenstein's Tractatus
Wittgenstein's Tractatus raises the problem of understanding on two distinct levels.

On the object level, understanding a propositional sign is part of Wittgenstein's account of propositions, and is derived from the celebrated picture theory of meaning. Understanding an elementary propositional sign amounts to knowing what situation it depicts; and understanding a complex propositional sign amounts to knowing its logical structure, and the elementary propositions it consists of. However, given that logical structures are not transparent in the propositional signs we use in ordinary language, it is somewhat puzzling that we can understand these signs without difficulty in our everyday linguistic practice. The first half of the talk will discuss this puzzle at some depth.

On the meta level, the propositional signs we find in the text of the Tractatus infamously and admittedly violate the norms set up at object level, so it is even problematic how we can gain access to these very norms. The second half of the talk will discuss this second puzzle, and various attempted solutions that can be found in the literature.

20 April (Wednesday) 5:00 PM  Room 226
Zalán Gyenis* and Miklós Rédei**
* Institute of Mathematics, Budapest University of Technology and Economics
** Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE, London

Having a look at what a Bayesian Agent cannot see (the Bayes Blind Spot)
The talk investigates some properties of Bayesian learning with an emphasis on what probabilities a Bayesian Agent can learn by conditionalizing on a possibly uncertain evidence he has about elements in a finite Boolean algebra. We define the Bayes Blind Spot of an Agent as the set of probability measures that are absolutely continuous with respect to the background probability (prior) of the Agent and which the Agent cannot learn no matter what evidence he has. We show that if the Boolean algebra is finite then the Bayes Blind Spot is a very large set.

27 April (Wednesday) 5:00 PM  Room 226
Gergely Ambrus
  Department of General Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy
Eötvös University Budapest

Tudatos gondolat
(Conscious Thought)

A tudatos mentális állapotok fenomenológiai elemzései általánosan elfogadják, hogy a tudatos állapotok öntudatosak, azaz hogy minden tudatos állapot, valamilyen formában, tartalmaz az alanyára, az én-re, önmagára vonatkozó tudatot is (ennek a módját persze különbözőképpen értelmezik). A tudatos állapotok analitikus filozófiai elképzelései viszont jellemzően nem osztják ezt az elképzelést (bár vannak kivételek). Ezzel illeszkedően, az analitikus filozófiában meghatározó kognitivista elmekép a személyeket mentálisállapot-komplexumokként fogja fel, fenntartva a tudatos állapotok „én-nélküliségének” hagyományát (Hume, Mach, James, Russell, a Bécsi Kör túlnyomó része), míg a fenomenológiai nézetek nem rokonszenveznek ezzel a koncepcióval.

Az előadásban a tudatos állapotok öntudat-involváló és az ezt tagadó nézetek közötti vitát fogom vizsgálni, és amellett érvelek, hogy az öntudat-involváló elméletek állnak jobban. Ha ez így van, akkor ez aláássa a bevett kognitivista elmeképet: az én-nélküliséget feltételező naturalista állapot/tartalom elméletek adekvátsága kérdésessé válik, és az elme naturalizálhatóságának a kérdése is legalábbis átstruktulódik