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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.



2 December (Wednesday) 5:00 PM  Room 226
Thomas Benda
  Institute of Philosophy of Mind
National Yang Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
The logical form of physical statements
The problem of logical representation of physical statements is given a novel account, described in an informal manner below.
Physical entities are not sharply defined and the ultimate physical theory--if it exists--is not known. Mathematical formulations of physical theories speak of models rather than physical reality itself. They are logically precise, but are at best perceived as mere approximations to some physical reality. Their limits of accuracy are accepted by working physicists as long as they appear to be successful. The same applies to daily observations. Here, however, even anti-realists generally don't doubt an underlying matter of fact which is only approximately described in our daily observational language.
I propose to take the apparent inaccuracy of both observational and scientific statements serious as inevitable when we search for the proper logical form of physical statements; furthermore, to adopt an agnostic stance regarding truth of statements about a supposed underlying physical reality--statements we do not have anyway. Thus we acknowledge that all physical statements concern entities that are parts of models. Their corresponding theories have theorems that are evaluated not semantically--strictly speaking, they would be false--but by degrees of credence. The latter are preserved within theories and vary between theories according to context.
Degrees of credence of physical statements form a partial order. The complete structure also contains statements with fixed credence, e.g., "0 = 0". Thereby, our practice of assigning credence to scientific and everyday physical statements is well represented.
The proposed stance is not necessarily anti-realistic, but merely concerns the proper logical form of physical statements. Success of theories is aligned with beliefs, including observations, and theory relations are treated logically on an object level. The well-known riddle of physical theories being successful yet logically false thereby has a good prospect of being solved.

9 December (Wednesday) 5:00 PM  Room 226
Zsófia Zvolenszky
  Department of Logic, Institute of Philosophy
Eötvös University, Budapest
Fictional Characters and Goodman’s Inadvertent Creation Challenge
According to artifactualism about fictional characters, Andrei Bolkonsky in War and Peace is an abstract artifact. I will explore a recent challenge to this view by Jeffrey Goodman (2014)—which I will call the inadvertent creation challenge—that is originally posed for those who hold that fictional characters and mythical objects alike are abstract artifacts. The crux of the challenge is this: if we think that astronomers like Le Verrier, in mistakenly hypothesizing the planet Vulcan, inadvertently created an abstract artifact, then the “inadvertent creation” element turns out to be inescapable yet theoretically unattractive. Based on considerations about actually existing concrete objects being featured in fictional works (as Napoleon is in War and Peace), I argue that regardless of where one stands on mythical objects, admitting fictional characters as abstract artifacts is enough to give rise to the inadvertent creation challenge; yet this very set of considerations serves to undermine the challenge, indicating that inadvertent creation is not nearly as worrisome after all as Goodman is suggesting. Taking fictional characters (and mythical objects) to be abstract artifacts therefore remains a viable option.

Goodman, Jeffrey 2014. Creatures of Fiction, Objects of Myth. Analysis 74 (1), 35–40.