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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.



4 May (Wednesday) 5:00 PM  Room 226
Armand Binet
Department of Philosophy, Pantheon-Sorbonne University (Paris 1), Paris

Simultaneity of two events spatially separated
In the first Einstein’s paper about special relativity in 1905, he starts in giving a new definition of simultaneity from the constant speed of light. This definition use the convention of standard synchrony. We will discuss why Einstein use a convention to answer to the central question of time. We will understand how this convention stay outside of any empirical proof. Indeed, Winnie proved in 1970 that the standard synchrony is not the only definition of simultaneity compatible with special relativity. After some others attempts (especially from Malament in 1977), it seems that we live in a four dimensional world and it does not make sense to define only one simultaneity. The convention of simultaneity shows the inadequacy of our vocabulary (here the word simultaneity) with respect to the latest physical theories.

11 May (Wednesday) 5:00 PM  Room 226
Tolgahan Toy
 Department of Philosophy, Middle East Technical University, Ankara

A Critical Evaluation of the Principle of Compositionality
In this paper I will basically evaluate the compositionality principle. Firstly, I will analyze the notion of syntax/semantics interface. Then I will move to several problems with compositionality thesis. These problems arises due to the reason that the meaning of a word is determined in a holistic way due to Frege’s context principle, that there is ambiguity with the lexical items (i.e. polysemy), indexical elements due to Kaplanian semantics, and because of the problem of domain restriction. These problems show that it is not that easy to establish a compositional semantics. In other words, it seems highly difficult task to get the ultimate meaning just by putting words together by some syntactic rules.
I will argue that compositionality principle fails at the semantic level due to the holistic and contextual nature of language. At the semantic level, instead, I will appeal to Davidson’s truth-conditional semantics. In other words, Davidson’s charity principle, truth theory, and empirical semantics will help us to give a better account of meaning. But this will be a holistic and probabilistic account of meaning. To reconcile this strategy with the purely compositional structure of language, I will introduce a new domain where compositionality works. I call this new level pre-semantic level. It will be somewhere between syntax and semantics. I will claim that compositionality principle holds at the pre-semantic level. Unlike in the semantic level, in pre-semantic value of an expression is not its correspondent in the world. Instead, pre-semantic value of an expression is its character as David Kaplan introduced it for indexicals. It means that at the pre-semantics level, I will extend the Kaplanian notion of character from indexicals to every single linguistic expression.