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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 December (Wednesday) 5:00 PM  Room 226
Tim Crane
  Department of Philosophy, CEU, Budapest
  Putnam’s Ant: Some Reflections on the Explanation of Meaning
In chapter one of his book Reason, Truth and History, Hilary Putnam argued that the only alternative to treating reference and intentionality as causal relations is to hold a ‘magical’ theory of reference (where this is supposed to be a bad thing). He argues this by employing a famous thought experiment about an ant accidentally making a pattern in the sand which looks like a picture of Winston Churchill. Putnam argues that nothing intrinsic to this pattern makes it a picture, and nor do any of its relational properties (e.g. resemblance to Churchill). He then claims that “what goes for physical pictures also goes for mental images, and for mental representations in general” — we need to appeal to causal relations in order to explain reference or intentionality; anything else is an appeal to ‘magic'. In this talk I examine and criticise Putnam’s argument.

  13 December (Wednesday) 5:00 PM  Room 226
* Institute of Philosophy, Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest
** Department of Logic, Institute of Philosophy, Eötvös University Budapest
  The Elimination of Probability
There seems to be a consensus in the philosophy of probability literature that the notion of probability cannot be given a satisfactory definition. How is it possible that physics and other sciences are able to apply the notion of probability without noticing this fundamental problem? In this talk we shall outline and elaborate on a novel interpretation of probability (developed in Szabó 2007) that may shed light on this question. The basic idea will be that probability is a notion that is completely eliminable from the scientific discourse.