PhilSoc’s Annual ‘Women and Other Minorities in the Humanities’ Conference
A reminder that on Friday, March 6th, Philsoc will host our annual ‘Women and other Minorities in the Humanities’ Conference. This year, the conference will be part of the Student Union’s ‘LiberatEd’ programme, which replaces last years’ GenderJam. The aim of the conference is to raise awareness of gender and minority biases, discrimination and underrepresentation in the humanities, academia and society. Check out our earlier post, or the conference website, for more details! The event is free and open to all students!
(Next week’s reading: Alisa Bokulich’s ‘How Scientific Models can Explain‘)
Speaker: Prof. Ofra Magidor, University of Oxford
(Ofra Magidor, paper co-authored with David Liebesman)
Abstract: ‘It is tempting to think that words like ‘book’ are ambiguous between a ‘physical book’ sense and an ‘informational book sense’: on the physical sense, three copies of War and Peace count as three books, and on the informational sense, as only one book. However this ambiguity hypothesis seems to face problems with cases of co-predication, namely sentences such as “Three red books are informative”. The problem arises from the claims that (i) ‘red’ only applies to physical books (ii) ‘informative’ only applies to informational books. (iii) we have only one occurrence of the word ‘book’ in the sentence.
Co-predication has been taken in the literature to be a deep problem that forces us into radical conclusions, most notably – the abandonment of referential semantics altogether. In this paper we argue that no such radical conclusions are warranted. We offer a novel account of co-predication which both denies that ‘book’ is ambiguous, and maintains that properties such as ‘informative’ can apply to physical books. We show how our account can address a wide variety of cases of co-predication and deal with some objections.’