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Oslo Conference on the Aim of Belief

The Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature [1], University of Oslo, will host
an international conference on the Aim of Belief on 11-13 June, 2009.

Registration is free and includes lunches and coffee. Spaces are limited. Please register by emailing your name and affiliation to t.h.w.chan@ifikk.uio.no


Time and place: Jun 11, 2009 02:00 PM – Jun 13, 2009 06:00 PM, Auditorium 3, Sophus Bugge, Blindern

The theme of the conference is to investigate the idea that truth provides a fundamental standard of correctness for belief. While it is generally accepted that belief aims at truth (if not the more demanding goal of knowledge), there are interesting ongoing debates about how this idea is to be fleshed out. Some philosophers, following Kripke’s discussion of Wittgenstein, argue that this observation identifies an irreducibly normative dimension in understanding the contents of beliefs. On the other hand, philosophical naturalists tend to favour a teleological account spelt out in causal terms; while a deflationary account would take the talk of correctness in this context to be simply another way of talking about truth, with no particular philosophical significance.

Another set of debates cluster around the question: Is the fact that belief aims at truth a direct consequence of the nature of belief, or is it merely a consequence of, for example, the more fundamental goal of knowledge, or the instrumental value of true beliefs? We shall bring together prominent exponents of these and other views to pursue the relevant debates in depth.

Programme: (provisional)

Each session consists of: 50 min talk, 10 min break, 10 min response and 40 min open discussion.

Thursday 11 June, 2009:

* 2:30 – 4:20
Pascal Engel (Geneva): Sticking to Normativism about the Aim of Belief
Respondent: Douglas Edwards (University College Dublin)

* 4:40 – 6:30
David Papineau (King’s College, London): There are No Norms of Belief
Respondent: Heine Holmen (Oslo)

Friday 12 June, 2009:

* 9:30 – 11:20
Ralph Wedgwood (Oxford): How Truth Guides Belief
Respondent: Davide Fassio (Geneva)

* 11:40 – 1:30
Anandi Hattiangadi (Oxford): Doxastic Normativity
Respondent: Daniel Whiting (Southampton)

* 2:30 – 4:20
Nishi Shah (Amherst): Denying Doxastic Reasons
Respondent: J. Adam Carter (Edinburgh)

* 4:40 – 6:30
Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (Aarhus): Truth as the Aim of Epistemic Justification
Respondent: Timothy Williamson (Oxford)

Saturday 13 June, 2009:

* 10:30 – 12:20
Kathrin Glüer-Pagin & Åsa Wikforss (Stockholm): What is Belief?
Respondent: Anders Nes (Oslo)

* 1:30 – 3:20
Timothy Chan (Oslo): The Logic of Constitutive Norms
Respondent: Jane Friedman (Oxford)

* 3:40 – 5:30
Paul Horwich (NYU): The Belief-Truth Norm
Respondent: Theodora Achourioti (Amsterdam)

Click here [2]for Abstracts of All Talks

For programme and details, see http://www.csmn.uio.no/events/2009/aim_of_belief.xml [3]

Timothy Chan
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature
Postboks 1020, Blindern
University of Oslo
0315 Oslo
Office: (+47) 2284 1675
Mobile: (+47) 4580 4889