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Ordinary Language, Linguistics and Philosophy



  Time: 23 June, 2011 - 25 June, 2011
  Location: Arts Lecture Theatre, Arts Building, The Scores, St Andrews


    10:15 Tea and Coffee
    10:45-12:15 Jason Stanley Know How: An Account
    12:25-1:35 Katherine Ritchie Attributing Ontological Commitment
    2:40-3:50 Paolo Santorio Knowing-How and the Irrelevance of Semantics
    tea and coffee
    4:10-5:40 David Chalmers The Roles of Ordinary Language in Philosophy


    9-10:30 Jessica Brown Shifty Talk: Knowledge and Causation
    tea and coffee
    10:50-12:20 Stephen Neale Saying and Referring
    1:30-2:40 John A. Keller Semantics, Paraphrase, and Ontological Commitment
    2:50-4 ngel Pinillos Relativism: Conceptual or Worldly?
    tea and coffee
    4:20-5:50 Robert Stalnaker On the So-Called Subjunctive
    7pm Conference Dinner at Zizzi Restaurant


    9:30-10:40 Sally Parker Ryan Ordinary Language Revisited
    tea and coffee
    11-12:30 Robin Jeshion Names Not Predicates
    1:30-3 Manuel Garcia-Carpintero How are Conventional Truths and Conventional Forces Possible?
    tea and coffee
    3:20-4:50 Zoltan Szabo Impure Modals


This conference is open to people from outside Arch (although places are limited). To register for the conference you need to pay the delegate fee at the online shop for the conference. Please note that we recommend that before registering online you first check to see that you can find accommodation as the conference is on at a busy time of year in St Andrews. You can find some information about accommodation in St Andrews here. The costs for the conference are as follows: 32 per delegate per day of the conference which includes lunch and tea/coffee in the morning and afternoon. On the online shop you can choose to pay for all three days (i.e. 96) or you can choose to pay for just one or two days of the conference. On the online shop you can also sign-up and pay for the conference dinner. The dinner is on Friday the 24th June 7pm at Zizzi Restaurant, St Andrews. The cost per head is 26 (which includes 3 courses and wine and coffee). There is a space on the online shop where you can make note of any special dietary preferences which we will pass on to both the lunch caterers and also the restaurant (if you attend the dinner). If you need to arrange childcare while you are in town for the conference and would like some help or suggestions about finding childcare in St Andrews contact Yuri Cath at


A google map for the conference location can be found

Conference Theme

It has become increasingly popular to claim that the subject matter of philosophy is neither linguistic nor conceptual. In this sense, it has been suggested that the so-called "linguistic turn" was a mistake and the target of philosophy properly conceived is nonconceptual and nonlinguistic (e.g., Williamson, The Philosophy of Philosophy). Despite this, philosophers still routinely appeal to ordinary linguistic use and linguistic theory in constructing and criticising philosophical theories. The contrast between the alleged target of philosophy and continued reliance on linguistic information in solving philosophical questions raises a number of issues which are the focus of this conference. For example:

  • How should one best understand the linguistic or conceptual turn and, in particular, is it best understood as concerned with the subject matter, or the methodology of philosophy?
  • In what sense, if any, is philosophys subject matter non-linguistic and/or nonconceptual?
  • If the subject matter of philosophy is nonlinguistic and nonconceptual, how can we make sense of philosophers continued heavy reliance on linguistic data as settling philosophical questions?
  • Can one draw metaphysical conclusions from the way we represent the world linguistically and conceptually?
  • To what extent should philosophical theory be guided by linguistic usage as opposed to other considerations such as theoretical simplicity and naturalness (Lewis, Sider, Weatherson); or, the best relevant science (e.g. the Churchlands, Kornblith)?
  • Even when the subject matter of a particular philosophical debate is clearly about language, to what extent should the scientific theory of linguistics be held to determine the answer to this enquiry given the disciplinary differences between philosophy and linguistics?
  • Does linguistics have any special relevance to settling philosophical questions, a relevance not had by other empirical disciplines such as cognitive science? How should we respond when we get apparently conflicting results to a philosophical question by appeal to different empirical disciplines (for instance different answers to the question of the relation of knowledge how and knowledge that provided by work in linguistics and cognitive science)?

We are interested both in general considerations of the above and related questions, and in methodologically reflective case studies.

Further Details

Contact Jonathan ( or Yuri (

Organizing Committee

Jessica Brown Herman Cappelen Yuri Cath Jonathan Ichikawa