The 9th Congress of the Society for the Philosophy of Science

J’ai le plaisir de vous annoncer que je présenterai mon article intitulé « Indeterminate Personal Identity » lors du 9ème Congrès de la Société de Philosophie des Sciences qui aura lieu du 31 mai au 2 juin 2023 à l’Université de Nanterre. Ma présentation est programmée pour le vendredi 2 juin à 14h.

Résumé :

L’objection de la fission représente un défi majeur pour les philosophes qui adhèrent à la théorie (néo-)lockéenne selon laquelle l’identité personnelle diachronique doit être analysée en termes d’expérience-mémoire. Cette objection montre que la continuité psychologique ne suffit pas pour l’identité, car deux personnes (P2 et P3) peuvent émerger de la fission cérébrale d’une personne (P1), chacune étant psychologiquement continue avec P1 mais non identique à elle. Si P2 et P3 étaient identiques à P1, elles seraient également identiques entre elles, ce qui est absurde. Pour répondre à cette objection, deux solutions influentes ont été développées par Derek Parfit et David Lewis, respectivement. Parfit suggère que la survie et l’identité sont des notions distinctes, P1 survivant en tant que P2 et P3 sans être identique à l’une ou à l’autre. Lewis, quant à lui, nie que la fission cérébrale produise de nouvelles personnes, affirmant que P2 et P3 préexistaient à la fission et sont simplement devenues spatialement séparées. Ces deux solutions ont été critiquées pour leurs implications contre-intuitives. Dans cette contribution, une nouvelle approche est proposée : il est déterminé que P2 ou P3 est identique à P1, mais il est métaphysiquement indéterminé laquelle des deux. Cette approche évite les implications problématiques des solutions précédentes et est cohérente avec la logique et la sémantique classiques.

Programme et informations : https://sps2023nanterre.sciencesconf.org

Time & Contradiction

Our ‘Time & Contradiction’ workshop is commencing next week at the University of Geneva (May 22-23). Please find below the final program for the event. An important update: Akiko Frischuut will be unable to join us as she is currently held up in Japan. However, we have assembled an exceptional lineup of speakers who will undoubtedly deliver captivating presentations. If you are interested in attending specific sessions, please feel free to reach out. Baptiste and I are eagerly looking forward to the start!

Nouvelle Publication – Connaissance philosophique et connaissance des essences

L’ouvrage collectif Connaissance philosophique et connaissance des essences vient de paraître aux éditions du Collège de France, sous la direction du Prof. Claudine Tiercelin et d’Alexandre Declos.

Pour ma part, j’ai rédigé le chapitre « L’approche non-modale de l’essence ».

Mon article est disponible en accès libre à cette adresse : https://books.openedition.org/cdf/13801

Conference: Time and Contradiction

Baptiste Le Bihan and I are organizing an international conference entitled “Time and Contradiction”, which will take place on May 22-23, 2023 at the University of Geneva.

The conference aims at bringing together various questions about time by examining the different ways the concept of contradiction can shed new light on our understanding of its nature.

Speakers

Sam Baron (Melbourne)
Christophe Bouton (Bordeaux)
Daniel Deasy (Dublin)
Saakshi Dulani (Geneva)
Akiko Frischhut (Tokyo)
Marc Lachièze-Rey (Paris)
Oliver Pooley (Oxford)
Emily Thomas (Durham)

Abstract

Time relates to contradiction in several ways. In the early 20th century, McTaggart argued that the traditional conception of the passage of time led to contradictions: each event seems to have contradictory properties of being future, present, and past. Some debates in metaphysics about the nature of change and becoming, together with dialetheism, explore whether there may be genuine non-pathological contradictions, and how they may play a role in our conception of time. For example, a book’s changing involves the contradictory properties of being open and being shut. Theories of persistence generally aim at reconciling this contradiction with reality’s coherence – unless it is precisely coherence that must be abandoned. On the physics side, relativistic physics suggests that the concept of time does not exist fundamentally and that it must be replaced by a four-dimensional spacetime, while recent developments in quantum gravity suggest that even this spacetime might fail to be fundamental. The physics of black holes, with the paradox of information loss, suggests that two contradictory conceptions of time prevent a proper understanding of the fundamental nature of reality.

Book Publication

My first book, entitled The Asymmetric Nature of Time, has just been published by Springer Nature in the Synthese Library book series.

It is now available in its digital version in open access thanks to a generous grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-09763-8.

Physical copies will be available by October 15, 2022, but can already be pre-ordered. 

A French translation of the book should be published soon by a Parisian publisher.

I hope you’ll enjoy the book!

Synthese Topical Collection: Temporal Reasoning and Tensed Truths

Matteo Pascucci (Slovak Academy of Sciences) and I are pleased to announce that we are editing a topical collection for the philosophy journal Synthese, devoted to temporal reasoning and tensed truths.

The topical collection is open to any submission dealing with issues around truth and time and making use of logical tools. However, we would like to especially raise attention on the formalization of arguments taken from everyday reasoning, where alternative logical frameworks could be tested with a view on potential applications to problem-solving.

Appropriate topics for submission include, among others:

Formal accounts of tensed truths
Grounds for tensed truths
Logics for chronologically definite and indefinite propositions
Reasoning problems involving time
Temporal vs atemporal notions of truth
Truth-value of tensed statements
The unrestricted application of bivalence
The absoluteness of utterance-truth
The problem of future contingents
Truthmakers for tensed truths

The deadline for submission: 28 February 2023 (via https://www.editorialmanager.com/synt/default.aspx)

More information is available here:

Synthese
https://preview-www.springer.com/journal/11229/updates/23111006

PhilEvents
https://philevents.org/event/show/98602

SNSF Postdoc.Mobility – University of Oxford

I am honored to join the University of Oxford in February 2022 for a 2-year period, thanks to a SNSF Postdoc.Mobility Fellowship. I will have the opportunity to work on my own project, entitled “Time Regained: Reconciling Phenomenological and Physical Perspectives on Time”. I would like to thank the Swiss National Science Foundation for its support, and the University of Oxford for hosting my project.

My new personal webpage: https://www.philosophy.ox.ac.uk/people/vincent-grandjean.

Publication in Synthese II

My paper “Symmetric and Asymmetric Theories of Time” has just been published in Synthese: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11229-021-03427-7.

I would like to thank Fabrice Correia and the members of eidos (the Genevan Centre for Metaphysics), Claudine Tiercelin and the members of the Groupe d’Études en Métaphysique du Collège de France, and the members of the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Neuchâtel, especially Simon-Pierre Chevarie-Cossette. I am also grateful to three anonymous referees for reports which helped to substantially improve the paper.