Liberalism & Democracy Past, Present, Prospects @ John L. Tishman Auditorium, New School
Feb 7 – Feb 8 all-day

Liberal democratic values seem embattled as never before in the United States, and around the world. The time is right for a serious and wide-ranging exploration of the prospects for liberal democracies in a context that acknowledges the historical and contemporary tensions between democracy and liberal values, both in theory and in practice. This conference convenes a varied group of scholars, journalists, policy expert and veteran public servants, we hope to stage a real meeting of the minds, not the usual partisan sniping that occurs at most academic events – and we are trying to be as inclusive as possible, by inviting thoughtful representatives from the left, right, and center.

Though liberalism and democracy have become intertwined in some contemporary societies, they have evolved along quite distinct paths historically. Democracy is an ancient idea, liberalism a very modern one. Greek democracy was not liberal, nor was the revolutionary democracy championed by the sans-culottes in the French Revolution. To this day, there are many avowedly democratic movements and regimes, both on the left and the right, that explicitly reject liberal values. Moreover, even in liberal democratic societies, there are important tensions between the two traditions.

In this conference, we will examine the prospects for liberal democracies against the backdrop of the historical and contemporary tensions between democracy and liberalism.

Featured speakers and participants

James Miller

Helen Rosenblatt

Robert Boyers

Paul Cartledge

EJ Dionne Jr

Bill Galston

Dipayan Ghosh

Jeffrey Issac

James Kloppenberg

Bill Kristol

Yuval Levin

Marc Plattner

Aziz Rana

Rogers Smith

Michael Tomasky

T Chatterton Williams

Ben Fountain

Fedricho Finchelstein

Jennifer Roberts

Paul Krugman

Teresa Ghilarducci

T. Alexander Aleinikoff

Jessica Pissano

Deva Woodly

Natasha Lennard

Astra Taylor

Ira Katrznelson

Josh Begley

Ask a Philosopher Booth @ City Point Shopping Center, near Dekalb B/Q
Feb 9 @ 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Logic & Metaphysics Workshop @ CUNY Grad Center, 7314
Feb 11 @ 4:15 pm – 6:15 pm

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will be meeting on Mondays from 4:15 to 6:15 in room 7314 of the Graduate Center, CUNY (365 5th Avenue). The (provisional) schedule is as follows:

Feb 4. Melvin Fitting, CUNY

Feb 11. Benjamin Neeser, Geneva


Feb 25. Achille Varzi, Columbia

Mar 4. Eric Bayruns Garcia, CUNY

Mar 11. Jeremy Goodman, USC

Mar 18. Romina Padro, CUNY

Mar 25. Kit Fine, NYU

Apr 1. Elena Ficara, Paderborn

Apr 8. Chris Scambler, NYU

Apr 15.  Jenn McDonald, CUNY


Apr 29. Tommy Kivatinos, CUNY

May 6. Daniel Durante, Natal

May 13. Martina Botti, Columbia

May 20. Vincent Peluce, CUNY

Stages in Spacetime: The Languages of Persistence @ CUNY Grad Center, 7314
Feb 11 @ 4:15 pm – 6:15 pm

Motivated by considerations from relativity theory, philosophers have recently contended that talk about an object’s existence in time should not be taken as fundamental, but rather analysed in the language of a formal theory of location in spacetime. This suggestion has important consequences for the debate about persistence: how do ordinary objects exist at different times? It has triggered a program of recovery whereby the main views from the classical debate, previously expressed using the language of temporal mereology, have been redefined in a locational framework. In this paper, I extend this program to the stage theory of persistence, the view according to which objects are instantaneous three-dimensional stages which exist at different times by virtue of having counterparts at these times. I offer a new characterization of the view, the first in a purely locational language, and argue that this locational approach helps dissolve confusions about the view.

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will be meeting on Mondays from 4:15 to 6:15 in room TBD of the Graduate Center, CUNY (365 5th Avenue). The (provisional) schedule is as follows:

Feb 4. Melvin Fitting, CUNY

Feb 11. Benjamin Neeser, Geneva


Feb 25. Achille Varzi, Columbia

Mar 4. Eric Bayruns Garcia, CUNY

Mar 11. Romina Padro, CUNY

Mar 18. Jeremy Goodman, USC

Mar 25. Kit Fine, NYU

Apr 1. Elena Ficara, Paderborn

Apr 8. Chris Scambler, NYU

Apr 15.  Jenn McDonald, CUNY


Apr 29. Tommy Kivatinos, CUNY

May 6. Daniel Durante, Natal

May 13. Martina Botti, Columbia

May 20. Vincent Peluce, CUNY

Philosophy of Language Workshop @ NYU Philosophy Dept. rm 302
Feb 11 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

We’re a community of philosophers of language centered in New York City. We have a meeting each week at which a speaker presents a piece of their own work relating to the philosophy of language.

28 January
Luca Incurvati (ILLC/Amsterdam)

4 February
Dan Hoek (NYU)

11 February
Peter Klecha (Swarthmore)

25 February
Ginger Schultheis (NYU/Chicago) and
David Boylan (Rutgers)

4 March
Chris Tancredi (Keio University, Tokyo)

11 March

25 March
Yael Sharvit (UCLA)

1 April
Thony Gillies (Rutgers)

8 April
Yale Weiss (CUNY)

15 April
Friederike Moltmann (CNRS)

22 April
Amir Anvari (Institut Jean Nicod, ENS)

29 April
David Balcarras (MIT)

6 May
Nadine Theiler (ILLC, Amsterdam)

13 May
Valentine Hacquard (Maryland)

Social and Political Philosophy Workshop @ Law School rm 8-01
Feb 12 @ 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm
Meetings are held on Tuesdays at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus in Manhattan in the Plaza View Room, 12th Floor, Lowenstein Building (113 W. 60th St). We meet from 5:30 to 6:45 and papers are read in advance. If interested in attending, contact or
  • September 18 – Cristina Beltrán (NYU)
  • October 9 – Jennifer Scuro (New Rochelle) – “Mapping Ableist Biases: Diagnoses and Prostheses”
  • November 6 – Lillian Cicerchia (Fordham)
  • March 12 – Rahel Jaeggi (Humboldt)
  • April 9 – Ann Murphy (New Mexico), “Hunger on Campus: Continental Philosophy and Basic Needs”
  • April 16 – Rahel Jaeggi (Humboldt/IAS), “Criticism and Its Discontents: A Defense of an Immanent Critique of Forms of Life”
  • February 12 May 7 – Robin Celikates (Amsterdam/IAS), “Radical Civility? Civil Disobedience and the Ideology of Non-Violence”
Mind and Language Seminar @ NYU Philosophy Dept. rm 202
Feb 13 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Our topic for Spring 2018 will be Formal Frameworks for Semantics and Pragmatics. We’ll be investigating a range of questions in semantics and/or pragmatics which involve or are relevant to the choice between different kinds of overall structure for theories in these areas.

In most sessions, the members of the seminar will receive a week in advance, copies of recent work, or work in progress from a thinker at another university. After reading this work, students discuss it with one of the instructors on the day before the colloquium. Then at the Tuesday colloquium, the instructors give a summary review and raise criticisms or questions about the work. The author responds to these, and also to questions from the audience.


The main seminar meetings are on Tuesday from 4-7, in the second floor seminar room of the Philosophy Department. Additionally, there will be a supplementary meeting open to all students participating in the seminar (whether enrolled or not) on Mondays from 4-5, in the same location in the fifth-floor seminar room.

This seminar is open to all interested parties.

There is a googlegroups mailing list for the class. If you want to receive announcements, please add yourself to that list. (To be able to access the mailing list’s web interface, you’ll need to log into Google’s systems using an identity Google recognizes, like a Gmail address, or a NYU email address because of how NYU’s authentication systems are connected to Google. But there’s no real need to see the mailing list’s web interface. You just need some email address to be added to list, then any messages we send to the list will get forwarded to all the email addresses then registered on the list. If you want us to add an address to the list that you can’t log into Google’s systems with, just send us a message with the address you want registered.)

Schedule and Papers

Papers will be posted here as they become available. Some may be password-protected; the password will be distributed in class.

23 Jan
Introductory session (no meeting on Monday 22 Jan), Jim’s handoutSome people asked for more background reading. Here are two useful textbooks: Heim & Kratzer, then von Fintel & Heim. Here is a survey article about different treatments of pronoun anaphora. Here is a course page with links to more reading.
30 Jan
Jim Pryor (NYU, web, mail), “De Jure Codesignation
6 Feb
Mandy Simons (CMU, web, mail), “Convention, Intention, and the Conversational Record” and (with Kevin Zollman) “Natural Conventions and the Semantics/Pragmatics Divide“(Mandy is also speaking in the NYPL on Monday 5 Feb at 6:30.)
13 Feb
Paul Pietroski (Rutgers, mail), “Semantic Typology and Composition” (minor updates posted on Friday 9 Feb at 1:06 AM).
20 Feb
Karen Lewis (Columbia/Barnard, web, mail), “Anaphora and Negation” and “Discourse dynamics, pragmatics, and indefinites
27 Feb
Daniel Rothschild (UCL, web, mail), “A Trivalent Approach to Anaphora and Presupposition” and (with Matt Mandelkern) “Projection from Situations“(Daniel is also speaking in the NYPL on Monday 26 Feb at 6:30.)
6 Mar
John Hawthorne (USC, mail), (with Cian Dorr) Selections from If… : A Theory of Conditionals
13 Mar
Spring Break
20 Mar
Lucas Champollion (NYU, web, mail), (with Dylan Bumford and Robert Henderson) “Donkeys under discussion
Lucas suggests that readers who are short on time might skip or skim section 6, which is exclusively devoted to discussion of previous work.
27 Mar
Matthew Mandelkern (Oxford, web, mail), “Bounded Modality
3 Apr
Paolo Santorio (UC-San Diego, web, mail), “Conditional Excluded Middle in Expressivist Semantics” (primary) and “Nonclassical counterfactuals” (secondary)
10 Apr
Una Stojnić (Columbia, web, mail), “Discourse and Argument
17 Apr
Seth Yalcin (UC-Berkeley, web, mail), “Conditional Belief and Conditional Assertion” and “Notes on iffy knowledge
24 Apr
Stephen Schiffer (NYU, web, mail), “When Meaning Meets Vagueness (Accommodating Vagueness in Semantics and Metasemantics)” (revised 20 April)
1 May
Maria Aloni (ILLC and Philosophy/Amsterdam, web, mail), “FC disjunction in state-based semantics“(Maria is also speaking in the NYPL on Monday 30 Apr at 6:30.)
CUNY Colloquium @ CUNY Grad Center, rm 9204/5
Feb 13 @ 4:15 pm

Each colloquium is held on Wednesday at 4:15 P.M. All colloquia will take place at the Graduate Center in rooms 9204/9205 except as otherwise noted. Please call (212) 817-8615 for further information.

Download an interactive PDF version of the schedule here.

February 6 • Jerrold Katz Memorial Lecture
Ned Block (New York University)
“Perception is Non-Propositional, Non-Conceptual and Iconic”

February 13
Francesco Pupa (Nassau Community College)
“Determiners are Phrases”

February 20
Robert Rupert (University of Colorado, Boulder)
“There Is No Personal Level: On the Virtues of a Psychology Flattened from Above”

February 27
Reed Winegar (Fordham University)
“Kant on Infinity”

March 6 • Marx Wartofsky Memorial Lecture
David Schweickart (Loyola University Chicago)

March 13
Manolo Martinez (University of Barcelona)
“A Rate-Distortion Theory of Concepts”

March 20
Vanessa DeHarven (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
“The Distinctness of the Three Distinct Goods in Republic II”

March 27
Eli Friedlander (University of Tel Aviv)
“The Intuitive Intellect from Kant to Goethe”

April 3 • Prospectives’ Day
CUNY GC Faculty Panel

April 10
Daniel Harris (CUNY Hunter College)
“Indirect Communication”

April 17 • Logic Panel

  • Romina Padro (CUNY Graduate Center)
    “The Adoption Problem in Logic”
  • Saul Kripke (CUNY Graduate Center)
    “The Adoption Problem and the Quinean Conception of Logic”
  • Michael Devitt (CUNY Graduate Center)
    “The Adoption Problem: A Quinean Picture”

April 24 — No Colloquium (Spring Recess)

May 1
Arindam Chakrabarti (SUNY Stony Brook)
“Some Problems Concerning Touch, Touching and the Self-Aware Body”

May 8
Briana Toole (CUNY Baruch College)
“The Not-So-Rational Racist: Articulating a New Epistemic Duty”

Carl Sachs: “Avoiding Foundationalism And Idealism: How Sellarsian Picturing Overcomes the Myth of the Given” @ Wolff Conference Room, D1103
Feb 14 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Wilfrid Sellars (1912-1989) is well-known for his “Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind” (EPM) in which he criticizes empiricist theories of knowledge acquisition. Empiricism, he argues there, relies on what he calls “the Myth of the Given.” The Myth of the Given is often understood as a dilemma for epistemological foundationalism. However, Sellars also remarks that not even Kant and Hegel (“that great foe of immediacy” EPM §1) were entirely free of “the entire framework of givenness”). This suggests that the Myth of the Given is not limited to the epistemological foundationalism of pre-critical dogmatic metaphysics. I shall argue (following James O’Shea) that the Myth of the Given is primarily a problem about how we should account for our cognitive awareness of the categorial structure of experience. I shall then argue that Sellars should be interpreted as arguing for a non-semantic mind-world relation, which he calls “picturing”, to explain how the Myth of the Given should be overcome.
By doing so Sellars shows how to avoid both the Given and idealism, thus overcoming a long-standing opposition within the history of philosophy since Kant. This argument is also relevant for the divide between “left-wing Sellarsians” (Rorty, McDowell, Brandom, Williams) and “right-wing Sellarsians” (Churchland, Dennett, Millikan); the left-wing Sellarsians developed the criticism of the Myth of the Given and the right-wing Sellarsians developed picturing into an account of animal cognition. On my interpretation, this divide itself is unfortunate because it leads us to overlook a fundamental coherence to Sellars’s views.

Political Theology Today as Critical Theory of the Contemporary: Reason, Religion, Humanism @ Deutsches Haus, NYU
Feb 15 – Feb 17 all-day