Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Aim of Belief

Oslo, June 2009

Conference Announcement and Call for Respondents

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

Conference website: http://www.csmn.uio.no/events/2009/aim_of_belief.xml


Pascal Engel (Geneva)
Kathrin Glüer-Pagin & Åsa Wikforss (Stockholm)
Anandi Hattiangadi (Oxford)
Paul Horwich (NYU)
David Papineau (King’s College, London)
Nishi Shah (Amherst)
Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (Aarhus)
Ralph Wedgwood (Oxford)
Timothy Williamson (Oxford)
Timothy Chan (Oslo)

Registration is FREE. Registration deadline: 15th May, 2009.

Please email your name and affiliation to: t.h.w.chan@ifikk.uio.no

We invite postgraduate students and recent Ph.D. graduates to be respondents to some of the plenary talks. Subsides for travel and accommodation expenses will be available to successful applicants. See below for deadline and details.

Theme of conference:

The theme of the conference will be 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.


We invite respondents to present brief replies (about 10 minutes) to the plenary talks, to open the question and discussion sessions. Interested postgraduate students and recent graduates (up to three years after obtaining Ph.D.) are welcome to submit applications consisting of:

A short CV, with name(s) of thesis supervisor(s) or referee(s);
A statement of up to 200 words explaining your interest in the conference; including
Names of up to 3 speakers you would like to respond to.

*** Submission DEADLINE: 1st April, 2009 ***

Notifications of acceptance: 27th April, 2009

The organizers will pay for the successful applicants’ travel expenses within Europe (or a similar amount of subsidy for applicants travelling from outside Europe), accommodation in Oslo and conference meals. Written drafts of the talks will be made available to the respondents by 31st May, 2009.

For further information please contact Timothy Chan t.h.w.chan@ifikk.uio.no

The Centre for Study of Mind and Nature is a Norwegian Centre of Excellence funded by the Norwegian Research Council. We are grateful for the Council’s generous support which makes this event possible.

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