Monday, April 11, 2011

Summer School in Riga: David Lewis

Third Graduate International Summer School in Cognitive Sciences and Semantics
18-28 July 2011
David Lewis on Language and Mind

Invited organizer: Benj Hellie (University of Toronto)

David Lewis's groundbreaking work has set the agenda in wide areas of philosophical literature on language and mind since the late 1960s. As a philosopher, he developed the idea that 'folk' psychological theory, duly ramsified, fixes the referent of a psychological concept on a physical property; that folk theory links intentional vocabulary to the rational explanation of behavior and that natural language meaning is based in intentional psychology via a convention of truth and trustfulness. On the technical side, we find early or initial treatments of the intentional theory of perception; a compositional intensional semantics for a significant fragment of natural language; foundations for Bayesian epistemology and causal decision theory; the supervaluational approach to vagueness; an intensional semantics for the subjunctive conditional; an intensional treatment of the definite description; the canonical picture of ordinary language quantification; and the semantic influence of context.

Our seminar will introduce, draw connections among, extend, and dispute Lewis's views on these sorts of issues.

Cian Dorr (University of Oxford, UK)
Michael Glanzberg (University of California, Davis, US)
Benj Hellie (University of Toronto, CAN)
Peter Ludlow (Northwestern University, US)
Casey O'Callaghan (Rice University, US)
Gideon Rosen (Princeton University, US)
Gillian Russell (Washington University in Saint Louis, US)


The summer institute will consist of 1 course of 45 hours which is equivalent to 1 course of 3 credits. It will comprise 9 days of full time academic activities:

All enrolled participants will receive the following preparatory material in May:

a) a detailed schedule with a description of each lecture
b) a full course packet with complementary articles for each lecture.
c) a full description of the evaluation procedure and recommended
preparatory work.

Students who register will automatically be enrolled in the course “TOPICS IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF MIND, LANGUAGE AND COGNITION” offered jointly by the Center for Cognitive Sciences and Semantics of the University of Latvia and The Department of Philosophy at Kansas State University. Students enrolled will receive the equivalent of 3 credit units (45 contact hours) as part of the joint curriculum. Credits will be transferred from the University of Latvia toward a graduate course (either PhD or MA) according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Supervision and evaluation

Each student will be paired with a member of the faculty who will be responsible for the supervision of the student’s study work during the entire summer school (one-one meetings by appointment) as well as for their evaluation. The relevant information concerning the pairing will be sent with the course packet.

Admission requirements

1) being registered in or post-graduate program in philosophy or other connected discipline. Exceptionally, advanced undergraduate students will be entitled to enroll.


2) holding a graduate or post-graduate degree in philosophy or other connected discipline OR

3) working as a post-doctoral student or professionnal in this field.

Registration: enrollment forms are available at the following address:

Selection procedure

Students will be selected on the basis of 1) their prior acquaintance with the topic; 2) their overall academic merit. They will be required to provide a cv as well as a statement of purpose (see registration form).

Tuition fees

Registration fees include:

1) Participation in all academic activities and credit transfer, accommodation, meals and course packet (to be sent in advance)

Tuition fees are lower for students who register prior to 15 April 2011. The following amounts are given in Latvian Lats :

Before 15 April

Graduate students and Postdoctoral researchers 450 LVL
Professionals: 700 LVL

After 15 April

Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers 550 LVL
Professionals: 800 LVL

Partial scholarships may be available in limited numbers on the basis of need and academic merit.


The payment may be made by bank transfer to the University of Latvia.

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