Emar Maier received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Radboud University Nijmegen in 2006 with a thesis on the semantics of de re and de se attitude ascriptions. After working as postdoctoral researcher in Linguistics (Nijmegen) and Philosophy (ILLC/Amsterdam), he is now PI of an ERC Starting Grant project on the grey area between direct and indirect reported speech (combining formal semantics and empirical investigation of child language, sign language, and ancient Greek). His research interests include: presuppositions and dynamic semantics; reported speech and quotation; indexicals and proper names; and attitude reports. His visit to the Bochum Philosophy of Language department/Mercator Research Group will provide an opportunity for mutual exchange of ideas about philosophical and empirical issues in the study of meaning generally, and about the nature of linguistic self-reference through quotation in particular.
Presupposition, reference, attitudes, and fiction: A DRT approach.
In 4 lectures I introduce the logical framework of Discourse Representation Theory (DRT), and apply it to some foundational debates in semantics and philosophy of language. The aim is twofold: (i) use DRT as a uniform framework to introduce key themes in contemporary philosophy of mind/language (involving presupposition, proper names, indexicality, propositional attitudes, fiction), but also (ii) to pitch DRT -- esp. my Kamp-inspired brand of 'psychologistic DRT' -- as a useful tool not just for linguists, but also for philosophers.
In lecture 1
We go back to the 1980s' Dynamic Turn, i.e. the shift from 'meaning = truth conditions' to 'meaning = context change'. We discuss how the development of dynamic semantics, including Kamp's DRT and Heim's File Change Semantics, led to a breakthrough in the theory of presupposition.
- Thursday 8 February 2018, 15:00-17:00, Ecole normale supérieure (room 235A), 29 rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris
In lecture 2
I turn to philosophical problems of reference associated with proper names and indexicals, and how to deal with (direct) reference in DRT (cf. Hunter 2010). We'll also discuss two different conceptions of basic DRT: the Stalnakerian common ground model, and a more traditional 'psychologistic' model, where we're modeling the hearer's interpretation processes. I attempt to rehabilitate the latter, partly drawing on parallels with Recanati's (2012) Mental Files paradigm.
- Thursday 15 February 2018, 15:00-17:00, Ecole normale supérieure (room 235A), 29 rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris
In lecture 3
We discuss some puzzles involving attitudes and reports (de re vs de se, and so-called 'parasitic attitudes', with particular focus on Ninan's 2012 puzzle about de re imagination).
- Thursday 8 March 2018, 15:00-17:00, Ecole normale supérieure (room 235A), 29 rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris
In lecture 4
I apply the analysis of imagination to the semantics of fiction and fictional names. I end with an application to the puzzle of imaginative resistance and unreliable narrators.
- Thursday 15 March 2018, 15:00-17:00, Ecole normale supérieure (room 235A), 29 rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris