End of APA

31 12 2005

There were a bunch of other talks I went to, but some I didn’t understand the material enough, some I didn’t take good enough notes, and some I was just too tired for. Also, I’ll let Greg Frost-Arnold discuss his own paper (which was an interesting suggestion for semantics of non-uniquely-referring singular terms, in a sense somewhat dual to that of free logic, for non-referring singular terms). The session on Jody Azzouni‘s book (with Mike Resnik, Gideon Rosen, and Otávio Bueno criticizing, and Mark Colyvan chairing) gave me a lot of material to think about, and I’ll probably mention it several times over the course of my next several posts, rather than making one post about it.

And the “informational session” on epistemic modals by Kai von Fintel, Thony Gillies, and John MacFarlane was also excellent. I’ll let one of them with a blog discuss it first (especially since Brian Weatherson had to fill in at the last minute for Kai von Fintel – which he did excellently), unless they choose not to. At any rate, they discussed three very different aspects of the semantics of epistemic modals (“might” and “must” in claims like “oh, I see your umbrella is wet, so it must be raining” and “as far as I know, he might be in Boston”). Thony Gillies tried to claim that the models of information states he was talking about were very sexy, but I think he was beaten by John MacFarlane, who pointed out that his theory of relativism about truth might better be described as “bicontextualism”.

And it was also great to meet the many people that I did in different sessions and at the “smokers” in the evening (for non-attendees, that’s apparently what everyone calls the “reception” in the main ballroom on the middle two nights), including a bunch of readers of this blog, as well as several other bloggers. I can only hope that this conference is marginally close to as fun as this in the year that I have to go on the job market and wear a suit all day, and run back and forth between interviews instead of sessions, and impress people to hire me rather than just meeting people more casually.




2 responses

3 01 2006

I believe my claim was that dynamic semantics is way sexier than people might have antecedently thought.

5 01 2006

I suppose that’s true. But if people didn’t realize that (some versions of) relativism could also be called “bicontextualism”, then John may have convinced them that his view was way sexier than people might have thought as well.

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