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Workshop: Subject and Object

27 February - 28 February

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Subject and Object, a workshop with Adrian Haddock (Stirling/Leipzig) The Subject and Object workshop, for which Utrecht University’s Unified Pluralism project collaborates with Leipzig’s FAGI (Research Center for Analytic German Idealism), is concerned with a book manuscript by Adrian Haddock, entitled “Subject and Object”, subtitled “How the I of Apperception Finds Itself in the World” (full abstract below). This book is concerned with an insight that runs through the history of philosophy, and comes to perhaps its most explicit expression…
Subject and Object, a workshop with Adrian Haddock (Stirling/Leipzig) The Subject and Object workshop, for which Utrecht University’s Unified Pluralism project collaborates with Leipzig’s FAGI (Research Center for Analytic German Idealism), is concerned with a book manuscript by Adrian Haddock, entitled “Subject and Object”, subtitled “How the I of Apperception Finds Itself in the World” (full abstract below). This book is concerned with an insight that runs through the history of philosophy, and comes to perhaps its most explicit expression in Kant, and Wittgenstein. In “material” terms, the insight is that the subject is not an object, and, relatedly, that subjectivity is not a property.  In “formal” terms, the insight is that subjective discourse is not objective discourse, in that it does not have the form of reference and predication. All contributions to this workshop will be in direct conversation with this book manuscript. Adrian Haddock will himself be present to present the themes and theses of his book, and to respond to each talk directly. We hope in this way to create an international forum for this most promising book, even before it reaches the final stage of publishing – while also allowing its author to take up what happens at our workshop in working towards its final version.   What: Workshop on Subject and Object Where: Sweelinckzaal, Drift 21, Utrecht When: Thursday 27 and Friday 28 February 2020 Registration: Attendance is free, but participants should register here. More information: https://unifiedpluralism.sites.uu.nl/workshops/     Abstract Subject and Object (provided by Adrian Haddock)   This book is concerned with an insight that runs through the history of philosophy, and comes to perhaps its most explicit expression in Kant, and Wittgenstein.  In “material” terms, the insight is that the subject is not an object, and, relatedly, that subjectivity is not a property.  In “formal” terms, the insight is that subjective discourse is not objective discourse, in that it does not have the form of reference and predication. The paradigms of subjective discourse are sentences in the first person: “I think that p”, “I perceive X”, and “I am doing A”.  And most contemporary philosophy takes it for granted that, in these sentences, something is referred to (with “I”), and something is predicated of this thing (with the rest).  It assimilates subjective discourse to objective discourse.  That is the fundamental mark of its naturalism—its assumption that philosophy is not a *sui generis* activity—and many of the prevailing orthodoxies of contemporary philosophy are a reflection of this.  But the assimilation is unintelligible.  Unless these two modes of discourse are formally distinct, it is not possible to make sense of either. But the insight is difficult.  If the world is the world of objects—the referents of singular terms—then there are no subjects “in the world”.  It can seem that the only idea of the subject is that of the *I* of apperception: the limit of the world, and not a part of it.  The very idea of a manifold of subjects can seem to dissolve.  And that is equally unintelligible.  The idea of objective discourse depends for its intelligibility on the idea of a manifold of subjects.   That sets a task for philosophy: to respect the opening insight, but without dissolving the idea of this manifold.  And that is the task of this book. The book proceeds by considering some foundational issues in analytic philosophy: the semantics of the first person; the form of indirect discourse; the idea of private ostensive definition; the use/mention distinction; and the philosophical significance of tense.  In so doing, it develops a conception of the nexus of objectivity and subjectivity with consequences for many of philosophy’s central concerns: judgment, language, perception, action, time—and philosophy itself.   Program   Thursday February 27 09:45    Coffee/tea/opening (Jesse Mulder, Dawa Ometto, Robin Riemersma) 10:00    Précis of Subject and Object (Adrian Haddock, Stirling/Leipzig). Chair: Robin Riemersma 10:45    Coffee break 11:15    Talk (Dawa Ometto, Leipzig University) Replies by Adrian Haddock; discussion. Chair: Jesse Mulder 12:30    Lunch break 14:30    Talk (Robert Craven, Birkbeck) Replies by Adrian Haddock; discussion. Chair: Wolfram Gobsch 15:45    Coffee break 16:15    Talk (Rose Ryan Flinn, NYU) Replies by Adrian Haddock; discussion. Chair: Wolfram Gobsch 17:30    Dinner with speakers     Friday February 28 09:45    Coffee/tea 10:00    Talk (Jesse Mulder+Niels van Miltenburg, UU) Replies by Adrian Haddock; discussion. Chair: Alec Hinshelwood 11:15    Coffee break 11:30    Talk (Vanessa Carr, Leipzig University) Replies by Adrian Haddock; discussion. Chair: Alec Hinshelwood 12:45    Lunch break 14:30    Talk (Steven Methven, Leipzig University) Replies by Adrian Haddock; discussion. Chair: Dawa Ometto 15:45    Coffee break 16:15    Talk and discussion (Adrian Haddock) General discussion 17:30    Drinks; The End

Details

Start:
27 February
End:
28 February

Subject and Object, a workshop with Adrian Haddock (Stirling/Leipzig)

The Subject and Object workshop, for which Utrecht University’s Unified Pluralism project collaborates with Leipzig’s FAGI (Research Center for Analytic German Idealism), is concerned with a book manuscript by Adrian Haddock, entitled “Subject and Object”, subtitled “How the I of Apperception Finds Itself in the World” (full abstract below).

This book is concerned with an insight that runs through the history of philosophy, and comes to perhaps its most explicit expression in Kant, and Wittgenstein. In “material” terms, the insight is that the subject is not an object, and, relatedly, that subjectivity is not a property.  In “formal” terms, the insight is that subjective discourse is not objective discourse, in that it does not have the form of reference and predication.

All contributions to this workshop will be in direct conversation with this book manuscript. Adrian Haddock will himself be present to present the themes and theses of his book, and to respond to each talk directly. We hope in this way to create an international forum for this most promising book, even before it reaches the final stage of publishing – while also allowing its author to take up what happens at our workshop in working towards its final version.

 

What: Workshop on Subject and Object
Where: Sweelinckzaal, Drift 21, Utrecht
When: Thursday 27 and Friday 28 February 2020

Registration: Attendance is free, but participants should register here.

More information: https://unifiedpluralism.sites.uu.nl/workshops/

 

 

Abstract Subject and Object (provided by Adrian Haddock)

 

This book is concerned with an insight that runs through the history of philosophy, and comes to perhaps its most explicit expression in Kant, and Wittgenstein.  In “material” terms, the insight is that the subject is not an object, and, relatedly, that subjectivity is not a property.  In “formal” terms, the insight is that subjective discourse is not objective discourse, in that it does not have the form of reference and predication.

The paradigms of subjective discourse are sentences in the first person: “I think that p”, “I perceive X”, and “I am doing A”.  And most contemporary philosophy takes it for granted that, in these sentences, something is referred to (with “I”), and something is predicated of this thing (with the rest).  It assimilates subjective discourse to objective discourse.  That is the fundamental mark of its naturalism—its assumption that philosophy is not a *sui generis* activity—and many of the prevailing orthodoxies of contemporary philosophy are a reflection of this.  But the assimilation is unintelligible.  Unless these two modes of discourse are formally distinct, it is not possible to make sense of either.

But the insight is difficult.  If the world is the world of objects—the referents of singular terms—then there are no subjects “in the world”.  It can seem that the only idea of the subject is that of the *I* of apperception: the limit of the world, and not a part of it.  The very idea of a manifold of subjects can seem to dissolve.  And that is equally unintelligible.  The idea of objective discourse depends for its intelligibility on the idea of a manifold of subjects.

 

That sets a task for philosophy: to respect the opening insight, but without dissolving the idea of this manifold.  And that is the task of this book. The book proceeds by considering some foundational issues in analytic philosophy: the semantics of the first person; the form of indirect discourse; the idea of private ostensive definition; the use/mention distinction; and the philosophical significance of tense.  In so doing, it develops a conception of the nexus of objectivity and subjectivity with consequences for many of philosophy’s central concerns: judgment, language, perception, action, time—and philosophy itself.

 

Program

 

Thursday February 27

09:45    Coffee/tea/opening (Jesse Mulder, Dawa Ometto, Robin Riemersma)

10:00    Précis of Subject and Object (Adrian Haddock, Stirling/Leipzig). Chair: Robin Riemersma

10:45    Coffee break

11:15    Talk (Dawa Ometto, Leipzig University)

Replies by Adrian Haddock; discussion. Chair: Jesse Mulder

12:30    Lunch break

14:30    Talk (Robert Craven, Birkbeck)

Replies by Adrian Haddock; discussion. Chair: Wolfram Gobsch

15:45    Coffee break

16:15    Talk (Rose Ryan Flinn, NYU)

Replies by Adrian Haddock; discussion. Chair: Wolfram Gobsch

17:30    Dinner with speakers

 

 

Friday February 28

09:45    Coffee/tea

10:00    Talk (Jesse Mulder+Niels van Miltenburg, UU)

Replies by Adrian Haddock; discussion. Chair: Alec Hinshelwood

11:15    Coffee break

11:30    Talk (Vanessa Carr, Leipzig University)

Replies by Adrian Haddock; discussion. Chair: Alec Hinshelwood

12:45    Lunch break

14:30    Talk (Steven Methven, Leipzig University)

Replies by Adrian Haddock; discussion. Chair: Dawa Ometto

15:45    Coffee break

16:15    Talk and discussion (Adrian Haddock)

General discussion

17:30    Drinks; The End

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