Registration to Departmental Seminar, Department of Philosophy (15 Nov 2021)

Date: 15 Nov 2021 (Mon)
Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm
Venue: Room 220, Fung King Hey Building (Limited seats. Registrations will be handled on a first come, first served basis) with synchronous online broadcasting on Zoom

Speaker: Prof. Zheng Yujian
Visiting Scholar, Department of Philosophy, CUHK
Visiting Scholar, Department of Philosophy, Lingnan University

Title: Varieties of Analyticity and a notion of Retrospective A Priori

Motivated by Debating the A Priori (P. Boghossian & T. Williamson 2020), this talk is an initial attempt to engage some of its main issues from a particular angle, viz., how to justify a notion of retrospective a priori (closely associated with a technical notion of path-dependent necessity). The overarching questions of the book concern the nature of armchair knowledge (which distinctively characterizes philosophy in general), and the relationship between analyticity, apriority, and necessity (which had become especially intriguing after Kripke 1980). I will briefly lay out a few preliminary notions (such as metaphysical vs epistemological conceptions of analyticity introduced by Boghossian 1996) before I get to my own argument for the tenability of retrospective a priori. The argument will draw on Davidson’s idea about converting a causal statement into one of superficial analyticity, as well as Lewis’s well-known counterfactual analysis of causation. The upshot of the talk might hopefully shed some light on the general prospect of doing fruitful armchair philosophy within a broad naturalistic framework and without transgressing into the non-armchair territory of science.

Tel: 3943 7135