Matti Eklund: “Ontology and Alien Languages”

  • Date: –12:00
  • Location: Engelska parken - Eng2-1022
  • Organiser: Department of Philosophy
  • Contact person: Matti Eklund
  • Seminarium

The Higher Seminar in Theoretical Philosophy

Matti Eklund, Uppsala University: “Ontology and Alien Languages”


Abstract
Lots of radical hypotheses get defended in metaphysics. But even the most radical metaphysicians tend to assume that the structure of reality in a certain way matches the structure of language. While there is disagreement about what objects there are, it is agreed that there are objects, with various features and standing in various relations. And insofar as there are those who dissent from this general view, the dissenters only erase some elements from this picture – they say there are no objects, or no relations, or... But might not reality contain additional, genuinely alien elements, ones it would take a fundamentally different kind of language to represent, or which for general reasons cannot be represented in language at all? Questions like these form the backdrop of the talk. But in the talk I will mainly focus on one specific issue in the vicinity: might reality be such that the best kind of language for representing reality does not contain sentences at all, but instead makes use of some sort of alternative to sentences? I will discuss three possible ways of making that elusive thought more precise.