Workshop on Philosophical Methodology: What is Philosophy About?
One of the hottest topics in the philosophy of logic and language is aboutness – what it is for a text to be about a subject matter. The debate centres on Stephen Yablo’s Aboutness (2014). In this book, he proposes an account of subject matter as the set of sets of possible worlds making a statement true (“trueways”) or false (“falseways”), and explores its applications in a variety of areas, including confirmation theory, epistemology and epistemic scepticism, truthmaking, (pre-)supposition, fictional statements and metaphors. Since its appearance, efforts have been made to develop competing accounts of subject matter (e.g. by Fine (2018), Schipper (2017, 2018), Hawke (2018)) and to apply aboutness in other areas (e.g. in hyperintensionality (Leitgeb 2017, 2018), or imagination (Berto 2018)). However, so far, aboutness has not been turned on philosophy. For this 3rd workshop in the WFAP’s metaphilosophy series, we are therefore inviting Stephen Yablo to consider what philosophy itself is about.
We invite advanced graduate students and early career researchers to contribute high-quality papers on one of the following or related topics, taking Yablo’s work into account:
- What role can aboutness play in philosophy?
- What role should aboutness play in philosophy?
- Is philosophy a subject matter?
- What is aboutness? What is a subject matter? What role do they play in metaphilosophy?
- What sort of thing can have a subject matter?
- What is it to be partly about a subject matter? What is it to share a subject matter?
- Does philosophy, or can philosophy, share (a) subject matter(s) with other disciplines?
- Is a discipline defined by its subject matter?
- What role does a subject matter play in(self-) defining a discipline?