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Colloquium (Harvey Lederman, Princeton)

Thursday October 20, 2022, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

As speaker for our second Fall 2022 colloquium, the department is delighted to welcome Harvey Lederman, professor and Jonathan Edwards Bicentennial Preceptor at Princeton University. Dr. Lederman has broad interests in contemporary philosophy and in the history of philosophy. He is currently working on two larger projects, one about Frege’s puzzle, and one about the moral psychology and epistemology of the great Ming dynasty philosopher Wang Yangming (1472-1529). In March 2022, he, together with P. J. Ivanhoe and Snow Xueyin Zhang, an international conference on Wang Yangming, Wang Yangming and Ming Thought. Dr. Lederman also organized the Princeton Talks in Epistemology and Metaphysics (TEAM) conference series in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Talk Title

Trying without Fail (with Ben Holguín)

Talk Abstract

An action is agentially perfect if and only if, if a person tries to perform it, they succeed, and, if a person performs the action, they try to. We argue that trying itself is agentially perfect: if a person tries to try to do something, they try to do it; and, if a person tries to do something, they try to try to do it. We discuss how this claim sheds new light on the idea that basic actions are themselves tryings, as well as on the logical structure of intentional action. On the way to these central ideas, we extend important work by Hornsby (1995) and Ludwig (1992), offering new arguments for the claims that a person can try to do something even if they believe it is impossible that they will succeed, that a person can try to do something even if they do not want to succeed, and that a person can try to do something even if they do not intend to succeed.



Thursday October 20, 2022
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Jackman Humanities Building, Room 100 (Main Floor Lecture Hall)
170 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5R 2M8 Canada
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Boris Babic
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