W. V. Quine

NEH Summer Seminar
For College and University Teachers
And Advanced Graduate Students

20th Century American Philosophy
Quine and Davidson

Gilbert Harman and Ernie Lepore
June 20 - July 29, 2011
Princeton University








FOR PARTICIPANTS ONLY (requires password)

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The seminar will meet three times a week for six weeks. Each meeting will last roughly three hours and will consist in relatively short presentations followed by intensive discussion. We will also help to arrange reading and discussion groups among the participants by themselves.

Seminar Sessions: Seminar sessions will usually begin with an introduction to the assigned topic/readings by one of the two directors, or by a seminar visitor, or by one of the participants (later in the program) followed by a long organized discussion based on questions distributed ahead of time. Our aim is to create an environment in which we can all engage in fruitful dialogue about a wide range of interesting topics.

Participant projects: In accord with NEH guidelines, participants are expected to produce the equivalent of a significant paper or a curricular proposal related in some way to the topics of the seminar. Judging from our past experiences with NEH seminars, we predict that the participants will be eager for feedback on ongoing projects and work-in-progress. This has certainly been the case in our prior experience as NEH seminar directors. (In Lepore's last NEH Seminar participants produced an invaluable collection of papers on the topic of the seminar (holism) with Lepore (and Fodor, his co-director) replying in print to each.) In short, we intend to spend much of our time working with individual participants, reading and discussing drafts of papers, and facilitating interaction among them as well as with seminar visitors. Opportunities outside the seminar: The most dramatic on-site benefit of seminars is the opportunity they provide for discussion outside formal seminar meetings. In our prior experiences, seminar participants organized discussion groups on a variety of topics. The departmental common room will be available to participants as a convenient meeting place and will help to facilitate interaction between seminar participants and members of the local philosophical community.

Participants also will be invited to seek out faculty and graduate students in both the Princeton and Rutgers programs. The cities of Princeton and New Brunswick are both sufficiently small with large comfortable departments where graduate students for certain and often faculty as well regularly work and lunch together. Between the two departments there are some 50 faculty in philosophy and another 25 in linguistics and another 25 in cognitive science and over 100 graduate students in these combined programs and disciplines. We hope to organize enough external seminar events for the seminar participants to be able to facilitate causal meetings between participants and some of these individuals.

Website and electronic communications: This website will function as a pre-seminar forum for ideas pertaining to readings, and, during the seminar period, could be used for announcements and ongoing philosophical discussions. We hope that it will function as an invaluable resource after the seminar for planning courses on the materials of the seminar at the participants' home institutions. The seminar will also use the Princeton Blackboard website to provide links to most of the seminar readings, power-point presentations, as well as allowing extra discussion among participants, visitors, and the directors.

Last edited: "June 18, 2011, 01:23 pm"