The Aristotelian Society

The Aristotelian Society

est. 1880

The Postgraduate Session


The 88th Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association will be held at the University of Cambridge from 11 to 13 July 2014.

The Postgraduate Session occurs on the Saturday afternoon of the conference. The hundreds of submissions that the Society receives are blind reviewed and a total of eight are selected for presentation. The programme is divided into two parallel sessions ('theoretical' and 'normative') of four speakers each. Each talk lasts up to 20 minutes and is followed by an additional 10 minutes for discussion.

Exemplary papers for the Postgraduate Session will be published in next year's Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society.

The Open Sessions take place during the Saturday and Sunday afternoons of the conference. There are a large number of places available, allowing room for an extensive and diverse programme of talks. There are no restrictions on the areas of philosophy which papers may address. The intention is to accommodate all philosophical material (so far as time and space in the programme allow) that is suitable for presentation. Each Open Session talk lasts up to 20 minutes and is followed by an additional 10 minutes for discussion.

Programme details regarding the Open Session will be available soon at the official 2014 Joint Session website.

The Programme

Saturday, 12 July 2013 at 14.00


Georgi Gardiner | Postgraduate Session | Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association | Philosophy in London Since 1880

A problem for Stanley's Intellectualism about Knowledge-How

Georgi Gardiner (Rutgers)


Georgi Gardiner is a graduate student in philosophy at Rutgers University. Before studying at Rutgers she earned her M.A. and M.Sc. in philosophy from the University of Edinburgh. She specialises in epistemology and meta-philosophy. Her Masters thesis developed a virtue theoretic account of knowledge, and she currently researches questions in social epistemology, such as what is the nature of group belief. She is also particularly interested in the nature of understanding, wisdom, know how, and competences. Her advisor at Rutgers is Ernie Sosa.


Anti-intellectualism about knowledge-how claims knowledge-how is different in kind from knowledge-that. Intellectualism, by contrast, argues that knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that. One version of intellectualism, advanced by Jason Stanley holds that to know how to do something is to (propositionally) know the answer to the question “how could you do it?” In this paper I suggest a problem for this view: I argue that knowledge-how and propositional knowledge have different epistemic profiles, and I suggest a case that illustrates and motivates this claim. If correct, this paper provides support for anti-intellectualism about knowledge-how.

Andrew Stephenson | Postgraduate Session | Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association | Philosophy in London Since 1880

Kant, the Paradox of Knowability, and the Meaning of 'Experience'

Andrew Stephenson (Oxford)


Andrew Stephenson is a Career Development Lecturer at Trinity College, University of Oxford. His primary research interest is Kant's theoretical philosophy, specifically his theory of experience. His CV and some work can be found at his website: He is co-editor (with Anil Gomes) of Kant and the Philosophy of Mind: New Essays in Consciousness, Judgement, and the Self, under contract with Oxford University Press for publication in 2015. In addition to self-contained articles, he is also working on a monograph on Kant. He will be at Humboldt University in Berlin for 2014-16 on a Leverhulme award.


It is often claimed that anti-realism is a form of transcendental idealism or that Kant was an anti-realist. It is also often claimed that anti-realists are committed to some form of knowability principle to the effect that all truths (or at least all truths of a certain class) are knowable and that such principles have problematic consequences. It is therefore natural to ask whether Kant was committed to any such principle, and if he was, whether this leads him into similar difficulties. Both transcendental idealism and anti-realism aim to provide a middle way between realism and idealism. A well-known logical result appears to show that anti-realism fails in its aim because it collapses into idealism. Can a related proof show that transcendental idealism collapses in the same way? First I show that an apparently Kantian knowability principle is indeed susceptible to a Fitch-Church style proof. Then, however, I suggest that it is in fact not at all clear whether Kant himself was committed to such a principle. By ‘experience’ Kant did not always mean our everyday notion of a basic perceptual or epistemic encounter with the world. Often he had a highly technical notion in mind, something more like the ideal of final scientific knowledge. And because experience so understood is an ideal, it expresses no anti-realist knowability principle to define truth in terms of accord with experience.

Martin Steenhagen | Postgraduate Session | Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association | Philosophy in London Since 1880

Source Representationalism

Maarten Steenhagen (UCL)


Maarten Steenhagen is PhD Candidate in Philosophy at University College London. In 2014-2015 he will be a visiting researcher at the University of Toronto. Maarten received an M.Phil. Stud. from UCL and a B.A. from Utrecht University. His main work is in philosophy of psychology and perception, with a specific focus on imagery and perceptual representation. Maarten also has interests in the philosophy of psychoanalysis, metaphysics and metaethics. He co-organises the London Aesthetics Forum at the Institute of Philosophy in London, is co-editor of the Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics and a member of the Interdisciplinary Network on Sympathy, Empathy and Imagination (INSEI).


Source representationalism is the view that the sources of the sounds we hear, whenever they are heard, are represented in experience. Source representationalists may accept that auditory experience consists in a perceptual relation to particular sounds. What they deny is that hearing a sound source consists in a perceptual relation to such a source. Starting from arguments about listening to recordings, I develop a defence of the source representationalist’s thesis. I show that listening to recordings enables us to hear sound sources representationally. I then demonstrate that, given the structure and character of auditory perception, hearing a source when it is actually producing the sounds one hears is equally representational. This establishes source representationalism as a global thesis about auditory perception. This conclusion has important implications for our understanding of perceptual representation more generally.

Kyle Mitchell | Postgraduate Session | Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association | Philosophy in London Since 1880

Quantifying without Carving

Kyle Mitchell (Cambridge)


Kyle Mitchell is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and a member of Trinity College. His main research interests lie in metametaphysics, metaphysics, the philosophy of language, and pragmatism. In particular, Kyle is attempting to formulate and defend what might be called a pragmatist metaontology. He completed the MPhil in philosophy at Cambridge in 2012 under the Ludwig Wittgenstein Studentship at Trinity College. Before that, he had the pleasure of being an undergraduate at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Kyle is originally from Chicago, Illinois.


In his 2011 book, Writing the Book of the World, Ted Sider employs an indispensability argument for the thesis that quantificational structure is an objective part of the structure of the world. I argue that, not only may we reject the crucial premises of Sider’s argument, but that we can also explain all the facts that the indispensability argument purports to explain with an ideologically simpler theory: existential deflationism. I conclude that the indispensability argument gives us no compelling reasons endorse the idea that the world contains quantificational structure.


Ron Aboodi | Postgraduate Session | Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association | Philosophy in London Since 1880

What makes de-re moral motivation more virtuous than de-dicto moral motivation?

Ron Aboodi (Hebrew University)


Ron Aboodi is a PhD candidate in Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. His advisor is David Enoch. Ron participates in the Honors PhD program of the Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, and the PhD program of the Center for the Study of Rationality, both at the Hebrew University.

Ron works primarily in the areas of moral psychology (and motivation), moral uncertainty (and ignorance), and deliberation (and rationality). One of the main focuses of his dissertation is on the activity of reflective deliberation and its connection to morality. Ron's MA thesis was about 'deciding correctly even when the authoritative evaluative standard is unknown'.

Additional information can be found at Ron’s Website:


Is doing the right thing in order to behave in accordance with the moral truth as such less virtuous than doing the same right thing for the sake of some more concrete moral value (such as benevolence)? The former type of motivation has been called de-dicto moral motivation, whereas the latter - (non-derivative) de-re moral motivation. I argue that in cases where an effective de-re moral motivation is more virtuous than an effective de-dicto moral motivation (assuming that both would lead to the same right action), this is due to (1) certain applicable practical advantages of this de-re moral motivation (such as leading directly to action without wasting precious time on unnecessary reflection about the right de-dicto), or (2) certain virtuous non-deliberative dispositions the presence of which this de-re moral motivation indicates (such as an emotional attachment to a spouse). In cases where an effective de-dicto moral motivation neither indicates a lack of such virtuous non-deliberative dispositions, nor has practical disadvantages that are important enough, it is in no way less virtuous.

Carl Mildenberger | Postgraduate Session | Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association | Philosophy in London Since 1880

A Social Reason to be Rational

Carl Mildenberger (St Andrews)


Carl David Mildenberger was born in Germany and educated in Switzerland, the US, France and the UK in both economics and philosophy. He holds a BA in business from the University of St. Gallen and a PhD in economics from the University of Witten. He has studied philosophy at the Institut Catholique de Paris (BA) and in the St Andrews/Stirling Philosophy Graduate Programme (MLitt). Here, he also is currently working towards his PhD in philosophy on the topic of procedural and distributive justice. He is the author of Economics and Social Conflict (Palgrave Macmillan 2013).


The purpose of this essay is to contribute to the debate whether rationality is normative. I shall argue that in spite of the powerful arguments proposed by Kolodny (2005) and Broome (2007) there is a reason to be rational. It is a social reason to be rational. It only reveals itself once we consider individuals who interact with each other, i.e. who are in some way in a social condition. The social reason to be rational is that an agent’s being rational enables other people to explain and predict the agent’s beliefs and intentions. Put differently: rationality leads to traceability as regards the attitudes of an agent. This is valuable in the social condition, as traceability seems to be a necessary prerequisite for coordination and cooperation. Thus, I argue that there is an instrumental reason to be rational.

Benedikt Kahmen | Postgraduate Session | Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association | Philosophy in London Since 1880

'Correct Instrumental Reasoning'

Benedikt Kahmen (Bielefeld)


Benedikt Kahmen mainly works on action, reasoning and rationality. He received his undergraduate education in philosophy in Munich and Cambridge and his graduate education in Bielefeld and Oxford. He recently co-published Critical Essays on 'Causation and Responsibility' (de Gruyter 2013). He is currently completing his doctoral dissertation about intentional agency and knowledge of one's actions. He simultaneously works in strategic management.


What distinguishes correct from incorrect instrumental reasoning? In Rationality through Reasoning, John Broome suggests that correct instrumental reasoning follows what he calls the Instrumental Rule. Broome's formulation of the Instrumental Rule is meant to yield the correct result in Frances Kamm's triple effect example. I argue that his rule does not yield the correct result. My argument is based on suppositions about the relation between intention and belief. I go through each supposition, and argue for each that Broome's version of the Instrumental Rule cannot distinguish correct from incorrect instrumental reasoning. Then I suggest how to improve the Instrumental Rule.

Oded Na'aman | Postgraduate Session | Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association | Philosophy in London Since 1880

Reasons of Love: A Case Against Universalism about Practical Reason

Oded Na'aman (Harvard)


Oded Na’aman received his BA in Philosophy from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem before moving to Cambridge, MA to pursue a Ph.D in Philosophy at Harvard University. His dissertation is titled “Existential Reasons: Valuing, Loving, Regretting, and Being Oneself.” Outside academia, Oded has written articles and essays about the political, moral, and psychological aspect of military rule and about the justification of self-sacrifice. Oded is currently a Graduate Fellow at the Harvard University Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.


The paper presents an argument from love against universalism about practical reason, i.e., the view that an agent’s practical reasons normatively supervene on the agent’s circumstance. Universalism explains the different reasons you and I have by citing differences in our properties, circumstances, relationships, etc. It thus rejects the possibility that the normative differences between us are basic. But love seems to make such basic distinctions, for it gives us special reasons with regard to specific individuals. Niko Kolodny has developed the “relationship theory” in order to account for reasons of love in universal terms. I criticize Kolodny’s theory for not doing justice to love’s resistance to substitutions. Then I argue that any universal account will fail in the same way, for it would allow that the universal value instantiated in the beloved (whatever that value may be) may, at least in principle, be re-instantiated in a different beloved. Universal accounts of love would therefore fail to do justice to the loss of a loved one.  

further info

88th joint session
the aristotelian society & the mind association

11 to 13 july 2014

Faculty of Philosophy

University of Cambridge

Sidgwick Avenue

Cambridge, CB3 9DA

United Kingdom

The local organiser is Dr. Tim Button

Visit the Official Joint Session Website | View the Open & Postgraduate Session Programme | The Supplementary Volume

future joint sessions

2015 joint session:

10 - 12 july 2015

2016 joint session:

8 - 10 july 2016

2017 joint session:

7 - 9 july 2017

supplementary volume

The inaugural address and symposia for the Joint Session are published in the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume, which is published digitally and in hardcover every June. The Supplementary Volume is sent to subscribing members of the Society in categories 4 and 5.

Members in other categories can purchase the hardcover Supplementary Volume from the Online Shop. Volumes will also be available at the registration desk during the conference.

The hardcover volume is printed in black on an 80gsm white book wove stock accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Binding is in dark blue Arbelave Library Buckram over 2500 micron boards blocked in gold on the spine. This makes for a strong, attractive and durable book with a scuff resistant and wipeable cover.

Subscriptions to the Supplementary Volume also includes online access via Wiley Online Library (please note that one-off purchases of the hardcover volume do not include membership or online access).

Supplementary Volumes

past conferences

2013 joint session:

12 - 14 july 2013

2012 joint session:

6 - 8 july 2012

2011 joint session:

8 - 10 july 2011

subscribing memberships

Subscribing members receive online access to the Proceedings from 2000 to the most current issue.

Subscribing members also receive the bound, hardcover volume of the latest Proceedings through the post.