The York-Milan Workshop on Mind and Metaphysics

Friday 12 January 2018, 1.00PM to 5.30pm

Speaker: Davide Bordini and Giuliano Torrengo (Milan), Louise Richardson (York), and Nick Young (Milan)

The workshop brings together researchers working on connected topics from the University of Milan (Statale) and the University of York. 

Provisional Schedule:

13.00-14.15 Davide Bordini & Giuliano Torrengo (Milan) 'The Times of Fear'

14.30-15.45 Louise Richardson (York)

16.15-17.30 Nick Young (Milan) 'Against Hearing Sounds'


'The Times of Fear'

Emotions have a temporal orientation: they orient the focus of our conscious awareness towards what is past, present or future by having a content that can be described in tensed terms. Moreover, at least some emotion-types appear to entertain a special connection with the past, the present or the future: they are inherently temporally oriented. For example, regret seems inherently oriented towards the past. In this talk, I discuss the (inherent) temporal orientation of fear, a matter on which philosophers seem to have contrasting intuitions. According to some (e.g., Price 2006), fear is inherently present-oriented; others instead maintain that it is inherently future-oriented (e.g., Davis 1987, 1988); still others argue that it has no inherent temporal orientation at all (e.g., Roberts 2003; Prinz 2004). Despite the differences, however, all these views understand fear’s temporal orientation as one-dimensional—that is, as uniquely determined by the (represented) temporal location of the intentional object of fear. By contrast, in this talk, I present a view that presupposes a two-dimensional account of fear’s temporal orientation. On such a view, we can say that fear is inherently future-oriented, independently of its being about something in the present or in the future (or even in the past). By adopting this view, we can nicely preserve the gist of the other existing views and put some order in what otherwise looks like a bunch of contrasting intuitions.

'Against Hearing Sounds'

Sound sources or source events, are events in which material objects move or interact in such a way as to vibrate and disturb the surrounding air, such as collisions, smashings, and scrapings. On one type of account sounds are individuals produced by these events, on another they are properties of the vibrating material objects or the events themselves. Proponents of both types of view agree that sounds are not all we hear. Through hearing sounds, we can hear the source events themselves. I argue here that there is no reason to think that we hear sounds of either type, we simply hear sources. I begin by examining and responding to various arguments which purport to show that we sometimes hear individual sounds but not their sources, before going on to argue that while property views provide a straightforward account of how we can hear material objects, they cannot explain how we perceive events, nor the other properties we might learn about through hearing, such as size or density. Finally, I criticise a recent proposal put forward by Soteriou according to which we can, on occasion, hear “pure audibilia”.


Location: University of York, Spring Lane Building. Room SLB/101

Admission: Please email if interested in attending this event.