CFP on meaning, etc. Deliberate or careless exclusion of women?

Looking at calls for papers, one would think there aren’t women doing philosophy at all.  And here’s another; see below.  I don’t want for a second to discourage women from responding, but the profession might as well have a deliberate policy of discouraging women from participation. 


5th International Symposium of Cognition, Logic and Communication


7-9 August 2009, Riga, Latvia.

 INVITED ORGANIZERS: Brad Armour-Garb (State University of New York at Albany, US), Douglas Patterson (Kansas State University, US), James Woodbridge (University of Nevada Las Vegas, US)



Jody Azzouni, Tufts University (US)

Simon Blackburn, University of Cambridge (UK)

Anthony Everett, University of Bristol (UK)

Mitch Green, University of Virginia (US)

Steven Gross, Johns Hopkins University (US)

James Higginbotham, University of Southern California (US)

Thomas Hofweber, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (US)

Fred Kroon, University of Auckland, (NZ)

Guy Longworth, University of Warwick (UK)

Peter Ludlow, Northwestern University (US)

Dean Pettit, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (US)

Gurpreet Rattan, University of Toronto (CA)

Stephen Schiffer, New York University (US)

Barry Smith, Birkbeck College (UK)

Jason Stanley, Rutgers (US)

 The symposium will take place on 7-9 August 2008 at the University of Latvia in Riga and is co-hosted by the Center for Cognitive Sciences and Semantics of the University of Latvia and the  Department of Philosophy at Kansas State University


Aim and Scope


Does understanding a language consist in knowing what its expressions mean? Although it may seem obvious that it does, the thesis has recently been questioned by members of a number of camps.  For example, some “inconsistency theorists” claim that because standard semantically paradoxical arguments (e.g., liar-like arguments) appear to competent speakers to be sound in virtue of meaning, this shows that linguistic competence–whatever exactly that consists in–cannot be knowledge, since what it grasps (e.g., a given semantic principle) need not be true.  Leaving aside the apparent non-factivity of linguistic competence, others  have noted that because understanding is not subject to Gettier-style cases, it follows that that notion–however it’s to be understood–cannot be knowledge.  Furthermore, some have taken standard accounts of the sub-personal nature of semantic competence to suggest that understanding might not even be worth taking as knowledge.


In a different vein, some have suggested that competent speakers can and do take on ontological commitments that they do not, or cannot, support. And so-called “pretense-theorists” (whether semantic or pragmatic) have proposed that the phenomenology of understanding is best accounted for by a fictionalist account.


In view of these developments, an extended reconsideration of the epistemic conception of understanding presses.  Possible topics, while they can include those mentioned above, are not restricted to them; the following (and relatives of them) strike us as potentially promising: views of (say) understanding , which see it is a kind of practical ability–one that falls short of knowledge; error theories that are based on the rejection of meanings qua abstracta;  skeptical views that are (roughly) along “Kripkensteinian” lines; or views that are based on works in historical traditions.


Call for Submitted papers: 


A limited number of papers will be selected for presentation at the symposium and considered for inclusion in the proceedings in the Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication.


Time allowed for presentations is 40 minutes including discussion. Submitted papers should have a maximum of 3000 words and should be accompanied by a 200 words abstract.


All submitted papers should be PREPARED FOR BLIND REVIEW, and should be sent electronically to:


DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION IS 25 APRIL 2009. Authors will be notified in May 2009.


Symposium proposal:


In addition to individual papers, the scientific committee will be considering proposals for symposia. Time allowed for symposia is 2 hours (including discussion). Symposia should include a minimum of three and a maximum of four contributions. Submissions should be clearly identified as “Symposium proposal” and include:


1)    The title of the symposium

2)    A brief description of the topic and its relevance to the conference (200 words)

3)    The name, affiliation and academic status (student, lecturer, assistant professor, etc.) of each participant

4)    The title of each contribution as well as an extended 500-1000 word abstract.

5)    The name, affiliation and academic status of the person who will be chairing the symposium


Symposium proposals should be sent electronically to:

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION IS 25 April 2009. Authors will be notified in May 2009.

Scientific Committee: Brad Armour-Garb (State University of New York at Albany, US), Matti Eklund (Cornell University, US) Sandra Lapointe (Kansas State University, US), Douglas Patterson (Kansas State University, US), Jurgis Skilters (University of Latvia, LV), James Woodbridge (University of Nevada Las Vegas, US)

$10K for great student evaluations?

Is it this simple?  In a small course, you contract with your students – they get 6K for the evaluations and you pocket 4K.

Wait!  That would be wrong.  Still, read on, from the Houston Chronicle:

The chancellor of the Texas A&M University System wants to give bonuses worth up to $10,000 to some instructors, but so far, many aren’t interested.

I’ve never had so much trouble giving away a million dollars,” Chancellor Mike McKinney said, laughing.

The voluntary pilot program being done at Texas A&M University along with the campuses in Prairie View and Kingsville will award bonuses from $2,500 to $10,000 to instructors based on end-of-the-semester critiques by students…

But faculty members have voiced concern about the program’s fairness, worried that it relies on a single evaluation method and could become a popularity contest that wouldn’t serve students. Many instructors haven’t signed up to participate; the faculty senate passed a resolution opposing the program.

Still, it meets the administrator’s goal of a quantitative measure.  And who could dismiss that?

What do you think?