23 Ottobre 2017, GENOVA, Aula Magna Scienze Umanistiche, via Balbi 2, h. 11-13
Categoria: Curriculum Episteme, Curriculum Theoretic


Kasia Jaszcolt   is professor of Linguistics and Philosophy of Language at the University of Cambridge,  Director of Studies in Linguistics at Newnham College, Cambridge. She was President of the Cambridge Institute of Language Research and Head of Department of Linguistics 2009-11. In 2012 she was elected Member of Academia Europaea. Here below a short  abstract of the talk:


The Demise of the Concept of Time:
Linguistic Evidence and Metaphysical Implications

Kasia M. Jaszczolt
University of Cambridge


Investigation into the reality ofinto metaphysical¬†time (M), the human concept of time¬†(E), and temporal reference in natural¬†language (L), entertaining the possibility of what I call a ‚Äėhorizontal¬†reduction‚Äô (L>E>M) and¬†‚Äėvertical reduction‚Äô (through modal supervenience;¬†Jaszczolt 2009, 2017a,b). I present my theory of temporalityL/E¬†as¬†epistemic modality,¬†drawing on evidence from the L domain and its correlates in¬†the E and M domains. On this view, the human concept of time is a¬†complex,¬†‚Äėmolecular‚Äô concept and can be broken down into primitive concepts that are¬†modal in nature. Put simply, on the level of the¬†conceptual building blocks,¬†the concept of time features as degrees of epistemic commitment to¬†representations of states of affairs. I¬†present some evidence from tensed and¬†tenseless languages in support of this modal view (endorsing the L>E path)¬†and point out its¬†compatibility with the view of real time as metaphysical¬†modality (endorsing the E>M path). Next, I move to the topic of the passage¬†of¬†time and the subjective ‚Äėfeeling of the rate of the passage of time‚Äô and¬†show how they can be accounted for in my modal reductionist¬†view.¬†¬†I conclude by speculating on the challenges¬†for a reductionist perspective of this kind and remark on the place for¬†A-theoretic¬†concepts in this essentially B-theoretic view (McTaggart 1908).

Selected references:

Grice, P. 2001. Aspects of Reason. Ed. by R. Warner. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Jaszczolt, K. M. 2009. Representing Time: An Essay on Temporality as Modality. Oxford: Oxford
University Press.
Jaszczolt, K. M. 2013. ‚ÄėTemporality and¬†epistemic commitment: An unresolved question‚Äô. In: K. M.
Jaszczolt & L. de Saussure (eds), Time: Language, cognition, and reality. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 193-209.
Jaszczolt, K. M. 2016. Meaning in Linguistic Interaction: Semantics, Metasemantics, Philosophy of
Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Jaszczolt, K.¬†M. 2017a. ‚ÄėTime, perspective and semantic representation‚Äô¬†Language and Cognition
https://doi.org/10.1017/langcog.2017.7. Published online 5 May 2017.
Jaszczolt, K. M. 2017b. ‚ÄėTemporal reference‚Äô.¬†In: A. Barron, Y. Gu and G. Steen (eds).¬†TheRoutledge
Handbook of Pragmatics. London: Routledge. 227-240.
McTaggart, J. E. 1908. ‚ÄėThe unreality of time‚Äô.¬†Mind¬†17. Reprinted in: J. E. McTaggart.¬†1934.¬†Philosophical
Studies. London: E. Arnold. 110-31.
Torrengo, G. 2017. ‚ÄėFeeling the passing of¬†time‚Äô.¬†Journal of Philosophy¬†114.¬†165-188.