Project

Back to overview

Sign, Meaning, Reference (SIMERE). A Semiotic Epistemology for Conceptual Engineering

Applicant Isaac Manuel Gustavo
Number 171736
Funding scheme Early Postdoc.Mobility
Research institution Institute for Logic, Language & Computation University of Amsterdam (ILLC)
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Philosophy
Start/End 01.04.2017 - 30.09.2018
Show all

Keywords (6)

Philosophy of semantics; Epistemology; Philosophy of language; Conceptual engineering; Intentionalism; Semiotics

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Inscrit dans le cadre d’une approche sémiotique intentionnaliste de la théorie des concepts, le projet SIMERE-SECE vise à fonder l’épistémologie des systèmes sémiotiques par la modélisation d’une théorie de la signification référentielle qui justifie méthodologiquement la possibilité de la connaissance conceptuelle.
Lay summary

Chacune d’entre nos activités cognitives, pratique autant que théorique, porte sur quelque chose. Pour accéder à ces choses alors visées, tantôt abstraites tantôt concrètes, réelles ou idéelles, nous élaborons des systèmes de concepts. À n’en point douter, la qualité de notre cognition — sa correction et son adéquation, son utilité ou sa fécondité — dépend de la qualité de notre conceptualisation. Et cependant, dans la plupart des cas, cette même conceptualisation repose sur des systèmes de signes, qu’ils soient visuels, tactiles, auditifs, ou autre. Ainsi, à l’encontre de la position internaliste dominante selon laquelle ce à quoi nous nous référons dans nos activités cognitives est uniquement déterminé par nos états mentaux conceptuels, il semble plus exact et pertinent de supposer que la structuration même de nos systèmes conceptuels, objectifs et abstraits, procède des usages, subjectifs et concrets, de systèmes sémiotiques que nous faisons, en tant qu’agents cognitifs, en vue d’atteindre telle ou telle chose visée. Le projet SIMERE-SECE développe cette approche sémiotique intentionnaliste d’une théorie générale des concepts. Son objectif principal est de fonder l’épistémologie des systèmes sémiotiques par la modélisation d’une théorie de la signification référentielle qui justifie méthodologiquement la possibilité de la connaissance conceptuelle. Le résultat obtenu sera alors mis en œuvre comme technique de conceptualisation optimisant notre relation cognitive aux choses désignées par nos systèmes de signes.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 02.03.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
How to conceptually engineer conceptual engineering?
Isaac Manuel Gustavo (2020), How to conceptually engineer conceptual engineering?, in Inquiry, 1-24.
How Do We Know Things with Signs? A Model of Semiotic Intentionality
IsaacManuel Gustavo (2017), How Do We Know Things with Signs? A Model of Semiotic Intentionality, in IfCoLoG Journal of Logics and their Applications, 4(11), 3863-3704.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Dr. Richard Menary @ Center for Agency, Values, and Ethics (Macquarie University) Australia (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Karin Frick @ Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Prof. Dr. David Chalmers @ Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness (New York University) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Dr. Édouard Machery @ Center for Philosophy of Science (University of Pittsburgh) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Dr. Kevin Scharp @ Arché Philosophical Research Center (University of St Andrews) Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Markus Iofcea @ UBS Y Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Dr. Jessica Dehler @ Coorpacademy Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Conceptual Engineering Seminar Individual talk Conceptual Engineering: Foundational and Methodological Issues 25.10.2018 University of St Andrews, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Isaac Manuel Gustavo;
6th World Congress and School on Universal Logic (UNILOG) Talk given at a conference A Systematic Unified Framework for Conceptual Engineering: Part III 19.07.2018 University of Clermont-Ferrand, France Isaac Manuel Gustavo;
6th World Congress and School on Universal Logic (UNILOG) Talk given at a conference A Systematic Unified Framework for Conceptual Engineering: Part III 19.07.2018 University of Clermont-Ferrand, France Isaac Manuel Gustavo;
Extra Talk Individual talk The SUFCE Project 17.07.2018 University of Amsterdam, Netherlands Isaac Manuel Gustavo;
8th Conference of the Society of Analytic Philosophy (SoPhA) Talk given at a conference The Theoretical Foundations of Conceptual Engineering 04.07.2018 Catholic University of Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium Isaac Manuel Gustavo;
6th World Congress and School on Universal Logic (UNILOG) Talk given at a conference A Systematic Unified Framework for Conceptual Engineering: Part Ii 19.06.2018 University of Clermont-Ferrand, France Isaac Manuel Gustavo;
Machery Day Talk given at a conference Naturalized Conceptual Analysis 01.06.2018 University of Amsterdam, Netherlands Isaac Manuel Gustavo;
Departmental Lunch Talk Individual talk The Foundations of Conceptual Engineering 23.02.2018 University of Amsterdam, Netherlands Isaac Manuel Gustavo;
LoLa Day @ ILLC Talk given at a conference Reshaping the World: A Systematic Unified Framework for Conceptual Engineering 26.01.2018 University of Amsterdam, Netherlands Isaac Manuel Gustavo;
Cambridge Mind Seminar Individual talk Conceptual Engineering: Cognition and Concepts 23.01.2018 Cambridge University, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Isaac Manuel Gustavo;
ConceptLab Core Seminar Individual talk An Epistemological Background for Conceptual Engineering 16.01.2018 University of Oslo, Norway Isaac Manuel Gustavo;
Anticipation 2017 Talk given at a conference SECE for Cognitive Futurology 09.11.2017 London School of Advanced Studies, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Isaac Manuel Gustavo;
Logic of Conceivability Seminar Individual talk Review of Floridi (2011) 01.11.2017 University of Amsterdam, Netherlands Isaac Manuel Gustavo;
Logic of Conceivability Seminar Individual talk Review of Cappelen (2017) 25.10.2017 University of Amsterdam, Netherlands Isaac Manuel Gustavo;
Amsterdam Metaphysics Seminar Individual talk Modeling Semiotic Intentionality 27.09.2017 University of Amsterdam, Netherlands Isaac Manuel Gustavo;
9th European Congress for Analytic Philosophy (ECAP) Talk given at a conference Re-thing Intentionality: A Semiotic Epistemology for Conceptual Engineering 25.08.2017 Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, Germany Isaac Manuel Gustavo;
The World in Us: Gestalt Structure, Phenomenology and Embodied Cognition Talk given at a conference Semiotic Epistemology for Multi-E Cognition 08.07.2017 University of Edinburgh, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Isaac Manuel Gustavo;
DiP Colloquium Individual talk The SIMERE-SECE Project 23.06.2017 University of Amsterdam, Netherlands Isaac Manuel Gustavo;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
DiP Lecture w/ Prof. Richard Menary 27.10.2018 University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
APES Lecture w/ Prof. Édouard Machery 01.06.2018 University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Workshop on "Philosophy within its Proper Bound" (OUP 2017) 01.06.2018 University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Masterclass w/ Prof. Richard Menary 27.10.2017 University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Workshop on The Cultural Evolution of Social Cognition 26.10.2017 University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
DiP Lecture w/ Prof. Édouard Machery 23.06.2017 University of Amsterdan, Netherlands

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Anticipation 2017 Forum Talk 09.11.2017 Senate House, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Isaac Manuel Gustavo;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Conceptual Engineering Beyond Academia Winterschool for Thinktankers 2019 @ Think Tank Hub Geneva International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) SIMERE-SECE Newsletter International 2017

Awards

Title Year
Beatriu de Pinós Fellowship (BP2017) < Catalan Agency for Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR) 2018
CLUE+ Symposium Grant < CLUE+ Research Institute for Culture, History and Heritage < Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 2018
ABC Symposium Grant < Amsterdam Brain and Cognition (ABC) < University of Amsterdam 2017

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
183807 Reshaping the World: A Systematic Unified Framework for Conceptual Engineering 01.12.2019 Postdoc.Mobility

Abstract

All our cognitive activities, whether practical or theoretical, are about something. To access those intended references, whether abstract or concrete, real or ideal, we design networks of concepts. Now, it is clear that the quality of our cognition-its correctness and adequacy, its usefulness or fecundity-mostly depends on the quality of our conceptual designs. And yet in most cases, such designs further rely on semiotic systems. Thus, against a common internalist account according to which what we refer to in our cognitive activities is solely determined by our conceptual mental states, a more relevant and accurate view is that the structuring of our abstract objective networks of concepts proceeds from our concrete subjective uses of symbolic systems to intend some reference(s) as cognitive agents. The project further investigates this semiotic-intentionalist based approach to conceptual engineering, which is still underexploited in the analytic tradition. Against the pluralistic background of the theory of sign, theory of language, and epistemology, its overarching aims are to develop a systematic framework for the study and interpretation of semiotic referential meaning as a dynamic cognitive process, and then to test the philosophical significance of the framework through its application to clusters of issues in conceptual engineering. The specific research questions it will address are: Can the subjective operations with semiotic systems be methodologically justified in the process of obtaining objective contents of knowledge? Can this justification be achieved in the framework an homogeneous theory of semiotic referential meaning for the semantics of both formal and natural languages? And can such a theory be formalized? The hypotheses of research to tackle these issues will rely on the reappraisal of the interconnection between intension and intentionality with respect to the logical interactionist program in proof-theoretic semantics. And on the premise that the significance of proof-theoretic semantics for the epistemology of semiotics largely remains to be exploited, the method to conduct research will proceed to identify the philosophical assumptions and conceptions underlying logical interactionism, to assess the actual effects of those determinations by establishing connections between philosophical issues and formal methods, and finally, to exploit the philosophical potential of such effects by the development of a theoretical model of referential meaning that methodologically justifies the possibility of semiotic cognition and thereby provides new foundations for the epistemology of semiotics systems. Thus impelled to innovate in a relatively unexplored research area, the project will impact on semiotic design with a broad spectrum of outreach and applications in conceptual engineering, within and outside philosophy. Such an overall systematization of the semiotic-intentionalist based approach to conceptual engineering is therefore of the utmost importance.
-