March 4, 2004
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.- Robert Stalnaker, the Laurence S. Rockefeller Professor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will address the question, "What is de re belief?" on Thursday, March 25, at 4:30 p.m. in the Pruyne Lecture Room in Fayerweather Hall. Stalnaker's talk, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at Amherst College and the Forry and Micken Fund in Philosophy and Science as part of a series on "Ethics, Metaphysics, and Psychology of Belief," will be free and open to the public.
Stalnaker's teaching and research interests are in philosophical logic, the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language. He is the author of Inquiry (1984) and of a series of papers on the logic and semantics of conditionals, most of which are included in an anthology on conditionals, Ifs, edited by W. Harper, G. Pearce, and Stalnaker (1981). He also has written on the semantics and pragmatics of natural language. His papers extending ideas he set out in Inquiry, on the problem of intentionality and the relation between language and thought, include "On What's in the Head," in Philosophical Perspectives 3 (1990) and "Narrow Content" in Propositional Attitudes (1990). His current work concerns the philosophical foundations of "possible worlds" semantics for modal and conditional logics, using this semantic framework to help clarify metaphysical questions about necessity and possibility, concepts of knowledge, common knowledge and mutual belief, inductive reasoning, rational decision-making and the relation between modality and quantification.