10-11:15 Sebastian Lutz, Uppsala: Abstraction and it's Applications
Comments by Peter Pagin, Stockholm.

I explicate ‘abstraction’ as an omission of all and only those consequences of a description that contain specific terms, and ‘idealization’ as a distortion restricted to such consequences. These explications ensure that abstractions can justify idealizations in the way that omissions can justify distortions. I show how omissions lead to robustness, which is illustrated by a qualitative treatment of the stationary Schrödinger equation. The relation between abstraction and idealization clarifies Pincock’s position on the role of mathematics in the sciences and can be applied to Suppes’s theory of measurement.

11:15-11:30 Break

11:30-12:45: Jonathan Shaheen, Uppsala: How General Can Theories of ‘Why’ and ‘Because’ Be
Comments by Sören Häggqvist, Stockholm.

This paper argues for a syntactic account of the difference between the explanatory, epistemic, and metalinguistic uses of 'because' appearing in (1)-(3). 

(1) He brought her moss for her terrarium because he likes her.

(2) He likes her, because he brought her moss for her terrarium.

(3) What are you doing tonight?---because there's a movie on.

Unlike other accounts in the literature, I propose a substantial element of semantic uniformity in the contribution of 'because' in each of these cases, with the apparent differences in meaning resulting from merely syntactic differences between them. In particular, the difference between the 'because' clauses in these examples is a matter of differing attachment heights. Evidence adduced for this hypothesis includes (i) the pattern of changes in the availability of certain readings in reduced conjunctions, (ii) distributional differences in terms of the constructions in which epistemic and metalinguistic 'because' can appear, (iii) ordering restrictions on stacked 'because'-clauses, and (iv) cross-linguistic evidence in connection with the evaluation of hypotheses concerning ellipsis in examples like (2) and (3). The proposed treatment is in some ways analogous to syntactic treatments of the differences between root modals and epistemic modals, though its identification of an element of semantic uniformity suggests a revision in how we should think about the relationship between ambiguity and logical form.