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Philosophy for Lunch (on Zoom) - "Language and Reality"

May 6, 2021, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Location To receive the Zoom link, simply email <> (Get the link automatically each week by joining the e-list.)
SponsorDepartment of PhilosophyCostFreeMore Informationhttps:/‌/‌‌P4LPosted InCollege of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Are some ways of describing reality better than others? For instance, ordinary English recognizes a distinction between dogs and cats––we have different words for each sort of thing. But consider an imaginary language: Shmenglish. Shmenglish lacks the words ‘dog’ and ‘cat’ and, instead, has a single term ‘dog-cat’ that refers to anything that is either a dog or a cat. And given how the term is used in this language, Shmenglish speakers can say something true when they point to a golden retriever and exclaim, "He's a good dog-cat." Are Schmenglish speakers missing out on some feature of reality? Is English a better means of describing the world than Schmenglish? And how could we decide? In this P4L, we’ll focus on this last question and explore whether the notion of ontological structure might help us answer it.

(Image: Bob May)

• Where?
P4L is now a virtual event on Zoom. To receive the Zoom link, simply email  <

• When?
11:30AM EST–12:30PM—every Thursday. We will open the meetings at 11:15AM—come early!

• Join the E-List
If you would like to be added to the P4L e-list, please email <> You will automatically receive the Zoom link for each session.

• What is P4L?
Students, professors, and other philosophy enthusiasts close-read and discuss a few great passages of philosophy.

• Who’s invited?
No preparation or previous knowledge of philosophy is needed. Everyone is welcome!

• Should I bring anything?
Bring a beverage, and if you’re hungry, bring your actual lunch.