Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar and philosopher Tyler Burge to visit Truman

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar and philosopher Tyler Burge to visit Truman

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar and philosopher Tyler Burge to visit Truman

March 20, 2013

Phi Beta Kappa, the national honorary society championing the liberal arts, has chosen Truman as a participant in PBK’s 2012-2013 Visiting Scholars program.  Truman joins just 88 other colleges and universities across the nation in hosting a two-day visit from a nationally recognized scholar.

The scholar chosen to visit Truman is Tyler Burge, an internationally well-known and respected UCLA philosopher in the philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and metaphysics & epistemology.

Dr. Burge will be on Truman’s campus March 21 and 22.  In addition to visiting various classes, he will be giving the following two talks:

Public address
“Perception:  Origins of Mind”
Baldwin Hall Little Theater
March 21, 7:30 PM

Talk abstract: I sketch two notions of representation.  One applies to states of plants and bacteria as well as to psychological states.  The other applies exclusively to distinctively psychological states.  I hold that the latter type of representation marks one of the two primary marks of the mental.  (The other mark is consciousness.)  I argue that representation in a distinctively psychological sense emerges first in perception.  I sketch some primary features of perception, with special reference to findings of the science of perceptual psychology.  I maintain that empirical work indicates that perception, hence representational mind, first emerges in relatively simple animals­arthropods.

Student / faculty “brown bag” lunchtime discussion
“Propositional Attitudes and Reason”
SUB Activities Room (SUB 3200)
March 22, 12:00 PM

Talk abstract: I discuss the classical conception of reason as expressed by Leibniz and Kant, with an eye to reflecting on reason as a natural psychological kind.  According to this conception, (1) reasons have propositional form; (2) they are constitutively associated with propositional inference; (3) they are explanatory as well as justificatory; (4) they are constitutively open to recognition through reflection by any individual that has them; (5) they are distinctive to human beings, at least among terrestrial animals; and (6) they are always true propositions.  I accept the first three claims and reject the last three.  This paper is focused on the areas of agreement.  It lays the groundwork for the disagreements.

Please contact Chad Mohler at with any questions about Dr. Burge’s time on campus.

Dr. Burge’s visit is made possible by Phi Beta Kappa-Delta of Missouri Chapter, the School of Social and Cultural Studies, the Provost’s Office, and the Dr. Charles McClain Fund.