Potential topics of interest (in no particular order)

  • Teleosemantics & Biological Functions
    How best to account for biological functions, biological functions and natural norms, proper functions; addressing standing objections to teleosemantics (e.g., functional indeterminacy, content indeterminacies, truth conditions)
  • Kinds of Signs & Their Applications
    Millikan’s notions of natural signs, intentional signs, infosigns, self-signs 
  • Language
    Nature and origins of meaning, rules, conventions, relationship to Grice, direct reference/causal views, varieties of ‘linguistic constructions’, linguistic understanding as a form of perception  
  • Animal Minds & Communication
    Non-human animal mental representations, animal rationality and reasoning, communicative signals, mindreading 
  • Mental Representation
    Concepts vs. unicepts, relationship between unicepts, unitrackers, and mental representations, types of unicepts and types of mental representations 
  • Learning & Development
    Development of unicepts, moving from pushmi-pullyu representations to detached (‘factic’) beliefs and goal representations/ desires 
  • Pushmi-Pullyu Representations, Affordances & Their Applications
    The nature of pushmi-pullyus and their relationship to perceptual and other mental representations, the relation of pushmi-pullyu representation to the perception of affordances, human and animal action, emotions, intentions, motor representations, sense of agency, ‘thick’ concepts, descriptive-directive ethical judgments
  • ‘Differences between us and them’
    Millikan’s views on the differences between human and nonhuman minds 
  • Naturalism and Knowledge
    Externalism, types of knowledge (e.g., factual vs practical/ knowledge-how), role of natural kinds, naturalist methodology 

Submission Guidelines 

We invite short papers of roughly 3,000 words excluding references that are accessible to an interdisciplinary audience. The papers should be suitable for a 20-25 minute presentation and include an abstract of 250 words.  Please prepare the paper for a blind review by removing any author identifying information from the paper and including a separate cover sheet with the title of the paper, author’s name, and information. 

The deadline to submit abstracts is April 15, 2023. Please email paper submissions to: Notification of acceptance: July 1st, 2023

Organizing committee

Millikan Fest Organizing Committee: Dorit Bar-On (UConn), Alison Springle (University of Oklahoma), Nimra Asif (UConn), Hong Yu Wong (Tubingen University), Krisztina Orban (Tubingen University), Drew Johnson (Oslo University), and Aliyar Ozercan (UConn)