Daniel and I gave our Backwards Explanation paper at the AAP. It survived well, even convinced a few people, so now it’s full steam ahead for its outing at the BSPC next month, where it will receive the critical attention of Alyssa Ney and Trenton Merricks. Unfortunately our presentation was scheduled up against a bunch of papers that we would have really liked to see. In fact, a downside of the AAP in general was the number of sessions which either had nothing I was particularly interested in or several very interesting papers.
My highlights from the AAP included Josh Parsons‘s talk on Assessment-Contextual Indexicality (draft available from his papers page), which sets out to see what the communicative point of assessment-context indexicals would be and why we might want a language to contain them, and Nic Southwood‘s paper which conjectured that the normativity of rationality is a matter of what we owe to ourselves. In question time I tried to persuade Nic that this view need not engender the rejection of naturalistic reductionism. Daniel Star also raised the question of what distinguises rationality from prudence, which also looks like a matter of what we owe to ourselves. There was an excellent discussion in both sessions.
Some photos should be on their way soon. (Dave Chalmers has posted some already here.)