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Fabien Schang



PhD in Logic
Thesis Title: Philosophy of language and Logic, Episte;ic Logic

What is to be believed?

From a preliminary striking question: "What does 'to believe' mean?", I propose to review a number of philosophical problems related to the nature of belief and its unclear relation with close concepts like knowledge, certainty, or even faith. This is done in two steps.
First, a basic questioning is proposed about belief that includes: what to believe, who to believe, why to believe, or what for to believe. Then a meta-question results from this preliminary ones, namely: are there more "philosophical" questions among these, that is: "What is to be believed?", stressing upon both the normative aspect of belief and its main components.
The practical goal of this course is to address a broad problem of philosophy from an French-speaking perpective, thus emphasizing the main conceptual difficulties within the area of epistemology.
The theoretical goal is to see to what extent the mainstream, rationalist approach to belief (I ought to believe what is true) can be turned into an alternative, ethical approach that matches with Willam James' pragmatic truth (what I ought to believe is true).
This is made by means of a number of references, in order to challenge the main objections to a pragmatist definition of truth and the ensuing normative view of belief. One of these objections is the following: How to accept such a switch between the concepts of belief and truth without conflating belief, certainty, or even faith? In other words, doesn't a pragmatist view of truth leads to an absurd equation of morals with science, i.e. scientific and religious beliefs? A crucial distinction between morals and ethics should disentangle this conceptual situation.

The course includes four sessions that exemplify the transition from a rationalist to an ethical conception of belief.
Session1 (14th January): "What to believe? (Je suis Charlie! Je suis Charlie?)"
Session 2 (21st January): "Who to believe? (The making of belief)"
Session 3 (28th January): "Why to believe? (I believe, because I want it)"
Session 4 (4th January): "What for to believe" (Pragmatist and religious faith)

The 5th and last session will be devoted to a final examination (50% of the notes), including a text explanation and an oral test to recapitulate the whole program.

G. Bachelard : La formation de l’esprit scientifique
J. M. Bochenski : The Logic of Religion
J. Bouveresse : Peut-on ne pas croire ?
J. Bouveresse : La force de la règle (l’invention de la nécessité)
P. Engel : "Une épistémologie sociale peut-elle être aléthiste?"
E. Kant : La religion dans les limites de la simple raison
B. L. Keeley : "Of Conspiracy Theories"
L. Maury : "Ferdinand Buisson et la Foi Laïque"

"The Ethics of Belief": http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-belief/
"Doxastic Voluntarism": http://www.iep.utm.edu/doxa-vol/

Editorial board membership

2015–2015: Member of the Editorial Board, Studia Humana.



Article Schang F., Costa-Leite A. Une sémantique générale des croyances justifiées // Logique et Analyse. 2017 (in press)











Article Schang F. Truth and Truthmakers. A Reply to Bourne's Negation // The Reasoner. 2007


The Ontology of Negativity

Rule Following: Reason, Reasoning, Rationality

HSE Semantics & Pragmatics Workshop

On September 30 - October 1, 2016,  an international Semantics & Pragmatics Workshop was held at HSE. The event was organized by the School of Linguistics, the School of Philosophy and the Formal Philosophy Research Group.

The First HSE Semantics & Pragmatics Workshop was held on 30 September and 1 October 2016.

The First HSE Workshop on Semantics and Pragmatics took place on September 30 and October 1 in Moscow. The first HSE Semantics and Pragmatics workshop was held on September 30 and October 1 in Moscow. The workshop was organized by a Research group “Formal Philosophy”, School of Philosophy and School of Linguistics.

New Voices: Research Projects and Ideas

In 2015 HSE laboratories and centres chose 24 scholars as post-doctoral fellows in the fields of philosophy, history, data analysis, finance, and cognitive studies. University bulletin HSE Look introduces these researchers as well as the teams with which they are now working.