dhr. prof. dr. F. (Franz) Berto
Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
Capaciteitsgroep Philosophical Tradition in Context
Oude Turfmarkt 141 Amsterdam
Oude Turfmarkt 141
1012 GC Amsterdam
- Research Profile
- Research Grants
- Service to the Profession
- ERC Grant: The Logic of Conceivability
I teach and work on logic and metaphysics. Before coming to Amsterdam, I’ve been doing more or less the same at the University of Aberdeen UK, at the Institute for Advanced Study, University of Notre Dame IN-USA, at the Sorbonne-Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, at the Universities of Padua, Venice and Milan-San Raffaele in Italy.
I love logical paradoxes, impossible worlds, nonexistent objects, and philosophers who don’t take themselves too seriously.
2016-21 Five-year ERC Consolidator grant at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC): "The Logic of Conceivability", € 2.000.000.
2013-15 Two-year AHRC Early Career Researcher grant at the University of Aberdeen: "The Metaphysical Basis of Logic", £ 240.000.
2010-12 Two-year research grant at the Department of Philosophy, University of Venice: "The Gödel Paradox and Wittgenstein's Reasons", € 28.000.
2010-11 One-year research fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study, University of Notre Dame (USA), $ 58.000.
2010 Ca' Foscari Research Prize, University of Venice, € 10.000.
I have refereed for Analytic Philosophy, Australasian Journal of Logic, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Dialectica, Disputatio, Erkenntnis, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Journal of Philosophical Logic, Logica Universalis, Logique et Analyse, Mind, Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Studies, Review of Symbolic Logic, Southern Journal of Philosophy, Synthèse, Thought, Continuum-Bloomsbury, Oxford University Press.
The Logic of Conceivability [LoC]:
Modelling Rational Imagination with Non-Normal Modal Logics
"The human imagination remains one of the last uncharted territories of the mind."
– Ruth Byrne, The Rational Imagination
I have been given nearly 2.000.000 Euro's by the European Research Council for this Consolidator grant, lasting for five years (2017-2021) and hosted by the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation. Here's a short summary of the project:
Our mind represents non-actual scenarios to extract information from them. We cannot experience beforehand which situations are or will be actual. So we explore them in our imagination, leaving our perceptions offline: ‘What would happen if...?’. The cognitive importance of this activity is hardly overestimated.
But what is its logic? The orthodox logical treatment of representational mental states comes from modal logic’s possible worlds semantics: the modal analysis of knowledge, belief, information, was taken up by philosophy, linguistics, and Artificial Intelligence. However, the approach faces major problems. By systematically addressing them, the Logic of Conceivability (LoC) project will yield a paradigm shift in our understanding of the logic of human imagination.
One major purely logical problem is that mainstream epistemic logics model cognitive agents as logically omniscient, thus as disconnected from the reality of human, fallible minds.
One major philosophical problem concerns the entailment from conceivability to so-called absolute possibility in ‘thought experiments’ of theoretical philosophy: how does conceiving a scenario give evidence of its possibility?
LoC will address such issues via the techniques of non-classical logics with non-normal worlds semantics. It will make logically precise the distinction, taken from cognitive science, between Fast Thinking (associative, context-sensitive) and Slow Thinking (rule-based, analytic). It will show how omniscience is avoided, and evidence of absolute possibility is achieved, in different manners in the Fast and Slow Way.
Based at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, and advised by a Board of researchers from Europe, the US, and Australia, LoC will deliver high-impact outputs in top journals, a book, and knowledge dissemination results for non-specialists.
The LoC Project will host four sub-projects, within some of which researchers will be hired:
LoC I: Foundations
4-year Post-doc 1 (Logic, Analytic Philosophy)
Year 1 to 4 (2017-20)
LoC II: Core Theory & Applications
4-year Post-doc 2 (Cognitive Science)
4-year Post-doc 3 (Mathematical Logic and AI)
Year 2 to 5 (2018-21)
Loc III: Conceivability and Possibility
4-year PhD candidate (Logic and Philosophy)
Year 1 to 4 (2017-20)
LoC IV: the LoC Book
Years 4 and 5 (2020-21)
- Berto, F. (2015). 'There Is an 'Is' in 'There Is'': Meinongian Quantification and Existence. In A. Torza (Ed.), Quantifiers, Quantifiers, and Quantifiers: Themes in Logic, Metaphysics, and Language. (pp. 233-256). (Synthèse Library). Dordrecht: Springer. [details]
- Berto, F. (2015). A Modality Called 'Negation'. Mind, 124(495), 761-793. DOI: 10.1093/mind/fzv026 [details]
- Berto, F., & Bottai, L. (2015). Che cos'è una contraddizione. (Bussole; No. 503). Roma: Carocci. [details]
- Berto, F., & Plebani, M. (2015). Ontology and Metaontology: A Contemporary Guide. London/New York: Bloomsbury. [details]
- Berto, F. (2014). Absolute Contradiction, Dialetheism, and Revenge. Review of Symbolic Logic, 7(2), 193-207. DOI: 10.1017/S175502031400001X [details]
- Berto, F. (2014). Modal Noneism: Transworld Identity, Identification, and Individuation. The Australasian Journal of Logic, 11(2), 61-89. [details] [PDF]
- Berto, F. (2014). On Conceiving the Inconsistent. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 114(1), 103-121. [v]. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9264.2014.00366.x [details]
- Berto, F., & Priest, G. (2014). Modal Meinongianism and Characterization: reply to Kroon. Grazer Philosophische Studien, 90, 183-200. [details]
- Berto, F., & Tagliabue, J. (2014). The World Is either Digital or Analogue. Synthese, 191(3), 481-497. DOI: 10.1007/s11229-013-0285-1 [details]
- Berto, F., Kroon, F., & Voltolini, A. (2014). METAONTOLOGY: INTRODUCTION. The Monist, 97(4), 423-429. DOI: 10.1093/monist/97.4.423 [details]
- Berto, F. (2013). Coincident Entities and Question-Begging Predicates. Metaphysica, 14, 1-14. [details]
- Berto, F. (2013). Impossible Worlds. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2013(winter). [details]
- Berto, F. (2013). Modal Meinongianism and Actuality. Humana.Mente, 25, 155-176. [details]
- Priest, G., & Berto, F. (2013). Dialetheism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2013(summer). [details]
- Berto, F. (2012). Existence as a Real Property: The Ontology of Meinongianism. (Synthese library; No. 356). Dordrecht: Springer. [details]
- Berto, F. (2012). The Selection Problem. Revue Internationale de Philosophie, 66, 519-537. [details]
- Berto, F. (2012). How to Rule Out Things with Words. In G. Restall, & G. Russell (Eds.), New Waves in Philosophical Logic. (pp. 169-189). (New Waves). New York-London: Palgrave Macmillan. [details]
- Berto, F. (2012). Non-Normal Worlds and Representation. In The Logica Yearbook 2011. (pp. 15-30). London: College Publications. [details]
- Berto, F. (2012). To Be Is To Have Causal Powers. In M. Plebani, & M. Favaretti (Eds.), Existence and Nature: New Perspectives. (pp. 33-63). Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag - De Gruyter. [details]
- Berto, F. (2012). Wittgenstein on Incompleteness Makes Paraconsistent Sense. In K. Tanaka, F. Berto, E. Mares, & F. Paoli (Eds.), Paraconsistency: Logic and Applications. (pp. 255-274). Berlin-New York: Springer. [details]
- Berto, F., & Tagliabue, J. (2012). Cellular Automata. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2012(summer). [details]
- Tanaka, K., Berto, F., Mares, E., & Paoli, F. (2012). Paraconsistency: Logic and Applications. Berlin-New York: Springer. [details]
- Berto, F. (2010). Impossible Worlds and Propositions: Against the Parity Thesis. Philosophical Quarterly, 60, 471-486. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9213.2009.627.x [details]
- Berto, F., Tagliabue, J., & Rossi, G. (2010). The Mathematics of the Models of Reference. (Computing Series; No. 12). London: College Publications. [details]
- Berto, F. (2009). The Gödel Paradox and Wittgenstein's Reasons. Philosophia Mathematica, 17, 208-219. DOI: 10.1093/philmat/nkp001 [details]
- Berto, F. (2009). There’s Something About Gödel. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. [details]
- Berto, F. (2009). Strong Paraconsistency and Exclusion Negation. In The Logica Yearbook 2008. (pp. 15-25). London: College Publications. [details]
- Berto, F., & Carrara, M. (2009). To Exist and to Count: a Note on the Minimalist View. Dialectica, 63, 343-356. DOI: 10.1111/j.1746-8361.2009.01198.x [details]
- Berto, F. (2007). Hegel’s Dialectics as a Semantic Theory. European journal of philosophy, 15, 19-39. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0378.2007.00241.x [details]
- Berto, F. (2007). How to Sell a Contradiction. The Logic and Metaphysics of Inconsistency. (Studies in Logic; No. 6). London: College Publications. [details]
- Berto, F. (2007). Is Dialetheism an Idealism? Dialectica, 61, 235-263. DOI: 10.1111/j.1746-8361.2007.01101.x [details]
University of Aberdeen UK
Coördinator of UK-funded research project