Summer School in L&FE-Department of Philosophy - Carnegie Mellon University

Summer School in Logic and Formal Epistemology

There is a long tradition of fruitful interaction between philosophy and the sciences. Logic and statistics emerged, historically, from combined philosophical and scientific inquiry into the nature of mathematical and scientific inference; and the modern conceptions of psychology, linguistics, and computer science are the results of sustained reflection on the nature of mind, language, and computation. In today's climate of disciplinary specialization, however, foundational reflection is becoming increasingly rare. As a result, developments in the sciences are often conceptually ill-founded, and philosophical debates often lack scientific substance.

In 2016, the Department of Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University will hold a three-week summer school in logic and formal epistemology for promising undergraduates in philosophy, mathematics, computer science, linguistics, economics, and other sciences. The goals are to:

  • introduce promising students to cross-disciplinary fields of research at an early stage in their career; and
  • forge lasting links between the various disciplines.

The summer school will be held from Monday, June 6 to Friday, June 24, 2016. There will be morning and afternoon lectures and daily problem sessions, as well as planned outings and social events.

The summer school is free. That is, we will provide:

  • full tuition
  • dormitory accommodations on the Carnegie Mellon campus

So students need only pay for round trip travel to Pittsburgh and living expenses while here. We expect to be able to accept about 25 students in 2016. There are no grades, and the courses do not provide formal course credit.

The summer school is open to undergraduates, as well as to students who will have just completed their first year of graduate school. Applicants need not be US citizens. There is a $30 nonrefundable application fee.

Applications for 2016 will open in early December 2015.


Week #1
(June 6-10)

Topic TBD

(June 10-11)
 “Attitudes and Questions Workshop”
Center for Formal Epistemology

Question embedding in natural language allows a subject to be related to a question by either a (traditionally) propositional attitude like like knowledge and forgetting, or an (apparently) inherently question-oriented predicate like asking or wondering. Attitudes held of questions are an important locus of research into the semantics of both interrogative clauses and clause-embedding verbs, closely connected with the notion of the answerhood conditions of a question, and with the operations of composition involved in combining these types of predicates with semantically heterogeneous arguments. The attitudes that relate us to questions are also of considerable epistemic interest, touching on the nature of the knowledge relation and on the way that questions structure our inquiries. This workshop aims to bring together a diverse group of experts on the semantics and epistemic issues raised by these phenomena, to promote exchange of theoretical perspectives and approaches, and to help to move forward current work on questions and attitudes.
Week #2
(June 13-17)
Topic TBD


Week #3
(June 20 -24)
Topic TBD
Applications for 2016 will open in early December 2015.

how to apply

The Information page provides information about travel, accommodations, schedule, etc.

additional info

The summer school is directed by Teddy Seidenfeld.

Inquiries may be directed to