The international workshop Questions and Enquiry took place on the 5th of April at King’s College London. The workshop, generously funded by the department of Philosophy at King’s College London, and organized by Giulia Felappi, aimed to bring together philosophers and linguists working on the role of questions in enquiry.
Maria Aloni (ILLC & Department of Philosophy, Amsterdam) gave a talk on identity questions, concealed questions and specificational subjects. Maria focused on a recent debate concerning whether sentences like “The number of planets is 8” can be taken as question/answer pairs, and what this can tell us about ontological commitment to numbers.
Manfred Krifka (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin & ZAS Berlin) focused on constituent, alternative, and yes/no questions. He discussed the role of questions in dialogue and suggested taking ‘asking questions’ as forms of ‘common ground management’ on the side of the speakers.
Mike Beaney (KCL & Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) talked about R.G. Collingwood’s logic of questions and answers. Mike discussed Collingwood’s views on the role of questions in philosophical and non-philosophical enquiry. He also showed how Collingwood’s work relates to that of Cook Wilson, Hans-Georg Gadamer and Guido de Ruggiero.
Finally, in his talk, Bob Fiengo (CUNY) argued that questions show, firstly, some crucial differences between knowledge and belief and, secondly, that even some basic forms of knowledge are much more multifarious than we presume.
For those who missed the event, part of the material Maria presented can be found on her website, while Manfred’s latest publication on the topic can be found here. Mike’s latest publication on Collingwood can be found in the new edition of Collingwood’s autobiography. Bob discusses some of the ideas he presented at the workshop in a couple of forthcoming papers: ‘Austin’s Cube’, in Moltmann, & Textor, Act-Based Conceptions of Propositional Content, OUP, and ‘On the Representation of Form and Function’, in Tsohatzidis, Interpreting J. L. Austin, CUP.