2018 Fink Award

April 23, 2018

This year’s Fink Award for best graduate student paper goes to Giorgio Sbardolini for his paper “Prior and Benacerraf.”  The paper explores the metasemantic implications of Prior’s discussion of intensional paradoxes, implications that are related to the epistemic challenges Benacerraf raises for platonism about mathematics.

This year’s batch of submissions was very strong, and we have two runners up:  Jamie Fritz for “Pragmatic Encroachment and Moral Encroachment,” and Evan Thomas for “Descartes on the Animal Within, and the Animals Without.”

The Fink ceremony and winning paper presentation will be scheduled for the Fall when Giorgio returns to campus.  In the meantime, here’s Giorgio’s abstract:

In his work on intensional paradoxes, Arthur Prior derives a result now known as Prior’s Theorem, the interpretation of which is unclear. I will explore a way to understand its signicance, and to do so I will introduce a puzzle that closely resembles Benacerraf’s famous challenge concerning mathematical belief. The discussion points toward the adoption of grounding-theoretic principles in higher order intensional logic and a predicative theory of quantification.

More information about the Fink Award, as well as a list of winners, is here.

Congratulations to Giorgio, and to Evan and Jamie!  And thanks to the Fink committee: Abe Roth (chair), Stewart Shapiro, and William Taschek.