Bilateral approaches to meaning

20 – 22 June 2019

University of Amsterdam and Institute for Logic, Language and Computation

Supported by the European Research Council.



Traditional semantics gives the meaning of expressions in terms of conditions on one kind of primitive (e.g. truth, assertion, belief). Bilateral approaches hold that the meaning of expressions is characterized in terms of conditions on two, usually opposite primitives (e.g. truth and falsity, assertion and rejection, belief and disbelief). Recent years have witnessed the independent development of a variety of bilateral approaches to analyze phenomena such as negation, epistemic modality and counterfactuals, from both a proof-theoretic and a model-theoretic perspective. The workshop will bring together researchers  from either perspective in order to provide a venue for the systematic exploration of commonalities, differences and potential interactions between such approaches.

  • Are there natural points of contact between the various bilateral approaches?
  • Can a unified bilateral approach be developed?
  • What advantages, if any, does it have over the standard unilateral approach?
  • What is the remit of bilateral semantics in formal semantics and/or philosophy of language?
  • What is the linguistic, cognitive, or metaphysical status of meanings given in terms of bilateral semantics?
  • Are there further areas of application for bilateral approaches?
  • Should the bilateral approach be further expanded into a multilateral approach?


Thursday June 20th

  • 9h30: Registration
  • 9h45: WELCOME
  • 10h — 11h15: Dave Ripley — Position-theoretic semantics, disagreement, and entailment
  • 11h45 — 13h: Lucas Rosenblatt — Invalidities
  • 13h — 14h30: Lunch Break
  • 14h30 — 15h45: Leïla Bussière — Dissent and rejection
  • 16h15 — 17h30: Sebastian Speitel — Meaning and logicality in bilateralist frameworks

Friday June 21st

  • 10h — 11h15: Teresa Marques — TBC
  • 11h45 — 13h: Luca Incurvati and Julian Schlöder — Meta-ethical inferential expressivism
  • 13h — 14h30: Lunch Break
  • 14h30 — 15h45: David Beisecker — Bilateralism and its pragmatist roots
  • 16h15 — 17h30: Maria Aloni — Weak assertion meets information states: a logic for epistemic modality and quantification

Saturday June 22nd

  • 10h — 11h15: Peter Hawke and Shane Steinert-Threlkeld — Semantic expressivism for modals, conditionals and quantification
  • 11h45 — 13h: Greg Restall — Assertions, denials, questions, answers and the common ground


Abstracts can be found here.


The workshop will take place at the following locations:

  • Thursday 20 June: University Library of the University of Amsterdam, Singel 425
    1012 WP, Doelenzaal
  • Friday 21 June: Bushuis, Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX, room F2.01
  • Saturday 22 June: University Library of the University of Amsterdam, Singel 425
    1012 WP, Doelenzaal


Attendance is free. To register for the conference, please send a message to (subject: Registration to EXPRESS Workshop) before 5 June 2019.

Call for abstracts

The deadline of the call for abstracts has now passed and contributions have been selected.