Friederike Moltmann » Events » Workshop: New Work on the Ontology and Semantics of Events, June 18-19, 2024
Workshop: New Work on the Ontology and Semantics of Events, June 18-19, 2024

Date: June 18, 2024

Workshop New Work on the Ontology and Semantics of Events

Université Côte d’Azur, Nice,

Date: 18-19 June 2024


Confirmed Speakers

Nicola Guarino (Laboratory for Applied Ontology, CNR, Trento)
Christian Kanzian (University of Innsbruck)
Claudia Maienborn (University of Tübingen)
Friederike Moltmann (BCL, Université Côte d’Azur)
Riccardo Baratella (Genoa University)
Ludger Jansen (PTH Brixen College – University of Rostock)
Michal Starke (Masaryk University)


Events (in the broad sense) play a fundamental role in our interaction with the world: actions, events, processes, states are crucial components of the reality as we represent it. Research on events comprises disciplines as diverse as natural language semantics, the syntax-semantic interface, analytic metaphysics, applied ontology and conceptual modeling.

Events have come to play a central role in natural language semantics since Davidson’s highly influential proposal, which has led to a great range of developments including, in its Neo-Davidsonian version, in the syntax-semantic interface. There are a number of challenges that have received little attention, though, such as the distinction between events and acts, events and abstract states, as well as events and situations (as truthmakers). Moroever there are alternatives to Davidsonian events semantics that have been proposed, but ask for further developments, such as truthmaker semantics, force semantics and radical decomposition of verbs in syntax (as light verb-noun complexes). Finally, there are various interesting issues regarding events and syntactic structure, including the decomposition of event predicates in syntactic structure and the relevance of cartography for event semantics. 

Recently, also the metaphysics of events have seen renewed interest. Several issues have been addressed such as that concerning nature of, and the internal structure of, processes and events, the related issue that concerns the modal profile and the essential properties of events (and whether these features differ from the ones possessed by processes), the question of whether a theory concerning these entities has a descriptive or prescriptive import, as well as the issue concerning the relations between events, dispositions, and causation, and that concerning the nature of negative events and actions.

Finally, the notion of event is pervasive and plays a key role in applied ontology and conceptual modeling. It is a general category of the most widespread foundational ontologies such as UFO, DOLCE, and BFO. On the one hand, these ontologies recently provided insightful accounts concerning the nature of events, their part-whole structure, and their difference from, e.g., situations, states, and processes. On the other hand, the notion of events played a key role in elucidating notions such as those of prevention, risk, production, money, and many others.

This workshop aims to bring together new research on events from the different perspectives.


R. Casati and Varzi: ‘Events’. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (online)

R. Casati and A. Varzi (eds.): Events. Darthmouth Publ. Company, 1996

F. Moltmann: ‘Events in Contemporary Semantics’ (forthcoming), in M. Cassina et al.(eds): 21st-Century Philosophy of Events: Beyond the Analytic / Continental Divide. Edinburgh UP.

Truswell, R. (ed.): Oxford Handbook of Event Structure. Oxford UP, Oxford, 2019.

J. Higginbotham, F. Pianesi, A. Varzi (eds.): Speaking of Events. Oxford UP, 2000.

S. Rothstein (ed.): Events and Grammar, Kluwer, 1998

A. Williams (2021): ‘Events in Semantics’. In P. Stalmaszscuk (ed.): Cambridge Handbook of the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge UP.


Abstract submission

An abstract of approximately 1000 words suitable for 30-minute presentation should be prepared for blind review and include a cover page with the full name, institution, and contact information. Abstracts can be submitted in pdf format and should be sent to:

Conference Fees: 60€


Informal queries:

Deadline for submission: 30 March 2024

Notification of acceptance: 15 April 2024


Venue: BCL, Université Côte d’Azur

Organizers: Niko Angelopoulos (Nice), Lena Banauz (Nice), Riccardo Baratella (Genoa), Ludger Jansen (Rostock), Friederike Moltmann (Nice), Kalle Mueller (Nice)