Upcoming Program: Dorit Bar-On

Bar-On PosterProfessor, University of Connecticut

Communicative Intentions and Origins of Meaning

Thursday, October 30, 2014
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

What separates human linguistic communication from all forms of nonhuman animal communication and how could it have evolved? I argue that focusing on the role of communicative intention renders the evolutionary emergence of language more puzzling than it needs to be.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Departments of Biology, Philosophy, and Spanish and Portuguese.  This program is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Language.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Born in Israel, Dorit Bar-On received her B.A. from Tel Aviv University in philosophy and linguistics (summa cum laude), while also working as a radio producer and translator of fiction, poetry, aDorit Bar-On Photo from her Websitend philosophy.  She continued to study philosophy at UCLA and wrote her dissertation on the Indeterminacy of Translation.  Bar-On has published extensively on topics in philosophy of language and mind, epistemology, and metaethics.  In 2004, she published a book titled Speaking My Mind: Expression and Self-Knowledge (Oxford Clarendon Press).  Work on that book led to her interest in studying continuities between human and non-human communication. Read more

The Clarke Forum’s Semester Theme & Faculty Seminar

Each semester the Clarke Forum devotes a major portion of its resources to programs organized around a semester theme that is also the basis for a faculty seminar. All members of the faculty are invited to propose topics for themes/faculty seminars. Past themes/faculty seminars have included Sexuality and Societies, Living in a World of Limits, The Meanings of Race, and Water. The theme/faculty seminar for the fall 2014 semester is Language.  If you are interested in proposing a Clarke Forum theme/faculty seminar, please visit Proposing a Clarke Forum Theme/Faculty Seminar.

The Clarke Forum’s Leadership Theme


The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues has established a series of programmatic events dedicated to the theme of leadership in an age of uncertainty. This new initiative is grounded on the reality that today’s generation of Dickinson students confronts a large number of intractable political, economic, and social problems: terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, environmental pollution, global warming, a sustainable energy policy, the ongoing financial crisis, the federal deficit, the amount of public and private debt, the health care crisis, along with issues regarding race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, as well as technology and privacy. These issues and problems directly or indirectly pose challenges to the College and the local community that may in time require fundamental changes in institutions, values, and practices across the public, private, and non-profit sectors of American society. How Dickinsonians respond to these challenges presents us with an opportunity for reflection on the meaning of leadership in the contemporary world. This series is partially supported by a fund created by Betty R. ’58 and Dan Churchill.  One additional aspect of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership Theme is a series of interviews addressing issues of leadership available through the campus’s Gateway. Link to Programs