Semantics and Philosophy of “Cancer”

Call for Papers

UCLA Luskin Center

April 25-26, 2024

featuring keynote speaking

Anya Plutynski, PhD

We are soliciting one-page abstracts for 40-minute talks on the meaning of the word “cancer”. We are interested in talks that incorporate methods or perspectives from linguistics, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, or communication sciences on how language-users understand and intend the word “cancer”, and how these concepts of meaning might vary across populations (especially demographically, or between physicians and their patients). Several topics we expect will be represented in the conference include: the metaphysics of cancer as a (non-)natural kind, especially as it pertains to nomenclature; the ramifications of standard definitions of cancer (e.g. the Hallmarks) for the philosophy of science; accounts of the meaning of “cancer” in linguistic semantics or philosophy of language; sociolinguistic or corpus studies of cultural variation in the understanding of “cancer”; cross-cultural or cross-linguistic variation in labels for cancer, or interpretations of the word “cancer” discussions relating the semantics of “cancer” to the issues of overdiagnosis and overtreatment

Abstracts must be no longer than one page (11pt, 1in margins), not including references. Abstracts must be sent to by January 14, 2024, 11:59pm PT. Please direct any questions about the call for abstracts or the conference itself to the same email address.


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