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CfP: Hilbert’s Epsilon and Tau in Logic, Informatics and Linguistics

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Submitted by Richard Zach on Fri, 02/20/2015 - 9:01am

Dates: June 10-12, 2015
Location: Montpellier, France
Submission deadline: April 1, 2015

This workshop aims at promoting work on Hilbert’s epsilon calculus in a number of relevant fields ranging from Philosophy and Mathematics to Linguistics and Informatics. The Epsilon and Tau operators were introduced by David Hilbert, inspired by Russell's Iota operator for definite descriptions, as binding operators that form terms from formulae. One of their main features is that substitution with Epsilon and Tau terms expresses quantification. This leads to a calculus which is a strict and conservative extension of First Order Predicate Logic. The calculus was developed for studying first order logic in view of the program of providing a rigorous foundation of mathematics via syntactic consistency proofs. The first relevant outcomes that certainly deserve a mention are the two "Epsilon Theorems" (similar to quantifiers elimination), the first correct proof of Herbrand’s theorem or the use of the Epsilon operator in Bourbaki’s Éléments de Mathématique. Nowadays the interest in the Epsilon substitution method has spread in a variety of fields: Mathematics, Logic, Philosophy, History of Mathematics, Linguistic, Type Theory, Computer science, Category Theory and others.


The workshop welcomes submissions of up to 4 (but not less than 2) pages. Usual spacing, font and margin should be used (single-spaced, 11pt or larger, and 1 inch margin on A4 or letter size paper). Abstracts should be submitted by April 1st, 2015 as pdf files through the EasyChair conference system ( An indicative list of themes that are of particular interest to the conference are (non-exhaustive):

  • History of Logic
  • Philosophy
  • Proof theoryModel theory
  • Category theory
  • Type theory
  • Quantification in Natural language
  • Noun-Phrases Semantics
  • Proof Assistants (e.g. Coq, Isabelle, ... )
  • Other subnectors (e.g. Russell's iota, μ-operator, ... )
Abstracts will be reviewed by members of the program committee, and, where appropriate, outside reviewers. The organizers will be responsible for making decisions partly in consultation with the program committee. Notifications will be made by May 1st, 2015.  Selected papers from the workshop will appear as a special volume in Journal of Logics and their Applications

Important dates

April 1, 2015: Submission deadline
May 1, 2015: Notification of acceptance
June 10-12, 2015: Workshop

Invited speakers

Claus-Peter Wirth (University of Saarland): The descriptive operators iota, tau and epsilon - on their origin, partial and complete specification, model-theoretic semantics, practical applicability (with the support of the Hilbert Bernays Project (sponsored by IFCoLog)).

Vito Michele Abrusci (University of Roma Tre): Hilbert's tau and epsilon in proof theory.

Hartley Slater (University of Western Australia): Linguistic and philosophical ramifications of the epsilon calculus.

Program Committee

Daisuke Bekki (Ochanomizu University)
Stergios Chatzikyriakidis (LIRMM-CNRS & University of Montpellier)
Francis Corblin  (University of Paris-Sorbonne & Institut Jean Nicod CNRS)
Michael Gabbay (University of Cambridge)
Makoto Kanazawa (National Institute of Informatics of Tokyo)
Ruth Kempson (King's College, London)
Alda Mari (CNRS Institut Jean Nicod & ENS & EHESS)
Georg Moser (University of Innsbruck)
Bruno Woltzenlogel Paleo (Vienna University of Technology)
Michel Parigot (CNRS-PPS & University of Paris Diderot 7)
Fabio Pasquali (University of Aix-Marseille & I2M CNRS)
Christian Retoré (University of Montpellier & LIRMM-CNRS)\
Mark Steedman
 (University of Edimburgh)
Richard Zach (University of Calgary)

Organizers / workshop co-chairs

Stergios Chatzikyriakidis, LIRMM-CNRS, University of Montpellier 
Fabio Pasquali, University of Marseille
Christian Retoré, University of Montpellier & LIRMM-CNRS

Host: I2M-CNRS and University of Montpellier