Guest Seminars & Lectures

 

Upcoming Guest Seminars and Lectures

Sommersemester 2020

The Negation, Falsehood, and Nonsense 

Jean-Philippe Narboux (Bordeaux)

Intensive Seminar

Sommersemester, 2020

DUE TO THE CORONA EMERGENCY THE BEGINNING OF THIS SEMINAR IS POSTPONED. PLEASE BE IN CONTACT WITH PROFESSOR NARBOUX TO REGISTER FOR THE COURSE AND TO STAY INFORMED. THE COURSE WILL BE HELD ENTIRELY ONLINE. 

Course Description 

We begin with three basic puzzles concerning negation. First, it may seem puzzling that one should be able to negate p at all, given that p may not be the case. For when p (e.g. “The library is on fire”) is not the case, nothing corresponds to it, and it may seem that p cannot make sense and so cannot be negated when nothing corresponds to it. However, should we resolve this first puzzle, it will seem all the more puzzling that negative categorial statements (e.g. “Blue is not a smell”, “The soul is not extended”) should make any sense, given that there is no intelligible possibility that they can be said to negate. Finally, it should seem puzzling that the empirical statement “The library is not on fire” and the categorial statement “Blue is not a smell” should be assumed to employ “not” in the same sense, given that the former seems to require the intelligibility of what is negated while the latter seems to preclude it. We then proceed to examine the differences and relations between the empirical and the categorial uses of negation with a view to addressing the second and third puzzles. Finally, we articulate some further difficulties about negation arising in connection with the phenomenon of “conceptual revolution”. We end by asking what becomes of the traditional notions of “category” and “conceptual truth” in light of our attempts to address these difficulties. Authors studied include Plato, Spinoza, Kant, Wittgenstein, Putnam. 

Bio

Jean-Philippe Narboux is currently Associate Professor in Philosophy at the University Bordeaux Montaigne. He was a junior fellow at the Institut Universitaire de France (2009-2014) and a fellow at the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin) (2017-2018). He is the co- editor of The Legacy of Thompson Clarke (Brill, 2014), Finding One’s Way Through Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations: New Essays on §§1-88 (Springer, 2017), New Perspectives on Frege’s Logical Investigations (Mundaréu, forthcoming). His recent articles include « Is Self-Consciousness Consciousness of One’s Self? », in Wittgenstein and Phenomenology (Routledge, 2018); « Pensées en première personne et cogitationes cartésiennes », in Les formes historiques du cogito (Garnier, 2019). He has recently completed a book on the topic of negation (Essai sur le problème de la négation, forthcoming at Vrin).

 

Times and Dates 

Thursdays 13:15 – 17:00 (with break) 

9. 4. CANCELED
16. 4. CANCELED
23. 4. CANCELED
30. 4. CANCELED
7. 5.
14. 5.
21. 5. (Christi Himmelfahrt, will be rescheduled)
28. 5.
4. 6.
11. 6.
18. 6.
25. 6.
2. 7. 

What is it to wrong someone?

 

Michael Thompson (Pittsburgh)

 

Intensive Seminar

 

DUE TO THE CORONA VIRUS THIS SEMINAR IS POSTPONED TO THE SUMMER OF 2021. 

 

Sommersemester, 2021

 

Times and Dates

POSTPONED

Location
GWZ Room 2 1.16

Wintersemester 2020/21

Kant’s Ordinary Moral Agent

 

Patricia Kitcher (Columbia)

Intensiv Seminar

October 2020

Course Description:

The aim of the seminar will be to work on problems associated with developing a fuller account of Kant’s theory of agency.  Among other topics I would hope to discuss:

What are the similarities and differences between Kant’s claims about cognitive subjects and moral agents?  Besides some of my own work, one context for this topic might be Dieter Sturma’s recent suggestion (in the Ameriks Festschrift) that Kant’s theory of cognition and his theory of morality come together in his account of self-consciousness.

How should we try to understand Kant’s claim that humans take two standpoints on themselves, when it seems clear that as self-conscious creatures they know very well that they are not in the grip of mechanistic laws?  Another worry is that insofar as the standpoint of science is understood as objective, it seems as though the standpoint of an agent is just a standpoint and not a description of reality.  (Kant has special meanings attached to ‘reality’ and ‘actuality,’ so a sub-problem is whether he has a way of expressing the non-chimerical character of morality and pure practical reason, since ‘reality’ and ‘actuality’ seem to be off the table.)

One way to think about the two standpoints issue that I’d like to pursue is in terms of two different kinds of explanation.  As Robert Cummins argued some years ago in “How does it work vs. What are the Laws” psychology explains its phenomena in terms of functional decomposition, physics in terms of covering laws.  Prima facie, Kant’s explanations for the possibility of cognition and morality are cases of functional decomposition, despite his sometime claim that psychology has the predictive power of laws of physics.

How do humans understand others as moral agents?  Here I am inclined to argue (as have others) that Kant’s allegedly individualistic ethics is communal to its core.  For the CI even to make sense to them, agents must take themselves to inhabit a world of agents and know how to pick out those agents.  Some of Darwall’s work on the second person would be relevant here, along with Rödl’s discussion of the topic in Self-Consciousness.  Following some of the work of Christel Fricke and Sam Fleishacker, I’d also be interested in seeing whether Smith’s work in TMS can shed light on Kant’s views of interpersonal relations in MM or in the Anthropology.

How do humans give laws to themselves?  Pauline Kleingeld’s work on autonomy and Michael Wolff’s analogy between moral agents giving themselves laws and constructing mathematical proofs in pure intuition could form part of the background for examining this issue.

Is Kant’s agent a moral agent?  We might look at attempts by Korsgaard, Engstrom and Rödl to argue to an agent endowed with the moral law from the necessary conditions for agency simpliciter.  As the title of the seminar suggests, my working hypothesis is that this project does not work.  Kant’s theory of agency is a theory of the necessary conditions for being a moral agent.

Assuming that one has the basic necessities for being a moral agent, a practical reason that has the moral law as one of its fundamental laws and sensible desires, how are we to understand Kant’s claim in the Anthropology that the task of humans is making themselves what they are?  What is the role of moral education in this project and, perhaps, in developing the capacity for morality?  Some of O’Neill’s recent work on the practice of judgment (in From Principles to Practice) would be a possible background (or foreground) source.  I would also try to work out whether the character of a moral agent can be understood by analogy with the model of the epigenesis of pure reason in the 1st Critique.  That is, is the agent’s understanding of the social world and her role in it a matter of interpreting her actions and those of others through the necessary and unavoidable lens of the moral law?

Pace Kant’s claim that it is impossible to explain free actions, he offers an account of bad action in terms of moral weakness and self-deception in the Religion and the Anthropology.  Part of fuller account of Kant’s ordinary moral agents would involve giving a systematic presentation of his claims about immoral action.  Anna Wehosits book on anthropology and morality would be helpful for this topic as well as the previous one.

Bio:

Patricia Kitcher is Roberta and William Campbell Professor of the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. She is the author of a book on Freud, Freud’s Dream (MIT 1992), and two books on Kant’s conceptions of cognition and the self, Kant’s Transcendental Psychology (Oxford University Press, 1990) and Kant’s Thinker (Oxford University Press, 2011).  She is currently editing a volume of essays on the history of the self-concept (for OUP) and also working on two book projects, Kant on the Self  (in the Cambridge elements series), and Kant’s Ordinary Moral Agent.

 

DATES:

Wedesdays, 3–6 pm: October 14, 21, and 28

Thursdays, 3–6 pm: October 15, 22, and 29

Fridays, 10 am – 1pm + 3–6 pm: October 16, 23, and 30

 

Past Guest Seminars and Lectures

Sommersemester 2019

Die Realität des Denkens: Vom Logischen über die Natur zur Sprache

 

Christian Martin (München)

Intensiv Seminar

5. April – 17. Mai

Das Reale – der Inbegriff dessen, was kein Gedanke ist – lässt sich philosophisch nicht dadurch erkennen, dass man es geradehin, somit aber gleichsam erfahrungsmäßig, betrachtet, sondern nur vermittelt über eine Untersuchung der Gedanken als solcher. 

Der „linguistic turn“ besteht im Nachweis, dass die logische Form an Ausdruck gekoppelt ist. Im Seminar betrachten wir zunächst, an die Fregekritik Wittgensteins und Irad Kimhis anschließend, eine Begründung des linguistic turn. Beiden entgegen soll dann gezeigt werden, dass sich von der Einsicht, dass die logische Form Ausdruck – eine reale Gestalt – erfordert, nicht unmittelbar zu einer philosophischen Betrachtung der Sprache übergehen lässt. Dem hat eine philosophische Untersuchung des Realen – des materiellen Raum-Zeit-Kontinuums – voranzugehen, das Ausdrücke als solche voraussetzen. 

Wir werden im Seminar daher Grundzüge einer apriorischen Naturphilosophie diskutieren, die den realen Raum als notwendiges Komplement des logischen erweist. So soll zugleich einsichtig werden, dass Denken eine Aktivität ist, die Verkörperung erfordert. Anschließend befassen wir uns mit dem Nachweis, dass die erste Stufe des Denkens, die eigentümliche logische Formen mit sich bringt, notwendig vorsprachlich ist: Wir alle beginnen als infantile Denker, bevor wir zu diskursiven Denkern werden. – Abschließend befassen wir uns mit dem Sachverhalt, dass sich die logischen Formen desjenigen Denkens, das im Gebrauch der Sprache besteht, nur angemessen verstehen lassen, wenn dieses als Transformation vorsprachlichen Denkens aufgefasst wird. 

Seminarplan und Texte zur vorbereitenden Lektüre sind nach Anmeldung unter christian.georg.martin@gmail.com mit Passwort über die Speicherwolke erreichbar.

Block
5. April & 6. April
10:00 – 13:00 & 14:45 – 17:30

Wöchentlich
Freitags
12., 26., April, 2., 10., 17., Mai
10:00-13:00

Räume

05.04., 10-13 Uhr, GWZ 3215, Historisches Seminar

05.04., 14:45-17:30 Uhr, GWZ 2116

06.04., 10-17:30 Uhr, GWZ 2116

12.04., 10-13 Uhr, GWZ 5315, Germanistik

26.04., 10-13 Uhr, GWZ 5315

03.05., 10-13 Uhr, GWZ 5315

10.05., 10-13 Uhr, GWZ 5315

17.05., 10-13 Uhr, GWZ 5315

 

A Spirit of Trust V

Robert Brandom (University of Pittsburgh)

Vorlesungsreihe FAGI-Humboldt Lectures
June 4–7, 2019

Robert Brandom erklärt, was wir heute noch von Hegel lernen können. In seiner bald erscheinenden systematischen Interpretation der hegelschen Phänomenologie des Geistes bringt Brandom Hegel in einen fruchtbaren Dialog mit aktueller Handlungstheorie, Metaphysik, Sozialontologie und Sprachphilosophie. Brandom zeigt unter anderem, wie Hegel schon lange vor Wittgenstein nicht nur das grundlegende Problem des Regelfolgens klar gesehen hat, sondern auch eine Lösung vorschlägt, die auf der sozialen Natur von Normen beruht. Über etwa zwei Jahre hinweg wird Brandom sein gesamtes Manuskript in dieser Vorlesungsreihe – mit jeweils einigen Vorlesungen – vorstellen und mit Zuhörern diskutieren.

Die Vorlesungsreihe wird durch Brandoms Anneliese Maier-Forschungspreis der Humboldt Stiftung möglich gemacht und findet unter der Schirmherrschaft des Forschungskolleg Analytic German Idealism statt.

Die Vorlesungsreihe begann im Dezember 2015. Die bereits gehaltenen Vorträge vom Teil I, II und III können Sie unten auf dieser Seite nachhören.

Teil V: Hegel on the Historicity of Normativity

Montag, 03.06.2019, 17-19 Uhr – Video Recording
Epochs of Geist: On Beyond Traditional Normativity as Immediate Sittlichkeit
Venue: Vortragssaal der Bibliotheca Albertina, Beethovenstraße 6, 04107 Leipzig, Erdgeschoss
Lecture 1
Handout Lecture 1

Dienstag, 04.06.2019, 17-19 Uhr – Video Recording
Modernity, Alienation, and Language
Venue: Vortragssaal der Bibliotheca Albertina, Beethovenstraße 6, 04017 Leipzig, Erdgeschoss
Lecture 2
Handout Lecture 2

Mittwoch, 05.06.2019, 17-19 Uhr – Video Recording
Genealogy and Magnanimity: The Allegory of the Valet
Venue: Vortragssaal der Bibliotheca Albertina, Beethovenstraße 6, 04107 Leipzig, Erdgeschoss
Lecture 3
Handout Lecture 3

Donnerstag, 06.06.2019, 17-19 Uhr – Video Recording
Confession and Forgiveness, Recollection and Trust
Venue: Vortragssaal der Bibliotheca Albertina, Beethovenstraße 6, 04107 Leipzig, Erdgeschoss
Lecture 4
Handout Lecture 4

 

A Spirit of Trust – Hegel on the Historicity of Normativity

Robert Brandom (University of Pittsburgh)

Hegel on the Historicity of Normativity

Robert Brandom is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh. He did groundbreaking work in semantics, the philosophy of mind, and epistemology. Much of his work is inspired by Hegel and he is currently writing a book on Hegel.

The Course Accompanies Brandom’s three lectures on the reason chapter of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Accordingly, the course will focus on Brandom’s reading of Hegel. Topics will include: What makes something an intentional doing? What does thinking about practical reasoning add to Hegel’s account of conceptual content? How does Hegel think that the heroic conception of agency can be re-achieved in a post-modern form of practical self-consciousness structured by Vernunft instead of Verstand?

04.06.2019, 10-13 Uhr Venue: Seminarraum am Institut für Philosophie, GWZ 2116, Beethovenstraße 15, 04107 Leipzig (Haus 2, 1. Etage)

05.06.2019, 10-13 Uhr Venue: Seminarraum am Institut für Philosophie, GWZ 2116, Beethovenstraße 15, 04107 Leipzig (Haus 2, 1. Etage)

06.06.2019, 10-13 Uhr Venue: Seminarraum am Institut für Philosophie, GWZ 2116, Beethovenstraße 15, 04107 Leipzig (Haus 2, 1. Etage)

Registration

If you wish to attend please contact: Andrea Busch (busch[at]uni-leipzig.de). The number of places available is limited.

Skepticism About Self-Understanding

Matthew Boyle (University of Chicago)

June 11, 2019

You find the abstract and the info about the accompanying workshop on this WEBSITE.

Winter Semester 2018/19

Self, and Self-Consciousness, in Action, and in Others.

 

Lucy O’Brien (UCL)

Dates
Mondays: Nov 26, Dec 3, Dec 10
Thursdays: Nov 29, Dec 6, Dec 13

Times
Mondays: 13:15 – 16:00
Thursdays: 11:15 – 14:00

Location: GWZ-building, Beethovenstrasse 15, Room 3215

This course will introduce students to elements of Lucy O‘Brien‘s work in two areas: it will, first, look at the relation between what we want to say about agents, their awareness of themselves, and their actions. This will involve looking at some relatively recent papers: ‚Ambulo Ergo Sum‘ and ‚Actions as Prime‘. A new paper ‚I, myself, move‘, looking very directly at the relation between our account of agents and our account of actions, will also be presented. The course will involve, as background reading, papers by John Campbell, Chris Peacocke, Tim Williamson, Helen Steward and others. The second part of the course will consider the nature of interpersonal self-consciousness and social emotions and social value. We will look an already published piece on ‚Ordinary Self-Consciousness‘, as well as current work on shameful self consciousness, and on shame and social value. Again this will involve back ground reading, with work by Sartre, Taylor, Velleman, Frederickson and Roberts, and others.

If you would like to participate in this seminar, please contact dawa.ometto [at] uni-leipzig.de

Cora Diamond (UVA)

Intensive Seminar
October  12–13, 19–20 & 26–27, 2018

For more details on the seminar, including a syllabus, click here.

The seminar has been recorded, and the recordings may be found here (password protected folder).

If you would like to access the seminar recordings, please contact gilad.nir [at] uni-leipzig.de

Summer Semester 2018

Martin Stone (Cardozo Law School)

Intensive Seminar
July 2–13, 2018

Recent years have seen an awakening of interest in Kant’s political philosophy. This seminar will afford an opportunity to engage in close reading and analysis of the primary text on which Kant’s political philsosophy is based, “The Doctrine of Right,” the first part of his Metaphysics of Morals. Guided by Kant’s principle that systemic unity is the mark of true philosophy, we will work to see if we can make sense of the text in these terms, focusing mainly on three of its major interconnected themes: Kant’s idea of freedom-as-independence, his account of private property (and other acquired) rights, and his account of political authority and its proper mandate. Although our primary focus will be on the text itself, we will consider a few secondary readings which bring out some of the controversies to which these themes have recently given rise. Finally, toward the end of the seminar, we will consider substantial excerpts from two contemporary elaborations of Kant’s ideas in the area of legal theory:  Ernest Weinrib’s seminal The Idea of Private Law and Arthur Ripstein’s more recent Private Wrongs.

If you would like to participate in this seminar, please contact dawa.ometto [at] uni-leipzig.de

Time, Dates and Place

The seminar meets at the following locations and dates, between 14:00 – 17:00:

Monday July 2 (GWZ 2215)
Wednesday July 4 (GZW 2116)
Friday July 6 (GZW 2116)
Monday July 9 (GWZ 2116)
Wednesday July 11 (GWZ 2116)
Friday July 13 (GWZ 2116)

 

A Spirit of Trust IV

Robert Brandom (University of Pittsburgh)

Vorlesungsreihe FAGI-Humboldt Lectures
June 4–7, 2018

Fortsetzung der
Vorlesungsreihe zu Hegels Phänomenologie des Geistes
vom WiSe 2015/16, SoSe 2016 und SoSe 2017

Robert Brandom erklärt, was wir heute noch von Hegel lernen können. In seiner bald erscheinenden systematischen Interpretation der hegelschen Phänomenologie des Geistes bringt Brandom Hegel in einen fruchtbaren Dialog mit aktueller Handlungstheorie, Metaphysik, Sozialontologie und Sprachphilosophie. Brandom zeigt unter anderem, wie Hegel schon lange vor Wittgenstein nicht nur das grundlegende Problem des Regelfolgens klar gesehen hat, sondern auch eine Lösung vorschlägt, die auf der sozialen Natur von Normen beruht. Über etwa zwei Jahre hinweg wird Brandom sein gesamtes Manuskript in dieser Vorlesungsreihe – mit jeweils einigen Vorlesungen – vorstellen und mit Zuhörern diskutieren.

Die Vorlesungsreihe wird durch Brandoms Anneliese Maier-Forschungspreis der Humboldt Stiftung möglich gemacht und findet unter der Schirmherrschaft des Forschungskolleg Analytic German Idealism statt.

Die Vorlesungsreihe begann im Dezember 2015. Die bereits gehaltenen Vorträge vom Teil I, II und III können Sie weiter unten auf dieser Seite nachhören.

Teil IV – Hegel on Agency

Montag, 04.06.2018, 17-19 – Video Recording
Lecture 1:  “Some Post-Davidsonian Elements of Hegel’s Theory of Agency”
Venue: Vortragssaal der Bibliotheca Albertina, Beethovenstraße 6, 04107 Leipzig, Erdgeschoss
Lecture 1
Handout for Lecture 1

Dienstag, 05.06.2018, 17-19 – Video Recording
Lecture 2:  “Agency, Intention, and the Expressive Determination of Content”
Venue: Vortragssaal der Bibliotheca Albertina, Beethovenstraße 6, 04017 Leipzig, Erdgeschoss
Lecture 2
Handout for Lecture 2

Donnerstag, 07.06.2017, 17-19 – Video Recording
Lecture 3:  “Heroism and Magnanimity: The Post-Modern Form of Self-Conscious Agency”
Venue: Vortragssaal der Bibliotheca Albertina, Beethovenstraße 6, 04107 Leipzig, Erdgeschoss
Lecture 3
Handout for Lecture 3

A Spirit of Trust – Hegel on Agency

Robert Brandom (University of Pittsburgh)

Graduate Summer Course / FAGI-Humboldt
June 5 & 7, 2018

Robert Brandom is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh. He did groundbreaking work in semantics, the philosophy of mind, and epistemology. Much of his work is inspired by Hegel and he is currently writing a book on Hegel.

The Course accompanies Brandom’s three lectures on the reason chapter of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Accordingly, the course will focus on Brandom’s reading of Hegel. Topics will include: What makes something an intentional doing? What does thinking about practical reasoning add to Hegel’s account of conceptual content?  How does Hegel think that the heroic conception of agency can be re-achieved in a post-modern form of practical self-consciousness structured by Vernunft instead of Verstand?

05.06.2018, 9-13
N.N.
Venue: Seminarraum am Institut für Philosophie, GWZ 2116, Beethovenstraße 15, 04107 Leipzig (Haus 2, 1. Etage)

07.06.2017, 9-13
N.N.
Venue: Seminarraum am Institut für Philosophie, GWZ 2116, Beethovenstraße 15, 04107 Leipzig (Haus 2, 1. Etage)

Registration
If you wish to attend please contact: Andrea Busch (busch[at]uni-leipzig.de).
The number of places available is limited.

Winter Semester 2017

Barry Stroud (UC Berkley)

Guest LectureMetaphysical Aspiration
December 11, 2017, 16:00
Vortragssaal Bibliotheca Albertina,
Beethovenstrasse 6, Leipzig

Irad Kimhi (University of Chicago)

Intensive Seminar: The Human (syn/categorematic) Condition
Friday, Oct. 13 10 am – 12 pm GWZ 2115 / 2 pm – 7 pm GWZ 2316
Saturday, Oct. 14 2 pm – 7 pm GWZ 2116
Weekly sessions: Fridays: Oct. 20, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 24, Dec. 1 – 10 am – 1 pm GWZ 2115

Summer Semester 2017

Robert Brandom (University of Pittsburgh)

Lecture Series: A Spirit of Trust – Part III – Norms, Self-Consciousness, and Recognition

30.05.2017, 17-19 – Video Recording
The Structure of Desire and Recognition: Self-Consciousness and Self-Constitution
Handout for Lecture 1

31.05.2017, 17-19 – Video Recording
From Subordination, through Autonomy, to Mutual Recognition: Stages in the History of the Metaphysics of Normativity
Handout for Lecture 2

01.06.2017, 17-19 – Video Recording
The Fine Structure of Recognition
Handout for Lecture 3

02.06.2017, 17-19 – Video Recording
The Allegory of Mastery: Semantic and Pragmatic Lessons
Handout for Lecture 4

Robert Brandom (University of Pittsburgh)

Graduate Summer Course: A Spirit of Trust – Part III: Norms, Self-Consciousness, and Recognition

Summer Semester 2016

Robert Brandom (University of Pittsburgh)

Lecture Series: A Spirit of Trust – Part II: Mediating the Immediate: The Consciousness Chapters of the Phenomenology

June 27, 2016
Immediacy, Generality, and Recollection
Handout for Lecture 1        Video Recording

June 28, 2016
Understanding the Object/Property Structure in Terms of Negation
Handout for Lecture 2        Video Recording

June 29, 2016
‘Force’ and Understanding—From Object to Concept
Handout for Lecture 3        Video Recording

June 30, 2016
Infinity, Conceptual Idealism, and the Transition to Self-Consciousness
Handout for Lecture 4        Video Recording

Summer Semester 2015

Robert Brandom (University of Pittsburgh)

Lecture Series: A Spirit of Trust – Part I: Knowing and Representing Reading (between the lines of) Hegel’s Introduction to the Phenomenology

Einführung

December 14, 2015  – Video Recording 
Conceptual Realism and the Semantic Possibility of Knowledge

December 15, 2015  – Video Recording
Representation and the Experience of Error: A Functionalist Approach to the Distinction between Appearance and Reality

December 16, 2015  – Video Recording
Following the Path of Despair to a Bacchanalian Revel: The Emergence of the Second, True, Object