FAGI Team Publications

The following is a regularly updated list of publications by members of the FAGI.

The publications below are listed in inverse chronological order, from the present to 2017, according to the year the publication itself appeared.

For many of the publications, if you click on the title you can access them directly from this page. 

2021

Jonas Held

Inference, Predication and the Act-Type Theory of Propositions
Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy, forthcoming

ABSTRACT:

The aim of this paper is to show that central problems arising in the current debate about the nature of inferring can be solved by means of a predicative account of inference, which is inspired by Peter Hanks’s (2007, 2011, 2015) act-type theory of propositions. According to Hanks, the activity of judging is not the activity of assenting to an already structured content, but the activity of predicating a property of an object. The unity of the proposition is constituted by this very activity, and propositions are understood as types of predicative acts. I will argue that we are able to formulate a new account of the activity of inferring on the basis of such an account of judgement and proposition. We are able to take an inference itself to be a complex kind of predicative activity if we understand the premises and the conclusion of an argument as judgements in Hanks’s sense.

Alec Hinshelwood

How to make do with events
European Journal of Philosophy

ABSTRACT:
Some claim that when an agent does something, their action should be treated as a particular event. However, a challenge to this has it that if we understand agency through the category particular event, then we must also deploy another, process, because we act in the present but particular events can only exist in the past. In this paper, I show how this argument can be resisted, but suggest that consideration of it should nevertheless lead one to adopt a conception of events which reflects the idea that intentional action involves self‐known change. We thus get into focus how understanding agency in terms of events involves attending to the interaction between the nature of events, the metaphysics of tense, and our epistemological situation as agents.

Gilad Nir

Heidegger on the Unity of Metaphysics and the Method of Being and Time
The Reivew of Metaphysics Vol. 74:3 (March 2021).

ABSTRACT:

The fundamental error of the metaphysical tradition, according to Heidegger, is the subordination of general ontology to the ontology of a special, exemplary entity (God, the soul, etc.). But  Being and Time itself treats one kind of entity as exemplary, namely Dasein. Does this mean that Heidegger fails to free himself from the kind of metaphysics that he sought to criticize? To show how he avoids this charge I propose to examine the parallels between the methodology of  Being and Time
and the methodology Heidegger ascribes to Aristotle’s  Metaphysics. Heidegger takes the virtue of Aristotle’s inquiry to reside in the way he resists the subordination of general to special ontology: Aristotle was guided by a “double concept” of metaphysics, pursued two irreducibly distinct methods of inquiry, and avoided the temptation to unite them. In proposing to similarly pursue a “double task” in  Being and Time Heidegger seeks to apply this insight to his own work. Alongside the task of  fundamental ontology, Heidegger spells out the shape of a second task,  Destruktion, understood as a historical critique that traces ontological concepts back to their ontic roots. But Destruktion is not a mere addendum to fundamental ontology; the two tasks are meant to counterbalance one another and thereby  prevent the collapse of the ontological difference between being and beings. Indeed, Heidegger proposes to apply Destruktion to the results of his own fundamental ontology. He hopes to thereby achieve a transformation of the philosophical attitude which underpins the metaphysical tradition.

Gilad Nir

The Tractatus and the Riddles of Philosophy
Philosophical Investigations Vol. 44 (January 2021), 19-42

ABSTRACT:

The notion of the riddle plays a pivotal role in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. By examining the comparisons he draws between philosophical problems and riddles, this paper offers a reassessment of the aims and methods of the book. Solving an ordinary riddle does not consist in learning a new fact; what it requires is that we transform the way we use words. Similarly, Wittgenstein proposes to transform the way philosophers understand the nature of their problems. But since he holds that these problems are ultimately unsolvable, rather than attempting to solve the riddles of philosophy, he aims to dissolve them.

Gilad Nir

Are Rules of Inference Superfluous? Wittgenstein vs. Frege and Russell
Theorema, Vol. XI/2, 45-61

ABSTRACT:

The notion of the riddle plays a pivotal role in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. By examining the comparisons he draws between philosophical problems and riddles, this paper offers a reassessment of the aims and methods of the book. Solving an ordinary riddle does not consist in learning a new fact; what it requires is that we transform the way we use words. Similarly, Wittgenstein proposes to transform the way philosophers understand the nature of their problems. But since he holds that these problems are ultimately unsolvable, rather than attempting to solve the riddles of philosophy, he aims to dissolve them.

2020

James Conant, Sofia Miguens (Ed.)

The Logical Alien – Conant and His Critics
HUP

ABSTRACT:
Could there be a logical alien—a being whose ways of talking, inferring, and contradicting exhibit an entirely different logical shape than ours, yet who nonetheless is thinking? Could someone, contrary to the most basic rules of logic, think that two contradictory statements are both true at the same time? Such questions may seem outlandish, but they serve to highlight a fundamental philosophical question: is our logical form of thought merely one among many, or must it be the form of thought as such?

From Descartes and Kant to Frege and Wittgenstein, philosophers have wrestled with variants of this question, and with a range of competing answers. A seminal 1991 paper, James Conant’s “The Search for Logically Alien Thought,” placed that question at the forefront of contemporary philosophical inquiry. The Logical Alien, edited by Sofia Miguens, gathers Conant’s original article with reflections on it by eight distinguished philosophers—Jocelyn Benoist, Matthew Boyle, Martin Gustafsson, Arata Hamawaki, Adrian Moore, Barry Stroud, Peter Sullivan, and Charles Travis. Conant follows with a wide-ranging response that places the philosophical discussion in historical context, critiques his original paper, addresses the exegetical and systematic issues raised by others, and presents an alternative account.

The Logical Alien challenges contemporary conceptions of how logical and philosophical form must each relate to their content. This monumental volume offers the possibility of a new direction in philosophy.

James Conant

Wittgenstein’s Critique of the Additive Conception of Language
Nordic Wittgenstein Review

ABSTRACT:
This paper argues that Wittgenstein, both early and late, rejects the idea that the logically simpler and more fundamental case is that of “the mere sign” and that what a meaningful symbol is can be explained through the elaboration of an appropriately supplemented conception of the sign: the sign plus something (say, an interpretation or an assignment of meaning). Rather the sign, in the logically fundamental case of its mode of occurrence, is an internal aspect of the symbol. The Tractatus puts this point as follows: “The sign is that in the symbol which is perceptible by the senses.” Conversely, this means that it is essential to a symbol – to what a symbol is – that it have an essentially perceptible aspect. For Wittgenstein there is no privileged direction of explanatory priority between symbol and sign here: without signs there are no symbols (hence without language there is no thought) and without some sort of relation to symbols there are no signs (hence the philosopher’s concept of the supposedly “merely linguistic” presupposes an internal relation to symbols).

James Conant

The Invisibility of Directional Perfection
Aesthetic Investigations, Volume III (Issue 2). 

Rebekka Gersbach

Handeln und praktische Rationalität
in: Handbuch Wirtschaftsphilosophie Th. S. Hoffmann, V. Rauen, L. Heindbrink, K. Honratz (hrsg.) Springer Verlag.

Jonas Held

Schlussfolgern
Schwabe Verlag, Berlin.

ABSTRACT:
Schlussfolgern setzt voraus, dass die schlussfolgernde Person sieht, dass ihre Konklusion aus den Prämissen folgt und sie sie deswegen aus den Prämissen herleitet. Dies hat Paul Boghossian jüngst als eine Bedingung für eine adäquate Erklärung des Schlussfolgerns formuliert. Der Autor entwickelt eine Erklärung, die sich diese Bedingung zum Maßstab setzt. Zugleich greift er kritisch in die neuere Debatte zum Thema ein, in der der Vollzug einer Schlussfolgerung zumeist als kausale Abfolge mentaler Einstellungen verstanden wird. Indem er auf Immanuel Kants Verständnis von Urteil und Schluss zurückgreift, weist der Autor diese Annahme zurück und entwickelt einen alternativen Erklärungsansatz. Der systematische Anspruch des Buches wird so zugleich historisch verortet und untermauert.

Jonas Held

“Logic isn’t as simple as logicians think it is” – Wittgenstein on Moore’s Paradox and the Logic of Assertion
in: Conference Proceedings: “130 Years Ludwig Wittgenstein: 1889-2019”, ed. Lozev Kamen and Marina Bakalova, Sofia.

ABSTRACT:

In a letter to Moore, Wittgenstein says about sentences of the form “I believe that p, but not- p” that they show “that logic isn’t as simple as logicians think it is”. This is surprising. Moore’s paradox is commonly taken to reveal something about the nature of belief and not about the nature of logic. Wittgenstein’s remark on Moore’s paradox can be read, however, as an argument against the Fregean picture of judgment and assertion and its corresponding idea of logic. I will illustrate the connection between Moore’s paradox and the nature of logic in the light of Wittgenstein’s criticism of the Fregean picture.

Andrea Kern

Das Rätsel der Einbildungskraft
in: Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie, 68 (2).

Andrea Kern

Vernunft als Lebensform. Über Natur und Erziehung
in: Paderborn: mentis.

Andrea Kern

Learning from another
in: Inquiry.

ABSTRACT:

Learning is a capacity whereby an individual undergoes a distinctive kind of change: a change of what she is able to think or do, a change either in the scope or quality of her capacities. It is widely held that the capacity for learning takes a unique shape in humans and differs from how non-human animals learn. This view is popular among philosophers, psychologists, and anthropologists. In spite of the wide agreement about its uniqueness, it remains unclear what exactly it is about human learning that makes it special. In this article, we take an Aristotelian approach and argue that the uniqueness of human learning can only be understood against the background of the human form of life. This form of life is characterized by a self-conscious relation between the form of life and its bearers. Learning is the form of the development from immature to mature bearers of the human form of life and carries the following three characteristics: It is second-personal, its content is general, and the learner’s relation to the knowledge or the capacities she acquires is reflective.

Andrea Kern

Human Life, Rationality and Education
in: Journal of Philosophy of Education.

ABSTRACT:

In this paper I explore the prospects of a Neo‐Aristotelian position—according to which the difference between the human species and non‐human animals is a difference in ‘form’—in the context of the question of how the human form of life is related to the idea of education. Two interpretations of this idea have been suggested by contemporary Neo‐Aristotelian philosophy that offer contrasting accounts of the role played by education. According to the first, the idea of a formal difference goes with a notion of potentiality, according to which the distinctiveness of the human is mainly a product of education, and hence a matter of second nature. According to the second, the idea of the human is the idea of a formally distinctive kind of first nature that explains the very possibility of education. I maintain that both interpretations do justice to an important aspect of human life yet fail fully to grasp the significance of the notion of ‘form’ that they employ. I argue that to embrace the insight that the difference of the human is a difference in ‘form’, we must think of the human as a form of life whose very concept contains the concept of education. The concept of education, I argue, is a logical concept, contained in the concept of life that it describes.

Sebastian Rödl

Teaching, Freedom and the Human Individual
In: Journal of Philosophy of Education. 

ABSTRACT:

The essay represents teaching as the coming to be of the human individual. In order to do so, it reflects on the character of human life by which it is knowledge of itself. Being knowledge of itself, human life is self‐determining or free. Therefore generality and particularity come together in the human being in a distinctive way: a human being is not an exemplar, instance or specimen of a species, nature or life‐form. Rather, she is her own principle. This is captured in the idea of the human being as an individual. The essay reveals teaching to be the form of coming to be which is proper to what is an individual in this sense. In this way, the essay shows teaching to be internal to human freedom.

Sebastian Rödl

Nature and the Good
In: Analytic Philosophy. 

ABSTRACT:

My title is Nature and the Good. It could also be Nature and Practical Reason, for the good is the object of practical reason. Of nature and practical reason, I want to say: Practical reason is no part of nature; it is not because it is knowledge of nature as such, namely, of the good as its ultimate principle.

I shall develop this thought by engaging a question that recently has given rise to debate: Does practical reasoning conclude in a state of mind or does it conclude in an action? The question may be misunderstood. It may be thought to relate to a part of nature: a psychic power found in human beings and possibly other animals. An answer explains how that bit of nature works. The bit has a special interest for us as it is present in us, but that is incidental to the knowledge of it that the answer provides. This is a misconception. Answering the question is not describing a given apparatus; it is expounding the understanding of its conclusion that practical reasoning itself is; it is expounding the self‐understanding of practical reasoning. Then the answer is clear: In practical reasoning, we know its conclusion to be an action. This answer does not expand our knowledge of nature; it is not knowledge of any part of nature. It is not that, not because it is knowledge of something other than nature, but because the self‐understanding of practical reasoning is knowledge of the whole of nature: Knowing its conclusion to be an action, practical reasoning knows the good to be the principle of nature as such. In this way, the exposition of the self‐understanding of practical reasoning reveals that understanding, and so practical reasoning, to be knowledge of the absolute, or absolute knowledge.

Sebastian Rödl

I think – Mrs. Smith thinks
In: Inquiry. 

ABSTRACT:

It has been recognized that ‘I think a is F’, considered as a predicative statement, is peculiar. The peculiarity comes out in Moore’s paradox, ‘a is F, but I do not think it is’. This statement appears afflicted by an inner tension. But if the logical form of ‘I think a is F’ is that of a predicative statement, then it is hard to discern a tension in what is said. The correlative statement ‘Mrs. Smith thinks a is F’ appears to be free from peculiarity. There seems to be no tension in ‘a is F; but Mrs. Smith thinks it is not’. Hence lining up ‘I think a is F’ with ‘Mrs. Smith thinks a is F’ we can retain our understanding of the former as predicative. This essay will bring out that ‘Mrs. Smith thinks a is F’ is, if anything, more peculiar than ‘I think a is F’, and that, should we have been inclined to think of the latter as a predicative statement, consideration of ‘Mrs. Smith thinks a is F’ must disabuse us of this idea.

Sebastian Rödl

The force and the content of judgment
In: European Journal of Philosophy. 

ABSTRACT:

This essay explores what it means to reject Frege’s distinction of force and content: the rejection completes Frege’s anti‐psychologism as it leaves no space for a psychological concept of judgment distinct from the logical concept, which is the concern of no empirical science, but of logic. It emerges that logic, as the science of judgement, is — not a metaphysics of judgement, but — metaphysics. And it emerges that the opposition of subject to subject — the elementary nexus of thinker to thinker in dialogue — is contained within the logical concept of judgment.

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer

Hegels Wissenschaft der Logik. Ein dialogischer Kommentar. Band 2: Die objektive Logik, Die Lehre vom Wesen
Hamburg: Meiner Verlag

ABSTRACT:

Hegels „Wissenschaft der Logik“ (1812/1816) zählt zu den einflussreichsten philosophischen Schriften der Neuzeit, aber auch zweihundert Jahre nach seinem Erscheinen liegen bloß partielle Interpretationsansätze vor, die sich obendrein in wesentlichen Punkten notorisch widersprechen. Mit seinem umfassenden dialogischen Gesamtkommentar, dessen zweiter Band zur „Wesenslogik“ jetzt vorliegt, versucht Pirmin Stekeler dieser Lage abzuhelfen. Seine Verfolgung von Hegels Denkweg, welche diesen textnah rekonstruiert und radikal als Gegenwartsdiskurs erscheinen lässt, macht deutlich, dass es die Unklarheiten im vor- und nachkantischen Empirismus selbst sind, die zu den Widersprüchen der Interpretation und dann auch in den szientistischen Weltanschauungen der Moderne geführt haben. Stekelers Neulektüre von Hegels Logik weist den Weg zu einer Erneuerung der philosophischen Logik insgesamt – und damit der Philosophie.
Das Werk enthält, ineinander verschränkt, drei Bücher in einem Band: 1. eine für sich durchgängig lesbare Abhandlung über Hegels Wissenschaft der Logik, 2. Hegels gesamtes Textkorpus und 3. dessen inhaltliche Einbettung in die bis heute zentralen Debatten der Philosophie.

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer

Lohn und Angst
Philosophische Rundschau, 67 (2)

Martijn Wallage

Charles Travis on Truth and Perception
in: Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Vol 50, Issue 7.

ABSTRACT:
Charles Travis has developed a distinction between “the historical” (the sensible world) and “the conceptual” (thoughts and concepts), which underlies his influential contributions to the philosophy of language and perception. The distinction is based on the observation that there are, for any thought, indefinitely many different circumstances that would render it true. The generality of thoughts and concepts contrasts with the particularity of the sensible world. I challenge the assumption that what exhibits such generality cannot belong to the sensible world. I also defend a version of the claim that perception involves the exercise of conceptual capacities.

Martijn Wallage

Living in the Present
in: Philosophy, Volume 95, Issue 3.

ABSTRACT:
This essay examines two conceptions of the ancient ideal of ‘living in the present’, one that may be called ‘Platonic’, suggested by a remark of Ludwig Wittgenstein, and one that may be called ‘Stoic’, developed by Pierre Hadot. On both conceptions, a life lived and considered in the right way is complete in the present, so that nothing is wanting. I introduce a problem concerning the coherence of this concept: Life involves movement, and movement is aimed at some completion in the future. How, then, can a life be complete in the present and yet not be static? I consider and reject an answer by Hadot, based on psychological concentration on the present. I then propose an alternative answer, based on Aristotle’s concept of complete activity, and discuss its significance for both the Platonic and the Stoic conception of the ideal. Throughout, my focus is on this metaphysical and conceptual problem, thus preparing the way for the ethical question whether ‘living in the present’ would be a good way to live.

2019

James Conant & Sebastian Sunday (Hrsg.)

Wittgenstein on Philosophy, Objectivity, and Meaning
CUP

James Conant

Del método temprano de Wittgenstein a sus métodos últimos
Universitdad Veracruzana

James Conant

Reposta: Nietzsche, Kierkegaard e Anscombe sobre Ininteligibilidade Moral
Forma de Vida No 17 (Anscombe)

James Conant

Socratic Aspects of Wittgenstein’s Conception of Philosophy
In: Conant, J. & Breve, S. (Hrsg.): Wittgenstein on Objectivity, Intuition and Meaning, CUP. 

Sabrina Bauer

“Das System aller philosophischen Erkenntnis ist nun Philosophie”. Kants Kritik und Neubestimmung der Metaphysik
in: Grundlegung des Absoluten? Paradigmen aus der Geschichte der Metaphysik, hg. von M. Rohstock u. E. Plevrakis, Heidelberg.

Vanessa Carr

Created, Changeable, and Yet Acausal?
in: Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 119 (3):325-334.

ABSTRACT:
Amongst the entities that have been created by human agents, and can be changed by human agents, besides concrete particulars, such as tables and chairs, our intuitions suggest that there are repeatables—entities that can each have multiple concrete instances. And since there is reason to think that repeatables are acausal, there is reason to think that that there are entities that are created, changeable, repeatable and acausal. Then again, it might be supposed that if an entity is created then it is causal, and that if an entity is changed then it is causal. It is argued here that these suppositions are insufficiently motivated to undermine the case for the existence of entities that are created, changeable, repeatable and acausal.

Wolfram Gobsch

Autonomy and Radical Evil: A Kantian Challenge to Constitutivism
in: Philosophical Explorations (Vol. 22, Issue 2, Summer 2019).

ABSTRACT:
Properly understood, Kant’s moral philosophy is incompatible with constitutivism. According to the constitutivist, being subject to the moral law cannot be a matter of free choice, and failure to comply with it is to be understood as a deficiency in one’s integrity as an intentional agent. I reconstruct Kant’s arguments to the conclusion that immorality, moral evil, consists in choosing to give one’s unity as an intentional agent supremacy over the moral law, and that one’s being subject to the moral law must be one’s own free choice. And I explain how Kant’s doctrine of radical evil, according to which we cannot be subject to the moral law without actually being morally evil, protects this conclusion from entailing the denial of the unconditionally binding character of moral principles, which character constitutivists correctly identify as the central concern of Kant’s – or any – moral philosophy.

Jonas Held

Wittgenstein über Moores Paradox und die Logik erstpersonaler Aussagen
in: Was ist Geist, special issue of Studia Philosophica, Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Philosophie vol 78, ed. Gunnar Hindrichs, Anton Hügli and Janette Friedrich, Schwabe Verlag, Basel.

ABSTRACT:

In a letter to G.E. Moore, Wittgenstein writes that it is not for psychological reasons that sentences such as p, but I dont believe that pare absurd. What such sentences show, instead, is something about the logic of assertion. In the main part of the paper I discuss Wittgensteins argument against psychological explanations of Moores Paradox. This dis- cussion reveals some important facts about the use of the verb believe. In assertions of the form I believe that pthe expression I believeis not a referring term. It does not refer to a mental state of a person or a thinker understood as part of the empirical world. I will show this by relating Wittgensteins reflections on Moores Paradox to con- temporary reflections on the transparency of belief. I conclude the paper by arguing that Wittgensteins reflections on Moores paradox have more to teach us, apart from the logic of first personal thought. On my reading they offer an important insight into the relation between the act and the content of assertions.

Andrea Kern

The capacity to know and perception
in: Philosophical Issues.

Andrea Kern

Life and Mind: Varieties of Neo-Aristotelianism: Naive, Sophisticated, Hegelian
in: Hegel Bulletin.

ABSTRACT:

In his treatment of subjective mind, Hegel argues that the development that characterizes the vital process of a human individual is logically unique in that it dissolves the contradiction between two logical determinations that characterize any vital activity: the contradiction between the ‘immediate singularity’ of the subject of this process and its ‘abstract generality’. Hegel employs the term Bildung to characterize any vital activity that has this form. The idea that the distinction between human life and non-human life is a logical distinction is one of the main lessons that Hegel thinks we should learn from Aristotle’s treatment of the idea of life. In this article I distinguish between two contemporary varieties of this Aristotelian idea: a sophisticated variety that emphasizes the idea of second nature in order to characterize the distinctiveness of the human, and a naive variety that thinks of the human’s uniqueness in terms of characterizations that already belong to its first nature. I argue that Hegel is neither sophisticated nor naive but offers a third variety of Neo-Aristotelianism that solves the difficulties of the other two. This has decisive consequences for his understanding of Bildung. Although the notion of Bildung describes an empirical process, Hegel argues, it is not an empirical concept. Rather, it is the concrete concept of the process of actualization that characterizes a self-conscious form of life that reflects the inner temporality of this form’s actuality.

Andrea Kern

Aesthetic Self-Consciousness and “Sensus Communis”: On the Significance of Ordinary Language in Kant’s Analytic of the Beautiful
in: Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, 39 (2).

Dawa Ometto & A. Kalis

An Anscombean perspective on habitual action
in: Topoi.

ABSTRACT:

Much of the time, human beings seem to rely on habits. Habits are learned behaviours directly elicited by context cues, and insensitive to short-term changes in goals: therefore they are sometimes irrational. But even where habitual responses are rational (contributing to current goal fulfillment), it can seem as if they are nevertheless not done for reasons. For, on a common understanding of habitual behaviour, agents’ intentions do not play any role in the coming about of such responses. This paper discusses under what conditions we can say that habitual responses are, after all, done for reasons. We show how the idea that habitual behaviour cannot be understood as ‘acting for reasons’ stems from a widely but often implicitly held theoretical framework: the causal theory of action. We then propose an alternative, Anscombean understanding of intentional action, which can account for habitual responses being done for reasons.

Sebastian Rödl

Selbstbewusstsein und Objektivität. Eine Einführung in den Absoluten Idealismus
Berlin: Suhrkamp. 

ABSTRACT:

Self-Consciousness and Objectivity undermines a foundational dogma of contemporary philosophy: that knowledge, in order to be objective, must be knowledge of something that is as it is, independent of being known to be so. Sebastian Rödl revives the thought—as ancient as philosophy but largely forgotten today—that knowledge, precisely on account of being objective, is self-knowledge: knowledge knowing itself. Thus he intervenes in a discussion that runs through the work of Bernard Williams, Thomas Nagel, Adrian Moore, and others, who seek to comprehend the claim to objectivity we raise in making judgments. While these authors think that the quest for objectivity demands that we transcend the first person, Rödl argues that it is through the first-person thought contained in every judgment that our judgments possess the objectivity that defines knowledge.

Self-Consciousness and Objectivity can be read as an introduction to absolute idealism, for it dismantles a stubborn obstacle to absolute idealism’s reception: the notion that it is a species of idealism, which is understood to be the assertion that the world depends upon the mind. As Rödl brings out, absolute idealism is the resolute rejection of that idea.

The implications of this work are profound. It undercuts a number of contemporary presumptions, such as that judgment is a propositional attitude, that inference is a mental process, and that there is an empirical science of the capacity for objective knowledge. All of these presumptions flow from the erroneous notion that the objectivity of knowledge stands opposed to its first-person character.

Sebastian Rödl

Das metaphysische Unternehmen
In: Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie. 

ABSTRACT:

In Barry Stroud’s book Engagement and Metaphysical Dissatisfaction, the eponymous dissatisfaction is said to be due to our inability to obtain certainty about the correspondence between the world and our ways of thinking it. In Stroud’s terms, this dissatisfaction is caused by the failure of the metaphysical enterprise. Beginning with Aristotle’s metaphysics, this paper discusses Stroud’s misunderstanding which stems from his particular construal of the object of metaphysics: There is no metaphysical enterprise and thus, there can be no meta­physical dissatisfaction.

Sebastian Rödl

Metaphysics, Thinking, and Being
In: Idealism, Relativism, and Realism. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter. 

ABSTRACT:

This essay critically analyzes Barry Strouds book Metaphysical DissatisfactionWith reference to AristotleMetaphysics, Rödl challenges Stroudclaim of an inherent dialectic of knowledge and dissatisfaction internal to the project of metaphysics as asystematic knowledge of what is insofar as it is. According to Rödl, Stroud takes metaphysics to be the endeavor of comparing the ways in which we think with what is in order to establish whether we, as we think in these ways, can actually grasp what is as well. But this construal of metaphysics makes it appear that there are two things, independently described and subsequently compared: i) how we think, and ii) how what is is, as we are thinking it. According to Rödl, Stroud is right to hold that metaphysics (i.e. the science of what is, insofar as it is) investigates being and thinking. But metaphysics does not investigate a relationship between the two. Rather, metaphysics arises from thought, from the kind of understanding of its object that thought itself is.

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer

Hegels Wissenschaft der Logik. Ein dialogischer Kommentar. Band 1: Die objektive Logik, Die Lehre vom Sein, Qualitative Kontraste, Mengen und Maße
Hamburg: Meiner Verlag

ABSTRACT:

Hegels »Wissenschaft der Logik« (1812/1816) zählt zu den einflussreichsten philosophischen Schriften der Neuzeit, aber auch zweihundert Jahre nach seinem Erscheinen liegen bloß partielle Interpretationsansätze vor, die sich obendrein in wesentlichen Punkten notorisch widersprechen. Mit seinem umfassenden dialogischen Gesamtkommentar, dessen erste beide Bände jetzt vorliegen, versucht Pirmin Stekeler dieser Lage abzuhelfen. Seine Verfolgung von Hegels Denkweg, welche diesen textnah rekonstruiert und radikal als Gegenwartsdiskurs erscheinen lässt, macht deutlich, dass es die Unklarheiten im vor- und nachkantischen Empirismus selbst sind, die zu den Widersprüchen der Interpretation und dann auch in den szientistischen Weltanschauungen der Moderne geführt haben. 
Stekelers Neulektüre von Hegels Logik weist den Weg zu einer Erneuerung der philosophischen Logik insgesamt – und damit der Philosophie. Das Werk enthält, ineinander verschränkt, drei Bücher in einem Band: 1. eine für sich durchgängig lesbare Abhandlung von Hegels Wissenschaft der Logik
2. Hegels gesamtes Textkorpus der Seinslogik und der Wesenslogik und 3. dessen inhaltliche Einbettung in die bis heute zentralen Debatten der Philosophie.
Auf den Kommentar zu Hegels Seins- und Wesenslogik folgt 2020 die Begriffslogik (PhB 692).

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer

Academic Freedom. The Global Challenge
Comparativ

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer

Angst und Sorge. Existenzlogische Voraussetzungen personalen Seins
In: Seubert, H. (Hrsg.): Neunzig Jahre Sein und Zeit.

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer (Hrsg.)

Theatrum naturae et artium – Leibzig und die Schauplätze der Aufklärung
Theatrum naturae et artium

2018

James Conant

Inheriting Wittgenstein: James Conant in Conversation with Niklas Forsberg: Part 2
Nordic Wittgenstein Review 7

Rebekka Gersbach

Das Ökonomische als nicht-sittliche Praxis
in: Zeitschrift Für Wirtschafts- Und Unternehmensethik 19(3): 369-374. 

Jonas Held

Reconciling the Normative and the Constitutive Nature of Logical Rules: A Kantian Approach
in: Philosophie der Logik und Mathematik; Beiträge zum 41. Internationalen Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium. 

ABSTRACT:
A famous passage from the Jäsche Logic shows that Kant takes logic to be a normative science: “In logic, however, we do not want to know how the understanding is and does think and how it has previously proceeded in thought, but rather how it ought to proceed in thought” (Logic Jäsche, A 6). Logic is not about how we actually think but about how we ought to think. Call this the normative claim. This claim seems to imply the possibility of illogical thinking. But this possibility seems to contradict other passages where Kant discusses the constitutive nature of logical rules. General logic, Kant writes for example in the Critique of Pure Reason, “contains the absolutely necessary rules of thinking without which no use of the understanding takes place” (CPR, B 76). Thinking that is not in accordance with the rules of logic, Kant says here, is neither incorrect nor wrong; rather, it is no thinking at all. Call this the constitutive claim. The normative claim and the constitutive claim seem to contradict each other. In this paper I show that it is possible to reconcile the normative and the constitutive nature of logical rules on the basis of the distinction between a capacity and its actualization. 

Andrea Kern

Die “ursprüngliche” Form der Erkenntnis. Über Kants Hylemorphismus
in: Buchheim, T.; Gerhardt, V.; Lutz-Bachmann, M.; Mandrella, I.; Stekeler-Weithofer, P.; Vossenkuhl, W. (Hrsg.), Philosophisches Jahrbuch. 125. Jahrgang (2. Halbband). 

Andrea Kern

Human Life and its Concept
In: Neo-Existentialism Cambridge/Medford: Polity Press.

Andrea Kern

Die Negativität des Denkens
In: Khurana, T.; Quadflieg, D.; Raimondi, F.; Rebentisch, J.; Setton, D. (Hrsg.): Negativität. Kunst – Recht – Politik. Berlin: Suhrkamp.

Andrea Kern

Human Life and Self-consciousness. The Idea of “Our” Form of Life in Hegel and Wittgenstein
in: Martin, Ch. (Hrsg.) Language, Form(s) of life, and logic: investigations after Wittgenstein. 

ABSTRACT:

The source of the normative structure that a human individual finds herself entrenched in is found in her immersion in a form of life, something which results from her having been brought up in it. All sympathetic readersof Hegel andWittgenstein make use of this idea in one way or another.Yet despite much controversy over the status of this appeal to a form of life’ most interpreters who want to stress the significance of education’ in accounting for a certain kind of normativity think that it is the role of education to transform an individual whose activities do not yet manifest a consciousness of rules or norms that guide and orient her life into an individual whose activities do so. I will argue that neither Hegel nor Wittgenstein held such a view. According to them, the logical role of the ideas of self-consciousness and rationality is to depict a formal feature of a form of life, which its individual bearers, qua being bearers of this form of life, cannot fail to exhibit. Most interpreters think that,if there is a naturalism to be found in Hegel andWittgenstein, then it can only be a naturalism of second nature. I will argue that this account misunderstands its own motivating insight: that the presence of self-consciousness has a metaphysical’ significance. The sense in which self-consciousness is part of a human beings second nature, I will argue, presupposes that it is part of its first nature as well.

Andrea Kern

Diderot’s Conception of Aesthetic Subjectivity and the Possibility of Art
in: Abbott, M. (Hrsg.), Michael Fried and Philosophy. Modernism, Intention, and Theatricality.

Andrea Kern

Kant on self-consciousn knowledge and the idea of a capacity for judgment
in: Bruno, G.A.; Rutherford, A.C. (Hrsg.), Scepticism. Historical and Contemporary Inquiries. 

Dawa Ometto & N. Van Miltenburg

Free Will and Mental Powers
in: Topoi. 

ABSTRACT:

In this paper, we investigate how contemporary metaphysics of powers can further an understanding of agent-causal theories of free will. The recent upsurge of such ontologies of powers and the understanding of causation it affords promises to demystify the notion of an agent-causal power. However, as we argue pace(Mumford and Anjum in Analysis 74:20–25, 2013; Am Philos Q 52:1–12, 2015a), the very ubiquity of powers also poses a challenge to understanding in what sense exercises of an agent’s power to act could still be free—neither determined by external circumstances, nor random, but self-determined. To overcome this challenge, we must understand what distinguishes the power to act from ordinary powers. We suggest this difference lies in its rational nature, and argue that existing agent-causal accounts (e.g., O’Connor in Libertarian views: dualist and agent-causal theories, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2002; Lowe in Personal agency: the metaphysics of mind and action, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013) fail to capture the sense in which the power to act is rational. A proper understanding, we argue, requires us to combine the recent idea that the power to act is a ‘two-way power’ (e.g., Steward in A metaphysics for freedom, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012b; Lowe (in: Groff, Greco (eds) Powers and capacities in philosophy: the new aristotelianism, Routledge, New York, 2013) with the idea that it is intrinsically rational. We sketch the outlines of an original account that promises to do this. On this picture, what distinguishes the power to act is its special generality—the power to act, unlike ordinary powers, does not come with any one typical manifestation. We argue that this special generality can be understood to be a feature of the capacity to reason. Thus, we argue, an account of agent-causation that can further our understanding of free will requires us to recognize a specifically rational or mental variety of power.

Dawa Ometto & A. Kalis

Neo-aristotelianism: virtue, habituation, and self-cultivation
in: Ethics and Self-Cultivation, eds. Werkoven, S., and Dennis, M. Roudledge, pp. 143-161. 

ABSTRACT:

Dawa Ometto & J.M. Mulder & N. Van Miltenburg

Review of Sebastian Rödl, “Self-Consciousness and Objectivity”
in: Ethical Perspectives 25(1), pp. 165-170. 

Sebastian Rödl

Good, Evil, and the Necessity of an Act
in: Ethical theory and moral practice. 2018. S. 91-102.

Sebastian Rödl

Self-Consciousness and Objectivity – An Introduction to Absolute Idealism
Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Press. 

ABSTRACT:

Self-Consciousness and Objectivity undermines a foundational dogma of contemporary philosophy: that knowledge, in order to be objective, must be knowledge of something that is as it is, independent of being known to be so. Sebastian Rödl revives the thought—as ancient as philosophy but largely forgotten today—that knowledge, precisely on account of being objective, is self-knowledge: knowledge knowing itself. Thus he intervenes in a discussion that runs through the work of Bernard Williams, Thomas Nagel, Adrian Moore, and others, who seek to comprehend the claim to objectivity we raise in making judgments. While these authors think that the quest for objectivity demands that we transcend the first person, Rödl argues that it is through the first-person thought contained in every judgment that our judgments possess the objectivity that defines knowledge.

Self-Consciousness and Objectivity can be read as an introduction to absolute idealism, for it dismantles a stubborn obstacle to absolute idealism’s reception: the notion that it is a species of idealism, which is understood to be the assertion that the world depends upon the mind. As Rödl brings out, absolute idealism is the resolute rejection of that idea.

The implications of this work are profound. It undercuts a number of contemporary presumptions, such as that judgment is a propositional attitude, that inference is a mental process, and that there is an empirical science of the capacity for objective knowledge. All of these presumptions flow from the erroneous notion that the objectivity of knowledge stands opposed to its first-person character.

Sebastian Rödl

Joint Action and Plural Self-Consciousness
in: Journal of Social Philosophy.

Sebastian Rödl

Logic, Being and Nothing
In: Hegel Bulletin. The Hegel Society of Great Britain. 

ABSTRACT:

The first part of this essay develops the idea of logic as the science of thought, articulating, and thus being, the self-consciousness of thought. It explains that logic, so understood, is nothing other than metaphysics, the science of what is in so far as it is. Self-consciousness, then, thought itself, is not empty, but the source of all content. The second part of the essay discusses the opening paragraphs of Hegel’s Science of Logic; it shows how, in these paragraphs, thought is revealed to be the source of its own content in virtue of its original negativity. Thus the second part begins to make concrete the idea of logic provided by the first.

Sebastian Rödl

Freiheit als Recht
In: Archiv des Völkerrechts. 

Sebastian Rödl

Empirische Erkenntnis als absolute Erkenntnis
In: Oehl, T.; Kok, A. (Hrsg.): Objektiver und absoluter Geist nach Hegel. Kunst, Religion und Philosophie. Leiden/Boston: Brill. 

Sebastian Rödl

Die innere Negativität des Denkens
In: Khurana, T.; Quadflieg, D.; Raimondi, F.; Rebentisch, J.; Setton, D. (Hrsg.): Negativität. Kunst – Recht – Politik. Berlin: Suhrkamp. 

Sebastian Rödl

Samozavedanje
Ljubljana: Temelyna Dela. 

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer

Negative Dialectic of the Infinite. Kant, Hegel, Cantor
Philosophische Rundschau

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer

Denken der Macht – Ohnmacht des Denkens?
In: Felgenhauer, K.; Bornmüller, F. (Hrsg.):  Macht:Denken. Substantialistische und relationalistische Theorien – eine Kontroverse.

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer

Denken der Macht – Ohnmacht des Denkens?
In: Felgenhauer, K.; Bornmüller, F. (Hrsg.):  Macht:Denken. Substantialistische und relationalistische Theorien – eine Kontroverse.

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer

Das monadologische Strukturmodell der Welt. Leibniz zwischen Descartes und Kant
In: Nagel-Docekal, H. (Hrsg.): Leibniz Heute Lesen, De Gruyter.

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer

Vom Signal zur Sprache. Kooperationslogische Grundlagen begrifflichen Verstehens
In: Wagner, A. (Hrsg.): Abel im Dialog, De Gruyter.

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer

Wider den Glauben an Weltbilder. Sinnkritische Philosophie vs. Metaphysik des Empirismus und Naturalismus
In: Möglichkeiten der Reflexion. Festschrift für Christoph Hubig.

Martijn Wallage

Thinkable Facts
Online 

2017

James Conant (Hrsg.)

The Norton Anthology of Philosophy, Volume V: After Kant: The Analytic Tradition
W. W. Norton & Co., New York.

ABSTRACT:

The Norton Anthology of Western Philosophy: After Kant offers a rich collection of primary texts and a wide array of leading figures. In selecting both complete essays and sets of carefully chosen excerpts from longer works, the editors have designed these two volumes to be the most revealing, engaging, teachable, and flexible collections of nineteenth- and twentieth-century philosophical texts available.

James Conant

Die Einheit des Erkenntnisvermögens bei Kant
In: Kern, A. & Kietzmann, Ch. (Hrsg.): Selbstbewusstes Leben.

James Conant

Zur Möglichkeit eines sowohl subjektiven als auch objektiven Gedankens
In: Hilgers, T. & Koch, G. (Hrsg.): Perspektive und Fiktion Taschenbuch. 

James Conant

Zur Möglichkeit eines sowohl subjektiven als auch objektiven Gedankens
In: Thomas Hilgers udn Gertud Koch (Hrsg.): Perspektive und Fiktion
.

James Conant

Kant’s Critique of the Layer-Cake Conception of Human Mindedness in the B-Deduction
In: James R. O’Shea (ed.): Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason: A Critical Guide, CUP .

Andrea Kern

Sources of Knowledge – On the Concept of a Rational Capacity for Knowledge
HUP. 

ABSTRACT:

How can human beings, who are liable to error, possess knowledge? The skeptic finds this question impossible to answer. If we can err, then it seems the grounds on which we believe do not rule out that we are wrong. Most contemporary epistemologists agree with the skeptic that we can never believe on grounds that exclude error. Sources of Knowledge moves beyond this predicament by demonstrating that some major problems of contemporary philosophy have their roots in the lack of a metaphysical category that is fundamental to our self-understanding: the category of a rational capacity for knowledge.

Andrea Kern argues that we can disarm skeptical doubt by conceiving knowledge as an act of a ratio­nal capacity. This enables us to appreciate human fallibility without falling into skepticism, for it allows us to understand how we can form beliefs about the world on grounds that exclude error. Knowledge is a fundamental capacity of the human mind. Human beings, as such, are knowers. In this way, Sources of Knowledge seeks to understand knowledge from within our self-understanding as knowers. It develops a metaphysics of the human mind as existing through knowledge of itself, which knowledge—as the human being is finite—takes the form of a capacity.

Regaining the concept of a rational capacity for knowledge, Kern makes a powerful and original contribution to philosophy that reinvigorates the tradition of Aristotle and Kant—thinkers whose relevance for contemporary epistemology has yet to be fully appreciated.

Andrea Kern

Kant über selbstbewusste Sinnlichkeit und die Idee menschlicher Entwicklung
In: Kern, A.; Kietzmann, C. (Hrsg.), Selbstbewusstes Leben – Texte zu einer transformativen Theorie der menschlichen Subjektivität. Berlin: Suhrkamp.

Andrea Kern

Selbstbewusstes Leben – Texte zu einer transformativen Theorie der menschlichen Subjektivität
Hg. m. Kietzmann, C., Suhrkamp. 

ABSTRACT:

Eine lange philosophische Tradition, die ihren Höhepunkt in der Philosophie des Deutschen Idealismus findet, vertritt die These, dass der Mensch sich grundlegend von den übrigen Tieren unterscheidet. Diese Position ist jedoch spätestens seit Darwin in die Defensive geraten, was vor allem daran liegt, dass ihre Anhänger oft genug nicht klar sagen können, worin die tiefe Differenz zwischen Mensch und Tier bestehen soll. Die in diesem Band versammelten Texte eint das Ziel, diese Differenz dagegen als eine Artikulation des Selbstbewusstseins derjenigen zu formulieren, deren Leben durch genau dieses Selbstbewusstsein einzigartig wird. Mit Beiträgen von u. a. James Conant, Andrea Kern, John McDowell, Terry Pinkard, Sebastian Rödl und Michael Thompson.

Andrea Kern

On the transformative character of collective intentionality and the uniqueness of the human
Mit Moll, H.; in: Philosophical Psychology 3o(3). 

ABSTRACT:

Current debates on collective intentionality focus on the cognitive capacities, attitudes, and mental states that enable individuals to take part in joint actions. It is typically assumed that collective intentionality is a capacity which is added to other, pre-existing, capacities of an individual and is exercised in cooperative activities like carrying a table or painting a house together. We call this the additive account because it portrays collective intentionality as a capacity that an individual possesses in addition to her capacity for individual intentionality. We offer an alternative view according to which the primary entity to which collective intentionality has to be ascribed is not the human individual, but a “form of life.” As a feature of a form of life, collective intentionality is something more than the specific capacity exercised by an individual when she cooperates with others. Collective intentionality transforms all the capacities of the bearers of this specific form of life. We thus call our proposal the transformative account of collective intentionality.

Sebastian Rödl

Selbsterkenntnis des Selbstbewegers
in: Kern, A.; Kietzmann, C. (Hrsg.): Selbstbewusstes Leben – Texte zu einer transformativen Theorie der menschlichen Subjektivität. Berlin: Suhrkamp. 

Sebastian Rödl

The First Person and Self-Knowledge in Analytic Philosophy
in: Renz. U. (Hrsg.): Self-Knowledge: A History. OUP. 

ABSTRACT:

Socrates maintains that, as long as he lacks self-knowledge, it is silly to pursue any other knowledge. This cannot be true if self-knowledge is knowledge of a special object: the self. It can be true only if self-knowledge is distinguished by its manner of knowing. Socrates’ question cannot rule philosophy; it cannot rule human life, if self-knowledge, as knowledge of a certain area of reality, lies alongside knowledge of other areas of reality. There are three texts that circumscribe the space within which Analytic thought on self-knowledge moves: Castaneda’s “He*: A Study of Self-Consciousness”, the relevant chapter of Evans’ The Varieties of Reference, and Anscombe’s “The First Person.” These texts force upon us the question whether self-knowledge can be subsumed under a general concept of knowledge of things and how it can be thought if it cannot. I shall present a reading of the mentioned texts guided by this question.

Sebastian Rödl

The Science of Logic as the Self-Constitution of the Power of Knowledge
in: Gabriel, M.; Rasmusson, A. M. (Hrsg.): German Idealism Today, Berlin: de Gruyter.

ABSTRACT:

I wish to inquire into the idea that the concept determines itself. As Hegel intends the Science of Logic to be the self-determination of the concept, this is an inquiry into what the Science of Logic is.The concept that determines itself can only be the pure concept. This means that the self-determining concept is the self-consciousness of thought. As Kant says, the pure concept is contained in the I think. Moreover, the pure concept, as it determines itself, constitutes itself as knowledge; being contained in the think, it is contained in the I know. My presentation falls into two parts: I first develop the idea that the pure concept is knowledge, which constitutes itself in this concept. Then I consider how we might comprehend the pure concept as determining itself, thereby constituting it self as knowledge.

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer

Konstitutionen des Gegenstandsbezugs. Namen, Demonstrativ- und Personalpronomen bei Russell und Evans
in: Sprache, Wahrnehmung und Selbst, Mentis.

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer (Hrsg.)

Hegels Logik der Freiheit
Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann.

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer

Philosophical Oracles. Tropical forms in speculative reflections from Heraclitus zu Heidegger
In: Heraklit im Kontext, De Gruyter.

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer (Hrsg.)

Idee, Geist, Freiheit. Hegel und die zweite Natur
Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer

Autorität als Urheberschaft von Macht
In: Kodalle, K. M. (Hrsg.): Autorität – Im Spannungsfeld von Theorie und Praxis.