Fakultät für Philosophie, Wissenschaftstheorie und Religionswissenschaft
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Conceptions of Reason. Justification and Critique

Our aim is to bring together philosophers of various philosophical backgrounds and training to discuss philosophical questions associated with rationality and rationalism. Especially, we are interested in questions related to rational justification and rational critique—or to justification or critique of rationality itself.

We encourage (but not dictate) systematic philosophical discussions that are historically informed, or historical philosophical discussions that are informed by systematic-contemporary philosophical debates. We promote joint discussions of thinkers coming from the European and the American scenes.

Our topics range over theoretical rationality (encompassing metaphysical/epistemological/scientific questions) and practical rationality (encompassing normative and meta-ethical questions) alike. Each semester, we tackle a relevant constellation of problems. In summer semester 2010, we discuss Self-knowledge; in winter semester 2010/11, our topic will be attempts at self-/ultimate justification of rationality. (See below for schedule.)

We meet roughly on a biweekly basis to read and discuss texts, as well as to present papers coming from within the society. Occasionally, external speakers of relevance are invited for an evening lecture. These lectures are open to everyone, and will be advertised at the LMU.

The society is supported by the Center for Advanced Studies (Munich), and is organized in cooperation with Lehrstuhl II in the Philosophy Department of LMU.

Anyone interested in joining discussions or in presenting a paper is welcome to contact us. 

For queries, contact: omri.boehm@lrz.uni-muenchen.de

Self-Knowledge, Justification, Critique

We are interested in a rich notion of self-knowledge, encompassing both theoretical and practical aspects. We focus on the questions how self-knowledge can figure in projects of critique and justification of rationality (as in Descartes’ and Kant’s projects), and to what extent it is itself subject to critique and justification (as has been emphasized by authors like Hegel, Schelling, and Kierkegaard).

Self-Justification of Rationality

We discuss attempts (and failures) to provide a justification of reason from within itself. We are interested in theoretical, practical and theological justifications of both theoretical and practical rationality. Are „ultimate“ justifications bound to fail? If so, would this pose a problem for rationality? Is faith necessary for rationality?

In discussing these questions, Descartes, Kant, Hegel and Wittgenstein are important authors for us.