Fakultät für Philosophie, Wissenschaftstheorie und Religionswissenschaft

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Lehrveranstaltungen Sommersemester 2018


Ancient and Contemporary Perspectives on Freedom, Responsibility and Determinism

Mo. 14:00 bis 16:00 c.t. woch 09.04.2018 bis 09.07.2018 Geschw.-Scholl-Pl. 1 (A) - A 020

Are we responsible for our actions? Do we act freely? Are affirmative answers to these questions compatible with a deterministic view of the world? What are the conditions under which we can ascribe responsibility to people for their actions? Is there a peculiarly moral kind of responsibility? Can we ascribe a distinctive causal role to intentions within a physicalist conception of the world? These are the questions we will explore through readings of ancient texts (Aristotle, the Stoics, Epicurus, Augustine, Plotinus) as well as those of the 20th and 21st century (A. J. Ayer, Harry Frankfurt, Gary Watson, John MacFarlane, etc.). We will thus not only engage in the historical study of philosophical texts, but also to compare the approaches to to philosophical questions concerning agency, as well as proposed answers, which are separated by many centuries, in the hope of gaining a better perspective on a perennial set of philosophical problems. We will be guided, in reading the ancient texts (in English translation) by contemporary secondary literature.

Though the course will be held in English, essays may be written in German, if desired. Students should only enroll if they can attend both parts of this course, i.e. the Seminar and the Tutorium.

4 Essays [9 ECTS] - only for Bachelor philosophy major and Master philosophy students


(LSF) pre-registration is not necessary



Übung zum Essaykurs "Freedom etc. Ancient and Contemporary Perspectives."

Do. 14:00 bis 16:00 c.t. woch 12.04.2018 bis 12.07.2018 Geschw.-Scholl-Pl. 1 (M) - M 207

Fortgeschrittenenseminar und Essaykurs (zus. mit Christian Pfeiffer, M.A.)

Form and Matter, Actuality and Potentiality: Aristotle's Hylomorphism

Mo. 10:00 bis 12:00 c.t. woch 09.04.2018 bis 09.07.2018 Geschw.-Scholl-Pl. 1 (E) - E 210

Aristotle believes that ordinary material objects, and especially living organisms, like plants and animals, are substances. However, he also believes that these substances are hylomorphic composites, that is, composites of form and matter. Unlike the materialists, who claim that such ordinary objects are most fundamentally the matter they are made of, and that the lowest level constituents of the physical world (be they atoms or stuffs) are the only genuine substances, Aristotle suggests that what material substances fundamentally are is their form. At the same time, he distances his view from the Platonic conception of forms as separately existing universals. Aristotle arrives at this new conception of material substances through a complex and often roundabout discussion which engages with his predecessors' views. Moreover, Aristotle faces a significant challenge that he himself seems to be the first to fully develop: if material substances are composites of form and matter, how can they be genuine unities, rather than accidental compounds? Aristotle's response to this challenge crucially invokes the distinction between potentiality and actuality.

In this course we will focus primarily on the so-called "middle books" of the Metaphysics, books VII-IX, but we will also look at excerpts from other works. Each week, we will also read and discuss recent secondary literature. Participants should have some familiarity either with Aristotle or with contemporary metaphysics. Knowledge of ancient Greek is not required, though it is always useful. Readings will be in English, though contributions and term papers in German are welcome. This course has an Übung in which the issues raised will be discussed in greater depth; participants should attend both parts of the course.

Some familiarity with Aristotle or contemporary metaphysics.

Participants are asked to undertake one presentation, normally on a piece of secondary literature. Credit is earned through a term paper (Hausarbeit) of ca. 20 pp. or, for those taking the course as an essay course, 4 essays of ca. 5-6 pp.

bis 6.4.2018 unter a.anagnostopoulos@lmu.de


Übung zu "Form and Matter, Actuality and Potentiality: Aristotle's Hylomorphism"

 Do. 10:00 bis 12:00 c.t. woch 12.04.2018 bis 12.07.2018 Geschw.-Scholl-Pl. 1 (E) - E 212