Fakultät für Philosophie, Wissenschaftstheorie und Religionswissenschaft

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Lehrveranstaltungen WS 2013/2014

Seminar und Lektürekurs

What A Thing is. Explorations in Ancient and Contemporary Philosophy
Veranstaltungsnummer 10034

Sprache Englisch

Fr. 14:00 bis 16:00 c.t. woch 18.10.2013 bis 07.02.2014 Geschw.-Scholl-Pl. 1 (M) - M 203

Kommentar: Open to students who begin their philosophical education, the course addresses one of the most radical and fascinating questions in the philosophical debate: what are the things that populate the world, how are they internally organized, what do they consist of, in terms not physical but metaphysical? The explorations conducted in class will range from the ‘classical’ paradigm, centred on the notions of matter and form, to the new approaches developed in contemporary metaphysics, from ‘Bundle Theories’ to ‘Bare Particulars’.

Literatur: Readings from both Ancient classics (Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus) and contemporary philosophers (Donald C. Williams, James Van Cleve, Edwin B. Allaire, and others). While primary attention is given to texts, secondary literature is also widely used, and includes commentaries, monographs, and short essays on specific issues discussed. The purpose of the course is not so much historical as theoretical; it is essentially to articulate the import and implications of major answers proposed to the question of “What a thing is” and not to give the full narrative of historical circumstances or specific occasions of their genesis and transformations.

Voraussetzungen: Knowledge of English required (the class is taught in English)

Leistungsnachweis: One oral presentation about a topic decided in consultation with the instructor, followed by a written essay that fixes, and elaborates upon, the main points of the presentation. Especially appreciated and subject to evaluation are clarity and precision in the definition of philosophical issues, coherence and consequentiality in argumentation. Thorough preparation of all texts assigned and active participation in class.


Philosophy of Mind at the Crossroads of Ancient Greece and Italien Renaissance: Averroes's Theory of the Intellect
Veranstaltungsnummer 10096

Sprache Englisch

Di. 16:00 bis 18:00 s.t. woch 15.10.2013 bis 04.02.2014 Theresienstr. 39 (B) - B 045

Kommentar: The Arabic philosopher Ibn Rushd (Averroes), a pre-eminent commentator of Aristotle, is at the origin of one dramatic crisis in the Western culture at its encounter with Islam. His philosophy of mind was highly acclaimed by philosophers from the Middle Ages until Italian Renaissance, but it upset the social and religious conservatives preoccupied with its unorthodox, subversive implications. This soon became a burning issue. The seminar presents this long-lived interpretation of Aristotle's noetics in a detailed, comprehensive, and progressive manner. It starts from the Aristotelian background, the philosophical antecedents of Averroes, and the evolution of the theory throughout the subsequent stages of Averroes's reflection. It brings out its philosophical contours and merits. Finally, it connects it with another concomitant doctrine: the view of beatitude as pure state of the mind and the product of philosophical exercise.

Literatur: Readings are taken from Aristotle’s treatise On the Soul, Averroes’s commentaries on this treatise (especially his Long Commentary on Book 3), as well as selected passages in Averroes’s essays dealing with the question of ‘conjunction’ between man and the supernal, as obtained through philosophy and realizing man’s felicity. Primary readings are complemented by selected pieces of secondary literature which cast light on especially difficult or controversial issues.

Voraussetzungen: Knowledge of English is required (the course is taught in English). Reading knowledge of French and Spanish is welcome. Proficiency in Latin, ancient Greek, and classical Arabic desirable but not required.

Leistungsnachweis: One research paper at the end of the term concerning some aspect of Averroes’s theory of the intellect. Accurate preparation of all readings and assignments; active and collaborative participation in the discussion.