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Veranstaltungstitel The manifest and the scientific image of human beings. A reading of Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos
Kennzeichen 50359
Veranstaltungsart Blockseminar
Fachgruppe Philosophie
Semester Winter 2021
Dozent(en) Andrea Giananti
Empfehlung(en) Studiensemester 3. Semester (P&E Bachelor)
5. Semester (P&E Bachelor)
BA höhere Fachsemester (> 6) (P&E Bachelor)
Bereich(e) P5*: Wissenschaftstheorie II
P4*: Erkenntnistheorie II
P6.v: Theoretische Philosophie



Science tells us that we are the result of a long series of physical and chemical processes, and that random genetic mutations have played a fundamental role in determining who we are. At the same time, we pre-theoretically think of ourselves as free rational beings capable of understanding the universe in its general structures. Is the scientific image compatible with this other, manifest image? And how ought we to react, should we discover that the two conceptions are mutually incompatible?

This questions has taken several forms in the history of philosophy. Kant has argued that when we think of ourselves as inhabitants of a sensible world, we think of ourselves as beings fully determined by the laws of nature; whereas when we think of ourselves as rational and free beings, we consider ourselves as belonging to an intelligible world that is not subjected to causality. Again, Sellars has traced an explicit distinction between a manifest and scientific image of human beings; and Nagel has recently argued that evolutionism in its current form cannot account for our rationality.

We will use Nagel’s book Mind and Cosmos as a springboard the examine how these questions arise in three philosophical domains: epistemology, philosophy of mind, and ethics. 


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Fri. 17.12.2021 - Sun. 19.12.2021 S57