Philosophy & Economics

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Veranstaltungstitel Introduction to Philosophical Analysis
Kennzeichen 50358
Veranstaltungsart Seminar
Fachgruppe Philosophie
Semester Winter 2021
Dozent(en) Andrea Giananti
Empfehlung(en) Studiensemester 1. Semester (P&E Bachelor)
Bereich(e) P1*: Einführung in die philosophische Analyse II


Philosophers reflect on questions such as human knowledge, the structure of reality, the difference between the good and the bad (at the level of individuals and societies), and the nature of persons and their capacities. Thus philosophers in one sense share their topics with many other disciplines: for example, sociologists too enquire about human knowledge and about the behaviour of individuals and groups; physicists investigate the structure of reality; psychologists and cognitive scientists have persons among their objects of enquiry.  

Despite these overlaps, philosophy differs from these disciplines both in method and in the formulation of its research questions. Methodologically, philosophy typically involves neither quantitative research (e.g., experiments) nor the exclusive use of formal methods, as in mathematics. However, there are other, typically philosophical methods. Amongst the most prominent, phenomenology (which consists in taking a peculiar descriptive attitudes to certain target phenomena), conceptual analysis(which has the aim of clarifying our concepts and illustrating the relations holding among them) and the method of mental experiments(which consists in imagining alternative possible scenarios with the aim of illuminating aspects of our actual situation relative to things such as knowledge, justice, and the mind)

In terms of the formulation of research questions, there is a peculiar generality to the way in which philosophers raise their questions. Thus for example a sociologist might describe how knowledge and theories are communicated and passed on from one generation to another, but a philosopher will ask what is knowledge. Jurists might reflect on how to prevent theft or how to appropriately punish it, but a philosopher will ask what makes an action bad or good, and how we can know about goodness and badness at all. Again, a neuroscientist will want to know how our brain works, but a philosopher will ask what is the mind, and whether it could be the same thing as the brain.

We will read essays on several philosophical questions, written by their authors with the aim of bringing out a distinctively philosophical approach to their topic. We will also discuss different philosophical methods and examine how they can be applied to particular questions.


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Introduction seminar .docx

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Wed., 12:00 - 14:00 Uhr H27