A Dialogue: At the Demonstration. Part I

As I wrote in my very first blog post, I want to try things out in this blog. In this post I am trying something new for me, I publish the first part of a dialogue I have written.

The topics of the dialogue are mostly introductory. There are important philosophical issues touched upon without these issues being simplified, but the text does not presuppose any prior knowledge of philosophy.

Readers acquainted with ancient philosophy will be quick to spot the influence of Platonic dialogues. However, the positions the speakers take are not quite the same you find in typical dialogues by Platon. I leave to my readers to formulate, what exactly the difference is.

Note that I am not a native speaker when it comes to English and the literary quality might suffer because of this. If you find any orthographic or grammatical mistakes I would be happy to be corrected in the comments. Continue reading “A Dialogue: At the Demonstration. Part I”

Research Visit in Münster

I am currently in Münster for a research visit, where I am a guest of professor Quante, who has produced important work on Hegel’s theory of action. Today I gave a talk discussing the necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for group agency. I received some valuable feedback, which is going to help me to specify the conditions of group agency I argue for in my thesis better. I am not quite satisfied with the account offered by List and Pettit and try to figure out what is lacking from their account.

Today before my talk on group agency
Today before my talk on group agency

Continue reading “Research Visit in Münster”

Reading List: Analytic Metaphysics for Sociologists

When one tries to seriously work interdisciplinary orientation often becomes difficult, because for most human beings it is not feasible to read all of the top publications in two disciplines. I know this from my own experience in the case of philosophy and sociology. Accordingly most sociologists who are interested in taking philosophical findings into account, will have a hard time doing so. For this reason I put together a reading list, which offers some orientation for sociologists which are interested in analytic metaphysics. I am construing the label “analytic metaphysics” broadly and also include texts, which argue for the existence of group agents. Continue reading “Reading List: Analytic Metaphysics for Sociologists”

What I Am Reading: Four Papers on Hegel’s Theory of the State. Part II

Portrait of G. W. F. Hegel
G. W. F. Hegel

I continue with my discussion of four paper on Hegel’s theory of the state as presented in his Philosophy of Right by discussing the last two papers. For the first two papers by Riedel and Sedgwick see this post. The papers I discuss this time are by Hans-Martin Jaeger and Thom Brooks.

  • Jaeger, Hans-Martin. 2002: “Hegel’s Reluctant Realism and the Transnationalisation of Civil Society”. In: Review of International Studies. Volume 28. Issue 3. 497-517.
  • Brooks, Thom. 2004. “Hegel’s Theory of International Politics: A Reply to Jaeger”. In: Review of International Studies. Volume 30. Issue 1. 149-152.

While the first two papers discussed how Hegel’s theory of the state in the Philosophy of Right relates to philosophical positions which historically precede Hegel, the last two paper discuss Hegel in relation to current theories of the state. Continue reading “What I Am Reading: Four Papers on Hegel’s Theory of the State. Part II”

What I Am Reading: Four Papers on Hegel’s Theory of the State. Part I

G.W.F. Hegel
G.W.F. Hegel

Lately I have read the following four papers on Hegel’s theory of the state in his Philosophy of Right:

  • Riedel, Manfred. 1962:“Tradition und Revolution in Hegel’s ‘Philosophie des Rechts’ ”. In Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung. Volume 15. Issue 2. 203-230.
  • Sedgwick, Sally. 2001: “The State as Organism: The Metaphysical Basis of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right”. In: The Southern Journal of Philosophy. Volume 31. Issue 1. 171-188.
  • Jaeger, Hans-Martin. 2002: “Hegel’s Reluctant Realism and the Transnationalisation of Civil Society”. In: Review of International Studies. Volume 28. Issue 3. 497-517.
  • Brooks, Thom. 2004. “Hegel’s Theory of International Politics: A Reply to Jaeger”. In: Review of International Studies. Volume 30. Issue 1. 149-152.

In this post I discuss the first two papers and in a follow-up post, I am going to cover the other two. Continue reading “What I Am Reading: Four Papers on Hegel’s Theory of the State. Part I”

What I Am Reading: Pettit – Groups with Minds of Their Own

Socializing Metaphysics
Socializing Metaphysics

Pettit, Philip. 2003: “Groups with Minds of Their Own”. In: Schmitt, Frederick F. (ed.). Socializing Metaphysics. Rowman & Littlefield. Lanham. 167-193.

For my research on group agency I have read many texts by Philip Pettit, this book chapter, however, escaped my attention so far, so it was time to catch up. The basic idea is familiar to everyone who has read others texts on group agency by Pettit, especially the book Group Agency which Pettit co-authored with Christian List. In “Groups with Minds of Their Own” Pettit puts the basic idea the following way:

“Rational unity is a constrain that binds the attitudes of the collectivity at any time and across different times, and the satisfaction of that constrain means that those attitudes cannot be smoothly continuous with the corresponding attitudes of members.” (p. 184)

Pettit claims that groups face a pressure to meet certain constrains, but that to meet these constrains, it is often necessary that the attitudes of the group cannot be continuous, or at least not smoothly continuous, with that of the members. The decisions a group makes can in appropriate situations bind it to basic norms of rationality like coherence over time, which pushes the group to accept attitudes, notably representational and motivational attitudes, which are not shared by the majority of the member and in some cases by no members at all. Continue reading “What I Am Reading: Pettit – Groups with Minds of Their Own”

Quote of the Week: Stirner on Egoism

Max Stirner
Max Stirner

“Egoistisch ist es, keiner Sache einen eigenen oder »absoluten« Wert beizulegen, sondern ihren Wert in Mir zu suchen.”

Max Stirner. Der Einzige und sein Eigentum. Verlag Karl Alber. Freiburg/München 2009 [1844]. page 176.

“To be egoistic is not to attribute to a thing its own or »absolute« value, but rather to look for the value in Myself.” (My translation)

The definition of being egoistic offered by the great egoist Max Stirner shows the ambiguity of his position. The ambiguity can be seen when one asks, what it means to look for the value in Myself. There are at least two possible interpretations:

  1. The value the things seems to have is only a projection by Myself.
  2. The value of the thing derives from Myself.

Continue reading “Quote of the Week: Stirner on Egoism”