Visit to Hamburg

I am currently in Hamburg for an internship – or more exactly a Research Employability Project – at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research (HIS). My main role here is to support the editorial team at the HIS which publishes the Mittelweg 36 journal and maintains the Soziopolis platform. Continue reading “Visit to Hamburg”


What I Am Reading: Lynne Rudder Baker – Human Persons as Social Entities

Lynne Rudder Baker’s paper offers a sustained argument for what a number of people might have thought before and even proposed informally: Humans persons are social entities and therefore should be taken to be a part of social ontology.

Here is the Abstract of the paper:

The aim of this article is to show that human persons belong, ontologically, in social ontology. After setting out my views on ontology, I turn to persons and argue that they have first-person perspectives in two stages (rudimentary and robust) essentially. Then I argue that the robust stage of the first-person perspective is social, in that it requires a language, and languages require linguistic communities. Then I extend the argument to cover the rudimentary stage of the first-person perspective as well. I conclude by enumerating ways in which human persons differ from nonhuman animals.

Baker’s argument for this makes heavy use of her other works in metaphysics and especially those on personality. The main concepts are explained in this paper, but many questions might be left open, which can be answered by consulting her other work. As I see it, the outcome is a paper in which Baker justifies a thought, the thought that human persons are social entities, that is in the air by integrating the though into her own metaphysical system.

There are some worries, however, concerning her arguments for human beings as social entities. There are always some worries. Here are few: Continue reading “What I Am Reading: Lynne Rudder Baker – Human Persons as Social Entities”

Upcoming Talk: Corporations as Group Agents

Next week (on the 16th of June) I am going to present a paper on corporations as group agents at the 3rd International Conference Economic Philosophy in Aix-en-Provence. In the paper I am going to discuss the specific problems one faces when on tries to take corporations as group agents.

I am afraid that if you have not registered yet for the Conference, it is too late for that now. However, I hope that at some point my thoughts on this topic will have matured enough that they can be published.

We Are All Very Bad at Philosophy

I think that we are all very bad at philosophy, all of us, all human beings. This is not to say that there is no qualitative difference between different philosophical output. I have seen papers and books which were supposed to argue for a point and failed to do so in any epistemically justified way, while other papers and books provide genuinely insightful points in a convincing way. If I remember what I wrote as a bachelor student and what I write now, it is quite clear to me that there are important differences in quality. What I sometimes think is not that these differences do not matter, but rather that even though there are these differences, in the big picture they are small. Le me put it in the following way: While the difference between the good and bad actual philosophers are important, the difference between the best actual philosopher so far and the ideal potential philosopher is much greater. Continue reading “We Are All Very Bad at Philosophy”

A Dialogue: At the Demonstration. Part II

This is the second part of a short, introductory dialogue. For the first part go here.

G: So do you agree with the following: You believe that one ought to act with the safe belief that there is a clearly right path in public matter, which is a political position, while I hold that one ought not to act with such a safe belief, which is political position insofar it denies your political position?

L: That is a completely different matter, not a political disagreement. This is disagreement between us is all about belief and certitude, not about how to spend one’s life. The disagreement is only about what to believe and so on, not about what one ought to do.

G: Are you not here at this demonstration because you believe the government ought not to act the way it does?

L: Yes, but… Continue reading “A Dialogue: At the Demonstration. Part II”

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”