•  36
    Eine Verteidigung des typologischen Artbegriffs
    Philosophia Naturalis 46 (2): 251-278. 2009.
    The paper demonstrates that the biological species concept that Mayr con- trasts with the typological one in fact presupposes a version of the typological species concept. For one cannot assess whether two living beings are capable of producing offspring without already knowing what would count as off- spring. Therefore, one must know non-relational features of typical offspring of a kind of living beings in order to be able to apply the biological species concept. The typological species concep…Read more
  • What is formal ontology?
    In Katherine Munn & Barry Smith (eds.), Applied Ontology. An Introduction, Ontos Verlag. 2008.
  •  13
    "Conscientia" bei Descartes
    Alber Verlag. 2006.
    Although Descartes is often said to have coined the modern notion of 'consciousness', he nowhere defines the according Latin term (conscientia), neither explicitly nor implicitly. This may either imply that he used the word in a sense that he did not make sufficiently clear, that he was not the first to use 'conscientia' in its modern psychological sense, or that he still used it in its traditional sense. I argue for the third assumption: Descartes used 'conscientia' according to the traditional…Read more
  •  398
    Substance, Reality, and Distinctness
    Prolegomena 7 (1): 2008. 2008.
    Descartes claims that God is a substance, and that mind and body are two different and separable substances. This paper provides some background that renders these claims intelligible. For Descartes, that something is real means it can exist in separation, and something is a substance if it does not depend on other substances for its existence. Further, separable objects are correlates of distinct ideas, for an idea is distinct (in an objective sense) if its object may be easily and clearly sepa…Read more
  •  38
    Naturteleologie, reduktiv
    Philosophisches Jahrbuch 113 (2): 296--315. 2006.
    The sciences may be able to describe living beings, but this is not to account for their life. Life is not a describable property of things. There is also no philosophical a priori argument by which one could prove the existence of life – except perhaps our own. In order to understand what life is, we must start with our conception of that life that we know, human life, and reduce the notion of this life to a notion of mere life. We may do this by introducing the following distinctions. Intentio…Read more
  •  54
    In this essay, I will sketch my view of the connections between some methodological assumptions in social philosophy, namely those of individualism, holism, and collectivism. My interest in doing so is to outline a rough conceptual landscape, into which an approach of collective actions and intentions can be placed.
  •  39
  •  378
    The Four Causes
    Journal of Philosophy 106 (3): 137-160. 2009.
    I will argue that Aristotle’s fourfold division of four causes naturally arises from a combination of two distinctions (a) between things and changes, and (b) between that which potentially is something and what it potentially is. Within this scheme, what is usually called the “efficient cause” is something that potentially is a certain natural change, and the “final cause” is, at least in a basic sense, what the efficient cause potentially is. I will further argue that the essences of things an…Read more
  •  12
    Leipziger Sportwissenschaftliche Beiträge 45 152-157. 2004.
  •  68
    Eric Watkins argues that according to Kant, causation is not a relation between two events, but a relation between the “causality” of a substance and an event. It is shown that his arguments are partly based on a confusion between causation and interaction. Further, Watkins claims that for Kant, causes cannot be temporally determined. If this were true, it would follow that there can be no causal chains, and that all factors that determine the time when an effect occurs do not belong to its caus…Read more
  •  327
    Four Causes
    . 2016.
    This is partly a book about Aristotle’s four causes (material, formal, efficient, and final cause), partly a systematic discussion of the relation between form and matter, causation, and teleology. Its overall aim is to show that the four causes form a system, so that the form of a natural thing relates to its matter as the final cause of a natural process relates to its efficient cause. It reaches two highly distinctive conclusions. The first is that the formal cause or essence of a thing is no…Read more
  • Zeitliche entitäten: Geschehnisse
    In Ludger Jansen (ed.), Biomedizinische Ontologie, Vdf Hochschulverlag. 2008.
  •  130
    Cartesian conscientia
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 15 (3): 455-484. 2007.
    Although Descartes is often said to have coined the modern notion of ‘consciousness’, he defines it neither explicitly nor implicitly. This may imply (1) that he was not the first to use ‘conscientia’ in its modern, psychological sense, or (2) that he still used it in its traditional moral sense. In this paper, I argue for the latter assumption. Descartes used ‘conscientia’ according to the meaning we also find in texts of St. Paul, Augustine, Aquinas and later scholastics. Thus the Cartesian co…Read more
  •  5
    Stephan Schmid. Finalursachen in der frühen Neuzeit: Eine Untersuchung der Transformation teleologischer Erklärungen. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2011. Pp. xii+410. $165.00 (review)
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 3 (1): 179-182. 2013.
  • Occurrents
    In Katherine Munn & Barry Smith (eds.), Applied Ontology. An Introduction, Ontos Verlag. 2008.
  •  20
    " Insofar as" in Descartes' Definition of Thought
    Studia Leibnitiana 43 (2): 145-159. 2011.
    In Principia Philosophiae I 9, Descartes defines “thought” as follows: “By the name ‘thought’ I understand all that which happens in us such that we are conscious of it, insofar as there is consciousness of it in us”. I inquire how to read the "insofar as" in this definition.
  •  12
    Documents: Fillers of Informational Gaps
    The Monist 97 (2): 246-255. 2014.
    Something is a document insofar as its official function is to compensate for the impossibility of immediately acquiring information that has a function (= plays a role in a practice).
  • Virtues and intentions-Approach to learn a virtuous concept from Anscombe
    Philosophisches Jahrbuch 115 (1): 165-183. 2008.
    Intentions are not events that cause an action, but that in terms of which we describe and action when we describe it as intentionally. Likewise, virtues are not character traits that reliably cause certain behaviour, but that in terms of which we describe certain generic behaviour.
  •  26
    Science, conscience, consciousness
    History of the Human Sciences 23 (3): 15-28. 2010.
    Descartes’ metaphysics lays the foundation for the special sciences, and the notion of consciousness (conscientia) belongs to metaphysics rather than to psychology. I argue that as a metaphysical notion, ‘consciousness’ refers to an epistemic version of moral conscience. As a consequence, the activity on which science is based turns out to be conscientious thought. The consciousness that makes science possible is a double awareness: the awareness of what one is thinking, of what one should be do…Read more
  •  32
    Luhmann und die formale mathematik
    In Peter-Ulrich Merz-Benz & Gerhard Wagner (eds.), Die Logik Der Systeme, Universitätsverlag Konstanz. 2000.
    Niklas Luhmann verwendet in seiner soziologischen Systemtheorie offenbar etwas, das er den Büchern des englischen Mathematikers George Spencer Brown entnimmt. Dessen Formenkalkül ist für Luhmann, wie Günther Schulte treffend bemerkt, “Mädchen für alles, mit dem er nicht nur in der Lage ist Teezukochen, sondern auch Auto oder Straßenbahn zu fahren”. Der erste Blick in Spencer Browns Laws of Form vermittelt einen anderen Eindruck: nichts scheinen sie mit soziologischer Systemtheorie zu tun zu habe…Read more