•  6243
    Saving Seven Embryos or Saving One Child? Michael Sandel on the Moral Status of Human Embryos
    with Dieter Schönecker
    Journal of Philosophical Research 32 (Ethics and the Life Sciences): 239-245. 2007.
    Suppose a fire broke out in a fertility clinic. One had time to save either a young girl, or a tray of ten human embryos. Would it be wrong to save the girl? According to Michael Sandel, the moral intuition is to save the girl; what is more, one ought to do so, and this demonstrates that human embryos do not possess full personhood, and hence deserve only limited respect and may be killed for medical research. We will argue, however, that no relevant ethical implications can be drawn from the th…Read more
  •  2188
    Is the Idea of the Good Beyond Being? Plato's "epekeina tês ousias" Revisited
    In Debra Nails, Harold Tarrant, Mika Kajava & Eero Salmenkivi (eds.), SECOND SAILING: Alternative Perspectives on Plato, Wellprint Oy. pp. 197-203. 2015.
    The article tries to prove that the famous formula "epekeina tês ousias" has to be understood in the sense of being beyond being and not only in the sense of being beyond essence. We make hereby three points: first, since pure textual exegesis of 509b8–10 seems to lead to endless controversy, a formal proof for the metaontological interpretation could be helpful to settle the issue; we try to give such a proof. Second, we offer a corollary of the formal proof, showing that not only self-predicat…Read more
  •  1096
    Dispositional Knowledge-how versus Propositional Knowledge-that
    In Gregor Damschen, Robert Schnepf & Karsten Stueber (eds.), Debating Dispositions. Issues in Metaphysics, Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind, De Gruyter. pp. 278-295. 2009.
    The paper deals with the question of the structure of knowledge and the precise relationship between propositional "knowledge that" and dispositional "knowledge how." In the first part of my essay, I provide an analysis of the term 'knowing how' and argue that the usual alternatives in the recent epistemological debate – knowing how is either a form of propositional or dispositional knowledge – are misleading. In fact it depends on the semantic and pragmatic context of the usage of this term whe…Read more
  •  444
    Are There Ultimately Founded Propositions?
    Universitas Philosophica 27 (54): 163-177. 2010.
    Can we find propositions that cannot rationally be denied in any possible world without assuming the existence of that same proposition, and so involving ourselves in a contradiction? In other words, can we find transworld propositions needing no further foundation or justification? Basically, three differing positions can be imagined: firstly, a relativist position, according to which ultimately founded propositions are impossible; secondly, a meta-relativist position, according to which ultima…Read more
  •  335
    Questioning Gödel's Ontological Proof: Is Truth Positive?
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3 (1): 161-169. 2011.
    In his "Ontological proof", Kurt Gödel introduces the notion of a second-order value property, the positive property P. The second axiom of the proof states that for any property φ: If φ is positive, its negation is not positive, and vice versa. I put forward that this concept of positiveness leads into a paradox when we apply it to the following self-reflexive sentences: (A) The truth value of A is not positive; (B) The truth value of B is positive. Given axiom 2, sentences A and B paradoxicall…Read more
  •  271
    This is Nonsense
    The Reasoner 2 (10): 6-8. 2008.
    In his Paradoxes (1995: Cambridge University Press: 149) Mark Sainsbury presents the following pair of sentences: Line 1: The sentence written on Line 1 is nonsense. Line 2: The sentence written on Line 1 is nonsense. Sainsbury (1995: 149, 154) here makes three assertions: (1) The sentence in Line 1 is so viciously self-referential that it falls into the truth-value gap. The sentence is really nonsense. (2) The sentence in Line 2 is by contrast true. For it states precisely that the sentence in …Read more
  •  254
    Ordinary language and scientific discourse are filled with linguistic expressions for dispositional properties such as “soluble,” “elastic,” “reliable,” and “humorous.” We characterize objects in all domains – physical objects as well as human persons – with the help of dispositional expressions. Hence, the concept of a disposition has historically and systematically played a central role in different areas of philosophy ranging from metaphysics to ethics. The contributions of this volume analyz…Read more
  •  196
    Das Kontingenzpostulat der Wahrheit
    Hegel-Jahrbuch 7 (1): 320-325. 2005.
    The Contingency Postulate of Truth. - Is there a statement that cannot be false under any contingent conditions? Two well-known philosophical schools have given contradictory answers to this question about the existence of a necessarily true statement: Fallibilists (Albert, Keuth) have denied its existence, transcendental pragmatists (Apel, Kuhlmann) and objective idealists (Wandschneider, Hösle) have affirmed it. Dieter Wandschneider has (following Vittorio Hösle) translated the principle of fa…Read more
  •  132
    The principle of performative contradiction. On the epistemological significance of the dialogue form in Plato's "Euthydemus". - In this study, an analysis of the section 285d-288a of Plato's "Euthydemus" shall show two things: (1) The sophistic model of a world in which there is no contradiction, in which every linguistic utterance is true and every action correct, has no semantic inconsistencies, but can only be rejected with the help of the principle of performative contradictions. (2) It is …Read more
  •  121
    God's necessary existence makes sense. Attempt at a transcendental modal proof. - In this essay I outline a novel three-stage proof of God's necessary existence using transcendental and deductive methods. In the first step of the proof, by retorsion, it is proved that there is at least one sentence that is necessary and inescapable. In the second step, the inescapability of the modal logic supposed in the proof is shown. This step also contains a new argument in favour of epistemic anti-realism.…Read more
  •  104
    Selbst philosophieren. Ein Methodenbuch
    with Dieter Schönecker
    de Gruyter. 2013.
    Doing Philosophy Yourself. A Book of Methods. Whoever wants to philosophize must do three things: analyze for himself, argue for himself, and interpret for himself. This book enables one to learn the methods of philosophy through exercises and solutions close to philosophical practice; particular emphasis is put on close textual interpretation. This book is excellent both for the university and for self-study.
  •  101
    Definition, conditions and bearers of being a person - three philosophical aporias. In this article I examine the philosophical question of how to define the concept of the person in a non-arbitrary way, how to find out the determining conditions of being a person and how to enumerate the bearers of being a person. I come to the conclusion that the question of a non-arbitrary definition, of the essential conditions and of the bearers of being a person has not yet been clarified; it is not suffi…Read more
  •  99
    When in doubt, for the embryo. New arguments on the moral status of human embryos. - In the first part of our essay we distinguish the philosophical from the legal and political level of the embryo debate and describe our indirect justification strategy. It consists in renouncing a determination of the dignity-giving φ-properties and instead starting from premises that are undoubted by all discussion partners. In the second part we reconstruct and criticize the species, continuum, identity and p…Read more
  •  75
    Limits of the Conversation about Forms. Types of Knowledge and Necessity of Forms in Plato's "Parmenides". - Forms (ideas) are among the things that Plato is serious about. But about these things he says in his "Seventh Letter": "There neither is nor ever will be a treatise of mine on the subject." (341c, transl. J. Harward). Plato's statement suggests the question, why one does not and never can do justice to the Platonic forms by means of a written text about the forms. Another big question …Read more
  •  70
    Sixteen days? A reply to B. Smith and B. Brogaard on the beginning of human individuals
    with Alfonso Gómez-Lobo and Dieter Schönecker
    Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 31 (2). 2006.
    When does a human being begin to exist? Barry Smith and Berit Brogaard have argued that it is possible, through a combination of biological fact and philosophical analysis, to provide a definitive answer to this question. In their view, a human individual begins to exist at gastrulation, i. e. at about sixteen days after fertilization. In this paper we argue that even granting Smith and Brogaard's ontological commitments and biological assumptions, the existence of a human being can be shown to …Read more
  •  68
    Theophrast: Metaphysik
    with Dominic Kaegi and Enno Rudolph
    Meiner. 2012.
    Theophrastus' treatise "Metaphysics" contains a compact and critical reconstruction of unsolved systematic problems of classical Greek philosophy. It is primarily about fundamental problems of ontology and natural philosophy, such as the question of the interdependence of principles and perceptible phenomena or the plausibility of teleology as a methodical principle of the explanation of nature. The aim of the critical Greek-German edition (with introduction and commentary) is to make visible th…Read more
  •  63
    Autologos. A dialogue on fundamental logic. - In this dialogue of three dialogue partners, an attempt is made to prove the logical prerequisites of any meaningful dialogue by using transcendental arguments. Among these inescapable logical premises are a semantics as strong as that of modal logic S5, and an epistemic anti-realism.
  •  60
    Is knowledge-that a species of knowledge-how? - How is knowledge-how related to knowledge-that? Three possible answers are: (A1) intellectualism: knowledge-how is a subspecies of knowledge-that. (A2) Rylean account: knowledge-how and knowledge-that are completely distinct. (A3) anti-intellectualism: knowledge-that is a subspecies of knowledge-how. In this essay I present a new anti-intellectualist reductio argument that shows that answer A3 is true: knowledge-that is a subspecies of knowledge-ho…Read more
  •  51
    Die Würde menschlicher Embryonen. Zur moralischen Relevanz von Potentialität und numerischer Identität
    with Dieter Schönecker
    Internationale Zeitschrift für Philosophie (2): 44-69. 2003.
    The dignity of human embryos. On the moral relevance of potentiality and numerical identity. -
  •  45
    In Gregor Damschen, Karsten Stueber & Robert Schnepf (eds.), Debating Dispositions. Issues in Metaphysics, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Mind, De Gruyter. 2009.
    Introduction to Debating Dispositions. Issues in Metaphysics, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Mind, ed. by Gregor Damschen, Robert Schnepf, and Karsten R. Stueber, Berlin/New York: de Gruyter 2009.
  •  44
    Forms of justification. On the structure and scope of self-refutation arguments in Plato, Cicero and Apel. - In this essay, the structure and scope of transcendental types of argumentation are analyzed, compared and criticized on the basis of the reception of two antiskeptical types of reasoning in ancient philosophy (Plato, Parmenides 135b-c; Cicero, Lucullus § 28) by a contemporary philosophical author (Karl-Otto Apel). Plato puts forward a transcendental argument for the inevitability of a fi…Read more
  •  33
    Saber-cómo disposicional vs. saber-que proposicional
    Universitas Philosophica 28 (57): 189-212. 2011.
    Is knowledge-how a hidden knowledge-that, and therefore also a relation between an epistemic subject and a proposition? What is the connection between knowledge-how and knowledge-that? I will deal with both questions in the course of my paper. In the first part, I argue that the term ‘knowledge-how’ is an ambiguous term in a semantic pragmatic sense, blending two distinct meanings: ‘knowledge-how’ in the sense of knowledge-that, and ‘knowledge-how’ in the sense of an ability. In the second part …Read more
  •  31
    Zukünftig φ. Über ein subjektivistisches Gedankenexperiment in der Embryo­nendebatte
    with Dieter Schönecker
    Jahrbuch für Wissenschaft Und Ethik 8 67-93. 2003.
    In future φ. On a subjectivist thought experiment in the embryo debate. -
  •  28
    Dispositional knowledge-how vs. propositional knowledge-that
    Universitas Philosophica 28 (57): 189-212. 2011.
    Is knowledge-how a hidden knowledge-that, and therefore also a relation between an epistemic subject and a proposition? What is the connection between knowledge-how and knowledge-that? I will deal with both questions in the course of my paper. In the first part, I argue that the term ‘knowledge-how’ is an ambiguous term in a semantic pragmatic sense, blending two distinct meanings: ‘knowledge-how’ in the sense of knowledge-that, and ‘knowledge-how’ in the sense of an ability. In the second part …Read more
  •  27
    Platon und Aristoteles – sub ratione veritatis. Festschrift für Wolfgang Wieland zum 70. Geburtstag (edited book)
    with Rainer Enskat and Alejandro G. Vigo
    Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 2003.
    With contributions by John J. Cleary, Gregor Damschen, Rainer Enskat, Francisco J. Gonzalez, Jürgen Mittelstraß and Carlo Natali (all on Plato) as well as by Enrico Berti, Nicolas Braun, Graciela M. Chichi, Wolfgang Kullmann, Helmut Mai, Alejandro G. Vigo, Franco Volpi and Hermann Weidemann (all on Aristotle).
  •  27
    Brill's Companion to Seneca. Philosopher and Dramatist (edited book)
    with Andreas Heil
    Brill. 2014.
    This new and important introduction to Seneca provides a systematic and concise presentation of this author’s philosophical works and his tragedies. It provides handbook style surveys of each genuine or attributed work, giving dates and brief descriptions, and taking into account the most important philosophical and philological issues. In addition, they provide accounts of the major steps in the history of their later influence. The cultural background of the texts and the most important proble…Read more