Veranstaltungen


Kommende Veranstaltungen


Dispositions in the Life-Sciences. Contemporary and Historical Perspectives

Dispositions in the Life Sciences

June 2-3, 2022

Trier University, DM 54/56 / V 302 (Senatssaal)

 

dispositionsinthelifesciences.weebly.com

 

The metaphysics of dispositional properties is a topic relevant to the philosophy of the (life) sciences, the history of philosophy, and contemporary metaphysics.

Dispositional concepts are ubiquitous in the life sciences. Crucial technical notions from various disciplines, such as stemness, pluripotency, boldness, arachnophobia, evolvability, plasticity, or fitness exhibit dispositional features that require philosophical attention. While most philosophical work on dispositions focuses on everyday examples, the life sciences offer interesting and novel insights on the topic, and opportunities for contrasting philosophical theories against particular scientific practices.

On the other hand, the philosophical debate on dispositions has also proved a useful tool for interpreting historical positions in philosophy. For example, there is a branch of Kant scholarship that understands his account of forces and powers in terms of a form of dispositionalism. So far, this has been proposed for his philosophy of physics. But it seems particularly appropriate for his philosophy of biology in the Critique of the Power of Judgment, which is particularly concerned with the dichotomy between mechanistic and teleological explanations of biological systems. Dispositionalist readings have been proposed for Aristotle’s metaphysics, too. It is hence also a worthwhile project to ask for dispositionalist readings of his views on living beings.

This workshop aims at discussing views on dispositions in the life sciences from a contemporary and from a historical perspective. It focuses on contemporary views in the philosophy of science that take scientific practice as their fundament and wants to cross a bridge to historical accounts that model biological systems by dispositional properties.

 

The workshop takes place as part of the research group “Inductive Metaphysics” (https://indmet.weebly.com), funded by DFG (German Research Foundation).

     

Speakers

Rani Lill Anjum (Aas)

Christopher J. Austin (Durham)

Kristina Engelhard (Trier)

Andrea Gambarotto (Leuven)

Fabian Hundertmark (Bielefeld)

Marie I. Kaiser (Bielefeld)

Alan Love (Minnesota)

James Messina (Madison)

Elena Rocca (Aas)

María Ferreira Ruiz (Bielefeld)

Gil Santos (Lisbon)

Javier Suárez Díaz (Oviedo and Krakow)

Davide Vecchi (Lisbon)

 

Programme

 

Organizers: Kristina Engelhard (Trier), Lorenzo Spagnesi (Trier), Fabian Hundertmark (Bielefeld), Marie I. Kaiser (Bielefeld), María Ferreira Ruiz (Bielefeld), Javier Suárez Díaz (Oviedo and Krakow)​.


1st Kant Research Centre Trier Summer School "Essences, Dispositions and Laws in Kant"

Summerschool Poster

August 22-24, 2022

Trier University

Room B 22

Instructors:

James Kreines (Claremont )

Michael Bennett McNulty (Minnesota)

After a long time of neglect, there has been a recent rediscovery of essences in the Kantian scholarship which seems to reflect the increased interest in essences in contemporary metaphysics (e.g., Armstrong 1983, Ellis 2001, Bird 2007). However, essentialist readings of the critical Kant’s philosophy of nature come in very different flavours: One prominent example is the influential ‘essentialist’ account of laws (e.g., Watkins 2005, Kreines 2008, Stang 2016). Minimally, this account argues that, for the Critical Kant, the necessity of laws is grounded in the essences or natures of things. A closely related account is that Kant can be interpreted as a precursor of ‘dispositional essentialism’ (Massimi 2017, Messina 2017) and a more distant view has it that the essences of the properties necessitating a certain behaviour are to be conceived as dispositional (Engelhard 2018). More generally, the rehabilitation of essences or dispositions in Kant’s metaphysics has important consequences for his general theory of modality and metaphysical grounding.

Despite such rediscovery, several questions from both a metaphysical and epistemological point of view have not been fully answered so far. What are essences for Kant? Should they be distinguished from other key terms in his metaphysics, such as ‘natures’ or ‘grounds’? If essences ground the necessity of laws, what kind of necessity are they the source of? Should we think essences in dispositional terms, and if so, how exactly? Are essences beyond the possibility of knowledge or can they be object of some kind of cognition? What kind of investigation of nature do they afford? The aim of this summer school and conference is to shed light on these and other related questions, as well as to discuss the historical background of Kant’s views and to explore the implications of essentialism for other areas of his Critical philosophy.

The summer school aims at junior scholars, PhD students, as well as master’s students. It will be taught by two major experts in the field: James Kreines (Claremont McKenna College) and Michael Bennett McNulty (University of Minnesota). Lecturers will introduce key primary and secondary texts and facilitate seminar discussion among participants (further details will follow shortly). Participants are welcome to attend the workshop taking place immediately after the summer school.

If you want to attend the summer school, please register by sending an email with your name, contact information, and short bio (no more than 300 words) to Lorenzo Spagnesi (spagnesi@uni-trier.de).

Organisers: Lorenzo Spagnesi (Trier), Kristina Engelhard (Trier)

For registration please contact: Lorenzo Spagnesi (spagnesi@uni-trier.de)

The summerschool is linked to the workshop Essences, Dispositions and Laws in Kant

Website


1st Kant Research Centre Trier Workshop "Essences, Dispositions and Laws in Kant"

Essences Workshop Poster

August 25-26, 2022

Trier University

Room A9/A10

After a long time of neglect, there has been a recent rediscovery of essences in the Kantian scholarship which seems to reflect the increased interest in essences in contemporary metaphysics (e.g., Armstrong 1983, Ellis 2001, Bird 2007). However, essentialist readings of the critical Kant’s philosophy of nature come in very different flavours: One prominent example is the influential ‘essentialist’ account of laws (e.g., Watkins 2005, Kreines 2008, Stang 2016). Minimally, this account argues that, for the Critical Kant, the necessity of laws is grounded in the essences or natures of things. A closely related account is that Kant can be interpreted as a precursor of ‘dispositional essentialism’ (Massimi 2017, Messina 2017) and a more distant view has it that the essences of the properties necessitating a certain behaviour are to be conceived as dispositional (Engelhard 2018). More generally, the rehabilitation of essences or dispositions in Kant’s metaphysics has important consequences for his general theory of modality and metaphysical grounding.

Despite such rediscovery, several questions from both a metaphysical and epistemological point of view have not been fully answered so far. What are essences for Kant? Should they be distinguished from other key terms in his metaphysics, such as ‘natures’ or ‘grounds’? If essences ground the necessity of laws, what kind of necessity are they the source of? Should we think essences in dispositional terms, and if so, how exactly? Are essences beyond the possibility of knowledge or can they be object of some kind of cognition? What kind of investigation of nature do they afford? The aim of this summer school and conference is to shed light on these and other related questions, as well as to discuss the historical background of Kant’s views and to explore the implications of essentialism for other areas of his Critical philosophy.

Speakers

Hein van den Berg (Amsterdam)

Angela Breitenbach (Cambridge)

Andrew Cooper (Warwick)

Kristina Engelhard (Trier)

Ido Geiger (Ben Gurion)

Stephen Howard (Leuven)

James Kreines (Claremont)

Michael Bennett McNulty (Minnesota)

James Messina (Madison)

Lorenzo Spagnesi (Trier)

Daniel Warren (Berkeley)

 

Organisers: Lorenzo Spagnesi (Trier), Kristina Engelhard (Trier)

For registration please contact Lorenzo Spagnesi (spagnesi@uni-trier.de)

Workshop Website


XI. Trierer Kant-Kolloquium: Immanuel Kant: Träume eines Geistersehers, erläutert durch Träume der Metaphysik (1766)

19.-21.10.2022 

Universität Trier

 

Sprecherinnen und Sprecher:

Sebastian Abel (Halle)

Bernd Dörflinger (Trier)

Morteza Fakharian (Göttingen)

Holger Glinka (Erfurt)

Andree Hahmann (Beijing)

Heiner F. Klemme (Halle)

Stefan Klingner (Göttingen)

Giuseppe Motta (Wien)

Torsten Nieland (Göttingen)

Lorenzo Sala (Trier)

Gideon Stiening (Münster)

 

Thema des 11. Trierer Kant-Kolloquiums wird in diesem Jahr Kants Schrift Träume eines Geistersehers, erläutert durch Träume der Metaphysik (erschienen 1766) sein. Mit diesem von empiristisch orientierten Aufklärungsphilosophen enthusiastisch aufgenommenen Essay positioniert sich Kant einerseits skeptisch gegenüber den akademischen Diskussionen um den Begriff des Geistes, andererseits grenzt er sich scharf gegen den Gespensterglauben und die um ihn geführten Debatten der Hochaufklärung ab – beides in einem polemischen wie teilweise hintergründigen Stil. Inwiefern die Träume die „eigentliche Geburtsstunde des Kritizismus“ (Kreimendahl/Oberhausen) darstellen, welche Kontinuitäten, aber auch Brüche sich mit Blick auf die spätere kritische Philosophie verfolgen lassen und welche Funktion dabei der praktischen Philosophie zukommt, werden dabei ebenso Leitfragen des Kolloquiums sein wie die nach einer angemessenen Verortung von Kants skeptischen Überlegungen im Kontext der zeitgenössischen Philosophie.

 

Wie für das Trierer Kant-Kolloquium üblich, wird es unter Beteiligung von auswärtigen Referentinnen und Referenten aus dem In- und Ausland sowie von Studierenden stattfinden.

 

Organisation: Dieter Hüning (Trier), Stefan Klinger (Göttingen)