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You can download the program of the Cologne Summer School in Philosophy 2023 by clicking here (updated 16.05.2023).

Lecture I

AAA Normativity, and How It Can Apply to Representational States that are not Intentional Actions

AAA normativity, and how it can apply to representational states that are not intentional actions Ernest Sosa has usefully explained epistemic normativity as a species of a more general performance normativity.  I present his explanation, show it can address many of the problems that have been raised for it, and then argue that, in order to extend the framework to apply to representational states that are not intentional acts of any kind, we must regard such states hylomorphically.

Public Lecture

The Quest to Discover What is Uniquely Human

Many people have sought to discover some quality or ability that is uniquely human.  To the extent that we need such a discovery, I propose that we can find it by pursuing the analogy drawn in Plato's Republic between the virtue of a person and the virtue of a state. If there is something uniquely human, I propose it is a particular organization of one's capacities. I then elaborate the kind of organization it is by appeal to a reading of Descartes's Meditations.

Lecture II

Why the de se is Crucial to Rationality

I develop the hylomorphism proposed in lecture 1 by presenting a specific hylomorphic account of the act of inferring a conclusion from premises.  I then show how this account can generalize to cover all of those representational states or acts that are assessable by the standards of rationality.

Wednesday – August 2 [Day Off]

Lecture III

The Relation Between Substantive and Structural Constraints of Rationality

Rationality constrains our representational acts and states in two very different ways. First, ourcevidence imposes substantive rational constraints on our representations. And second, logic imposes structural rational constraints on our representations.  By understanding these constraints, we can arrive at a better understanding of the sources that impose those constraints – viz., of what logic is, and of what it is to have evidence.

Lecture IV

An evidentialist refutation of skepticism

Once we understand what it is for an agent to have evidence, and we understand what logic is, we will be in a position to appreciate how logic alone can impose constraints on what body of total evidence an agent can possess.  By appeal to these constraints, we can demonstrate that an agent who has any evidence for anything at all will have strong evidence against any radical skeptical hypothesis according to which her total evidence is systematically misleading.

Lecture V

Why neither a priori nor a posteriori justification is possible without the other

It's commonly thought that a posteriori justification depends on a priori justification. After reviewing some arguments for this common thought, I show that there are equally good arguments for non-inferential dependence in the other direction as well. Understanding the dependence of a priori knowledge on a posteriori knowledge helps us to appreciate some of the fallacies involved in common arguments against disjunctivism.